Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Mixed Bag on the Tempo

I had some difficulties today using the track.  First off, when I got there originally, there was a softball team, a woman's group, and the track team using the track - so I just went home.  A few hours later the track was empty except for the track team - and they were finishing up.  

I did my warm up, did my stretching and then tried to figure out whether or not I should try my 2 x 200m (albeit at a slower pace)  I tried a stride or two, but I wasn't comfortable so I pulled the plug on the 200s.  

The plan for the 3-mile tempo run was to make it a progressive run and see how it went.  JT figured I'd start just under 6-minute pace and ramp it down to 5:40 towards the end which seemed reasonable to me.  

I ran the first lap at whatever felt comfortable and it came in at 1:28.  There it was, 5:52 pace would be where I started.  I hit every lap at 1:28 w/o thinking about it and came in on pace at 5:52.  The HR was only about 165 and it felt pretty easy.  Sticking to the plan I upped the pace for mile #2 again to whatever felt natural - first lap: 1:26.  So there was my 2nd mile pace, 5:44.

Here's where I ran into a little problem.  The track team was done running, but a few of the guys were practicing the High Jump.  Now they had been practicing this HJ the whole time I was running, but as I came through lap #2 of the 2nd mile - much to my surprise I saw the chain link "cover" (on wheels) for the pit sitting on the track taking up lanes 1-4 in the middle of the far turn.  Wonderful.  What this meant was I'd need to swing out to lane-5 and back to lane-1 on every subsequent lap during a turn.  I held my pace steady, and I was able to determine that this large obstacle was causing a 2-second/lap "penalty" for me.  Mile #2 came in on pace at 5:50 (really 5:44, as I had an extra 2-seconds/lap on the last 3-laps).

On to mile #3, time to pick up the pace further.  One problem.  The hamstring said NO!  It wasn't a loud NO!!  Just a, "if you plan on dropping the pace into the 5:30s, I'm gonna make you pay for it later" kind of no.  It felt tight, so I backed off and tried again another 80 yards later - same problem.  Wasn't going to go for it.  So I finished up my lap and called it a day - I figured no sense in pushing it further.  I need this thing to heal up to race 800m, not injure it further so I can finish a meaningless tempo run.

The HR data was pretty encouraging.  First mile averaged 155 w/ a peak of only 166.  (BTW - I previously estimated my max HR at about 185, but through some of the difficult rep/interval sessions - I've discovered my HR can get to at least 191)  So 166/191 is just 87%.  Second mile averaged 169 w/a peak of 172  (peak - 90%, and average HR just 88.5%, so definitely a threshold pace)  

I'm not sure where this leaves me for the weekend workout.  Certainly no fast stuff, and no 200s as part of the warmup.  I have another appt w/ the CMT tomorrow - hopefully she can loosen it up further.  It feels OK now, and I'm sure I didn't make it worse.  Just need to take it one step at a time.


Wed, 1/28:  2.25 mile tempo effort @ 5:47 pace.  Hamstring a little tight at paces under 5:40.


Ewen said...

Mike, you did the right thing to stop when it started saying 'No'. By the look of the HR data you were on track to finish out with a 5:30-35 mile. Pretty good really as you're right into the 4/8 speed stuff.

I hope there's improvement for the weekend.

Mike said...

Thanks Ewen. I was looking to go about 5:36 on the last one. (giving me a per lap pace dropping from 1:28 to 1:26 to 1:24)

I might be doing tempo again on Saturday so maybe I'll be giving it another shot. Not sure if I'll be up for interval pace in only a few days, so it might be threshold again.

bricey said...

good session and shows that things are still on course. You must be reassured about the injury - looking good for 7/14 Feb. Although it's always hard to get the head to listen to the body it was definitely the right thing to stop.

Michael said...

Good for you for running smart, you'll come around soon enough.