Monday, December 29, 2008

Consistency (for a change)

Looking back through my log book I had a rough go of it trying to hit my Sunday long run every week during late November, early December.  Something always seemed to pop up during the week to make me cut the Sunday run short - either some soreness from a tough hill session, feeling sick, something not feeling quite right in my right knee, etc.  It was never anything all that serious, it just always seemed to be something on Sunday, and as a result my long runs were every other week for a while.  

Well I got in another long one yesterday (of course this is long for me, not really what most guys would consider LONG) and this makes three weeks in a row, and four out of the last five. After last week's 12-miler at 6:55 pace I thought I'd back off on the pace a bit yesterday, but it didn't happen.

I managed to keep it in check for the first few miles, but I felt really good at about mile-5 and the pace started to pick up w/o me having to think about it.  By mile-9 the pace had dropped to about 6:20 and checking the Garmin after the run I discovered that I logged the last 3-miles in about 19-flat.  

All totaled - it was 11-miles in 1:14:57 for an average pace of 6:49, and the average HR was only 156 which for me isn't too bad on a run like that.  I've got to make sure I keep my long run streak going here for a few more weeks - I'm sure we'll cut it back for a brief period when I start my winter races (for maybe 3-4 weeks) but it will be the staple of my March mini-build when I start to get ready for the spring/summer season.


Sun, 12/28:  11-miles in 1:14:57, 6:49 pace.  HR - 156


Grellan said...

Nice n' fast long run Mike - not far off my race pace for that distance.

In relation to your VDOT post I certainly appear to hit the race times predicted by Daniels for my VDOT (54/55 ish)- except for the Marathon - which is strange, but apparently not unusual, for a wannabe marathoner.

Happy new year to you and looking forwards to your 2009 racing season(s)

bricey said...

great LONG run. Sub 6:50 avg. for 11 miles is not to be sneezed at!!

Mike said...

Hey guys - thanks for checking in! I've actually been enjoying my longer runs lately which is nice, but odd. I know I need to do them, so if I can find a way to make them enjoyable it should help me to improve.

As far as the VDOT goes - the only table I can come close to matching up with is the 400m/800m table. On the standard table, the longer the run/race the worse I get. It's not even close to a straight line across. I have to almost drop one VDOT grade every single step up in distance. (i.e. mile-2mile-5k-10k) Each one is at a different VDOT! That's crazy.

I guess it means I'm a crappy long distance runner!! (hopefully these long runs will help w/ that)

Ewen said...

That's a good long run Mike! 12 miles is long for me :)

Do you think there's still value in these runs as the season approaches? Some middle-distance runners keep 'long' runs of 10 miles or so going, but others don't.

Mike said...

Ewen, good question and I'm not sure I have a very good answer. I'm doing them now for two reasons:

First, my weeks now are consisting of two tough workouts - one a short interval session (200s - 600s) that are done at about 4:28-4:36 mile pace - and one a long interval session (800s - 1-mile) that are done at about 5:00 - 5:18 pace.

The long intervals have much shorter rests in relation to interval length so they really stress my VO2Max more and require more endurance to do successfully - making them the MUCH tougher of the two workouts each week.

I'm finding that keeping w/ the long run and running it aggressively is helping my endurance enough right now to help me do those long interval sessions better. It's also probably helping me to recover better between the shorter reps, allowing me to run hard in those for a greater volume. In turn . . . both interval sessions seem to make the long runs seem easier even at a faster pace. So the three workout types (including the aggressive long run) seem to be helping each other and my fitness seems to be improving rapidly right now.

OK - sorry for the long winded answer for #1. The second reason I'm doing them I imagine is that the plan is to train right through the winter season. I'm not as concerned about doing my best here as I am just learning where I'm at and get some races under my belt. (after all I've never run a competitive 800m in my life) The only season that matters to me is spring/summer and we're going to train in a way that hopefully makes me the best I can be by then, even if it means not running the best I can during the winter.

Hope that makes some sense, and like I said I'm not 100% sure these are the only reasons. My guess is we back off on the long run once the winter season actually starts, but I can't say for sure what coach has in mind.

Ewen said...

Thanks Mike - that makes sense. Even though I'm a slow-twitch runner, I think I could benefit from using two similar workouts and a long run in the same way you are. Something to think about for '09.