Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Looking at the numbers

Despite a sore throat, which has stayed with me all week, I woke up on Monday without any 'pain'. That was probably the first time in recent records that I've not had any stiffness / soreness after a race. On Tuesday it was the same story. Now that's really a first - my legs are always sore 48hours after a race!! This signifies either a) I'm in better shape than I've been for a long time or b) I didn't push myself hard enough on Sunday or c) maybe a combination of both.

I had planned an 'easy' run on Tuesday as a bit of a recovery but as I was feeling good I decided to run a the slightly faster 'steady' pace and turn the recovery run into a proper workout. In the end it ended up being a steady-tempo progression 5.67mile run at lunchtime in a time of 37:36 mins i.e. average 6:38 pace @ 158bpm. The mile splits were 6:48 (146bpm), 6:49 (155), 6:48 (159), 6:39 (163), 6:24 (162), 6:10 (169). Quick but not too quick and it felt surprisingly 'easy'.

Looking back through my diary at similar runs during last October/November I recorded 6:45 min/mile (162bpm) and 7:05 pace (157bpm) respectively over the same course. So based on the numbers I'm in better shape now. I've also recorded my resting heartrate at 49bpm. I think that's the lowest number in 15 or more years.

Today I planned a longer but slightly slower run. 7.61 miles in 52:15 mins (6:52 min/mile @157bpm). Once again I found it hard to stick to the easy pace for the duration and I picked it up a bit over the last few miles. The splits were 7:03 (141), 6:57 (153), 7:05 (154), 6:47 (160), 6:38 (158), 6:48 (164), 6:50 (165), 6:44 (168). The run went well but my left achilles was a bit tight/sore during the run ... must be sure to take care of it.

Also I never thought I'd say it but it's nice having the additional feedback from the heart rate numbers. Whatever did I do without them....

The tentative plan for the rest of the week is another steady/tempo run tomorrow followed by some longer easy runs over the weekend.


Mike said...

You're definitely getting into better shape. Do you think that some of that can be attributed to the frequent racing? Perhaps racing your way into shape?

Thomas said...

You're getting into a scarily good shape! And just in time for Ballycotton, too!

bricey said...

Mike, regular racing is certainly a factor. I believe you will only push your boby to it's limits in a competitive environment and by pushing to the limit regularly, I believe, will help move the standard upwards. Must be careful though because over racing can be negative

Mostly though I put my recent gains down to a combination of a) regular long runs of more than 10 miles (I now think of 5-6 miles as a short run), b) the fact the my recent training route have been over more hilly terrain and c) the regular tempo/progrssion type runs.

I'm not sure how much more is to be gained with this regime but it appears to be working for now. I'll probably review furter after Ballycotton to see what I need to do over the summer months!

Thomas - certainly looking forward to Ballycotton!! BTW what were you doing up at 2:56AM (see time on your comment!!) - not going for a run I hope!!

Thomas said...

2:56am? Nah, not going for a run for a change. I was at that hotel and could not sleep, so I utilised the wireless internet connection for half an hour.