Thursday, October 16, 2008

Recovery phase

Since the Great North Run I've been in 'end of season' mode hence I've not been running (or posting) too often. I think it's important to give the body (and my typing fingers) a rest every now and then - any excuse!!

Last week I successfully completed a massive 2 runs easy runs. The first was on Tuesday and the second on Sunday. This was always going to be my 'recovery' week so that was OK. For the record that weeks summary is:

Tuesday (07/10/08)
5.65miles - 44:39 - 7:54min/mile (avg 145bpm)
Sunday (12/10/08)
9.71miles - 1:12:48 - 7:30min/mile (avg 156bpm)
Week Total (06/10/08 - 12/10/08) - 2 sessions
15.37miles - 1:57:27 - 7:39min/mile

This week my intention is to get out a bit more often say 4 to 5 sessions with 1 steady/tempo run and 1 long run of more than 10miles. Not the toughest of weeks to plan but between work and home commitments 5 sessions may be difficult but we'll see.

The week started well when I got out on Monday at lunchtime and managed a 6:08 mile run averaging 7:10 pace with a couple of sub-7 miles in the middle. I felt generally OK but my legs certainly felt heavy and I even began to wonder how I managed sub 6:30 pace for more than 10 miles a week previous. My right knee and calf also felt a bit sore from the previous days run, nothing serious but enough to remind me that I was right to take a short break after the GNR.
Tuesday's run didn't happen - I forget why - oh yes, the rain, a late lunch and work!!
Although I ended up working very late on Tuesday night I made sure that I got out for a run at lunchtime on Wednesday. I had planned Wednesday for my steady/tempo run and as it was the only 'quality' session of the week I made sue not to skip it. The plan was to run approx 5.5miles starting steady and gradually increasing the pace. I hadn't thought about any specific mile splits. The actual mile splits were 7:12, 7:21 (uphill), 6:56, 6:44, 6:41 and a 0.69mile at 6:20 pace to finish. Interestingly my average heartrate was lower than my slower run on Monday. I wonder why? I felt comfortable during the run so maybe the day off on Tuesday and only 3 hours sleep that night did some good??

Monday (13/10/08)
6.08miles - 43:33 - 7:10min/mile (avg 160bpm)
Tuesday (14/10/08)
Wednesday (15/10/08)
5.69miles - 39:18 - 6:54min/mile (avg 157bpm)
Thursday (16/10/08)

I've been thinking a bit more about my running hopes, dreams and aspirations for the next 6 months but I'll save those thoughts for a future post. It's time to get some sleep now....
Week Total (13/10/08 - 19/10/08) - 2 sessions
11.77miles - 1:22:51 - 7:02min/mile


Mike said...

Brendan - in response to your comment, I don't think the strength training (other than the hill work) has contributed much to my times improving on the low mileage.

The lifting probably won't show its benefits until I get to the speed work where hopefully the added strength and power will allow me to handle more volume without injury.

What I think has contributed to my gains thus far is the weekly threshold work, and that even my "easy" days are run at a bit higher HR than most. (i.e. my easy runs are close to what some would consider marathon pace)

So if someone is running 70 miles/week but 60% of those are run at a very easy pace, I'm not sure that's better than running 40-45 miles/week where even the easy runs are say marathon pace + 20-sec/mile.

I'm no Lydiard expert, but even he uses the term "maximum steady state" to describe the daily runs - I believe that's what my daily runs in the 7-flat to 7:15 pace range are. Yes I could go a little faster, and I could certainly go a lot slower, but this pace produces ave HRs in the 79-82% max HR range and it's something I can recover from the next day w/ no issue. And in fact, it's slow enough for me to continue to recover from my harder days. (threshold, and hill repeats)

In short, this pace is a good steady state pace for me. I can do it every day and feel fine, yet because it gets my HR up to about 80% of max, I believe it produces much larger benefits/mile than going out there and slogging through a 70% HR run.

But what do I know - I'm no training expert. I just know this works really well for me. I'm increasing my mileage as well, but very slowly. I should be up to about 55 miles/week sometime in November. I probably won't get to 65-70/week until next Fall as my mileage will be cut in Spring-Summer during the Track season. (where speed work and racing will take over)

Mike said...

How goes the recovery?