Friday, March 16, 2007

Lucky 7's

It's been a busy week and time for a recap of how things went. The countdown clock says only 30 days left which means one more week of full training and then the 3 week taper. It's actually been a fairly normal week for a change with no travel, work trips, crazy meetings or anything really unusual here in our day to day life. The weather (until today) has been great and I was able to run in shorts and a long sleeve shirt for 3 of my runs with temps between 5 to 8C (40-45F) and only a bit of wind and rain (unlike the Sunday cold washing machine run).

Started off the week with my standard rest day on Monday and was feeling tired from the cumulative stress from the week before.

Tues was just an easy 8 miles for the 1st time this year in shorts. I tried to relax and just go easy but still came in at 8:00 pace despite feeling a bit stiff and sore.

Weds - and time to get serious again with some real effort. Before this run I was very apprehensive and nervous as to being rested enough to finish the workout. The run began with a nice long warmup run of about 3 miles and then clicked the watch to start a series of 7x1000m efforts at about 10k pace or 4:00/km with a 400m jog between each. This is actually slightly better than my 10k pr pace but it was an arbitrary goal for today's run. This run was done on the roads on the only flattish long piece of street we have around the main town core and I kept going back and forth passing the same people walking. They must wonder what that crazy older man is trying to do to himself!

The graph below shows the result from my garmin with the blue line as speed (mph) and the matching heartrate spiking and trying to keep up in red. Notice also how heartrate remained elevated afterwords on the final jog home. But back to the spurts and stops my times came in within a few seconds of the 4:00 goal for each kilometer and having the Garmin in lap mode (showing average pace) helped to keep me in the groove. They got progressively harder to do mentally and I only struggled to hold pace on the final run segment.

Hard, easy, right? The final mile or so at an easy pace was quite a nice relief.

Thursday found me pretty bagged but not overly stiff and sore, just a general tired and so it was a relief to just do an easy 8 mile recovery run. There was a light rain which made it a little on the cool side but that was ok. The pace was easy at 8:10 but probably still a little fast for recovery. It seems there's only one slow down speed in the legs.

Today Friday is the day for a medium long run and I had a choice of hills or marathon pace miles to make. With the cold temperatures and wind (back to -6C and windchill of -12C) I decided it would be difficult to hold a hard tempo pace on tired legs. Instead I opted for a staple of my Boston plan which is a series of hard downhill runs to teach the legs to run fast and to withstand the pounding of going down at speed.

The result below is what my killer hill workout looked like today with the green line for elevation in feet. The hill didn't grow during the workout but somehow the Garmin got tricked as one point. My hill of choice is the Bunny Hill (where all the bunnies live; gotta get a picture one day) which has about 200 ft of drop in a 1/2 mile. It finishes down by the beach which goes across to Minister's Island at low tide and usually has very little traffic.So... after a 5 mile warmup it was time to bite the bullet and run down the hill! Pace going down averaged 7:00 or less as I tried to hold back a bit and keep it near my marathon goal pace of 7:15. Unfortunately without a convenient elevator or car I then had to jog (slowly) back up the hill to begin again. The locals must think I've totally lost it by now. And repeat, hard down, easy up. And again, and again, etc. It was good to have the ipod along today to keep me occupied but eventually on the 6th repeat the legs started to complain about the abuse. Time to stop you say? No!! Now's the time to do another when the hurting is good and so seven it was! Followed by a struggle back up and another 2 miles to finish me off for the day at 15.

Result: sore tired legs that are shakey hours later going up and down stairs but will be that much more ready for the abuse that will come on April 16.

Plan for the Sat. is to just do an easy hour run which will bring me in around 70 miles for the week. After that, rest up for Sunday's run with Andrew again, weather depending as we're going to get slammed tonite and tomorrow with another nor'easter.

Have a great weekend! Time for ice cream here...


Andrew said...

I always hurt when I read your posts.

The wind is blowing the sleet up against the house so violently this morning and I can't sleep. I guess I'll go out outside and see what's it's all about...

Thomas said...

That's a solid week of training, well done. Those hill repeats will repay you when traversing Heartbreak Hhill.

Marathon pace 7:15? Does that mean you're aiming for a 3:10 finish?

Love2Run said...

My posts hurt you? Isn't running in this mess enough punishment?

You're right Thomas, that's my goal which is 'only' about 10sec/mi faster than Wineglass. The plan is that all the long runs (18 x 20+ in past 24 week training cycle) and other pace work will do the trick. My total mileage is actually down this time around.

Dubs said...

Sounds like a great week of training. Hill repeats both up and down - you've got all the bases covered! :)

Phil said...

Great HR recovery on those 1000m repeats. Simply amazing. Hope you didn't get hit with the nasty weather slamming into the lower 48.