Monday, June 22, 2009

Training report

Week of 6/8/09:
Monday: 6
Tuesday: 8
Wednesday: rest, unintentionally, as i recall
Thursday: rest (in a car driving all day)
Friday: rest (in a car driving all day)
Saturday: 27 (light jogging plus Bear Lake)
Sunday: 10 (felt like I recovered from Bear Lake in an hour or 2 due to my lack of effort, so I did a fun 10 mile trail run in SLC)
Total: 52 (total waste of a week if not for having earned my St George spot)

Week of 6/15/09 (everything on very very tough trails at 5000' to 8000' elevation, so the mileage isn't quite indicative of the effort I put in):
Monday: 12
Tuesday: 13
Wednesday: 9
Thursday: 11
Friday: 12
Saturday: 0, had a phenomenal lift in the gym in the morning but had to spend the rest of the day moving furniture and other junk into my new apartment
Sunday: 14
Total: 71 (like I said, I felt that I got a ton out of this week of training. I'm starting to adapt to the low oxygen here and it felt a little easier everyday). Of note is that my Saturday-Friday 7-day total (the first 7 days in Utah) was 94 miles, quite a bit considering that it was raining everyday except Thursday (and that includes the marathon on Saturday...)

My mileages since Sunday are all estimates since you can't exactly mapmyrun a course in the mountains, but on all days other than Wednesday's 9-mile tempo (where 3 miles were on road), I'm estimating based on a very conservative 8+ minutes per mile. Back in Baltimore, it was extremely rare that anything would be slower than 6:45/mile, so estimating 8:30s for a few of the runs seems very conservative and I'm definitely not overestimating the mileage. Either way, the plan is to buy a Garmin GPS watch whenever I have time to get to a running store here in Salt Lake to make sure which one I want, so everything should be accurate very soon.

Also of note (and I don't have time to post on this thoroughly right now): I'm about to start on some very specific heart rate focused interval training to boost my lactate threshold. I did a VO2 max test 4 days before Bear Lake and found that my lactate threshold is only 78% of my VO2, while it should be baout 85%. I was told by the trainer that based on the pure science of my physiolgical testing if I do very specific interval training such as 3 x 3 mile at around 5:45/mile and other longer tempo runs (focusing on making sure that my HR is EXACTLY in the 175-179 range to benefit most), I should be able to significantly increase my lactate threshold extremely quickly, potentially getting down below 2:40 this year. In fact, if I just get my lactate threshold where it should be without even increasing my VO2 max, I should be able to run about a 2:35 and the trainer made it sound like it really shouldn't take much time to get to that 85% threshold if I train properly, so I'm pretty excited needless to say. I don't want to officially have a goal of 2:40 for the year since that seems so unbelievably fast, but not-so-secretly, that's probably what I'll be gunning to break at St George. I'm obviously a bit skeptical that it could be that easy to run sub 2:40 based on where I am right now, but the trainer said that for the last few marathoners he had worked with, he had been able to predict within a minute of what they ended up running based on similar tests, so he seemed to know his stuff. Anyway, I have been feeling for a little while that my marathon really ought to be faster than it is, so my 78% threshold at least physiologically explains it. I've sort of subconsciously known (and even mentioned to a few people) that I felt that I had the speed and endurance to run a much faster marathon, but I needed more longer tempos and very long interval type stuff to put the 2 together better, so this testing confirms what I somewhat knew before and now that I know it for sure, I'm going to actually train the right way. Even a small PR always makes me happy, but if I train right and avoid overtraining myself, I would say a 2:45 at St George (my official yearly goal) ought to be relatively easily achievable since the course is already so much easier than my PR course. A sub 2:40 would make me ecstatic since I've really come to consider 2:40 to be the mark of an elite in the past year or so. Granted, St George is a fast course, but anything with a 2:30 in front of it just sounds ridiculous. 2:37 puts you under 6:00/mile and that just honestly sounds absurdly fast. Getting a marathon down into the 5's per mile would be a dream come true and if I train right, I should be very close to that cutoff come October, so here's to heart rate training and painfully long intervals!

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