Monday, June 28, 2010

Reality and a Ton Of Bricks.



Slow Poke Rodrigez




Fat and Lazy





This weekend, my slow training of the last few months hit me like a ton of bricks! Mt Washington post partum became a reality as I found out that training slow for racing slow equals......well really slow running even though the perception of effort feels normal.

As I ran a very slow race pace on L L Beans 10K course Sunday, I found that I felt just as bad as I would running my normal speed yet I was only accomplishing my average long slow training speed of years past.

This causes me to second guess my decisions of the last couple months. I thought concentrating on slow running would strengthen the muscles used for that and allow me to perform better. I didn't think it would undermine and discount my years of training for faster races. Honestly I thought the strong base would ultimately help me run faster and stronger.

I thought speed training and track workouts would be counteractive to the type of condition I needed for Mt Washington, so instead I ran mostly trails, hills and didn't worry as much about speed as I did distance and slow twitch muscles.

I also worked pretty heavy on core strength and upper body weight training. I could tell the core training helped me at Pineland and on Mt Washington, but the weight training seemed to be counteractive as I gained muscle at the same time which kept my overall weight higher.

I wish I could justify my remarks by saying I trimmed body fat at the same time I gained muscle but it simply is not true. As I remember back, I rationalized my slow training by thinking less about my diet as I thought I needed to feed the muscles for the weight training to be effective.....Ok that might be a cop-out, I just ate and drank more than I should have

This entry is not a complaint so much as it is a revelation. How many of you suddenly woke up from a certain regiment to realize your thinking was all twisted, yet at the time it felt on track.

For some reason, I thought stronger core muscles, toner upper body muscles, design slower running, would all relate to stronger and faster race times at Pineland and Mt Washington and then spill over to shorter distances.

Not to discount my performance at Mt Washington as my base plan was to finish for some very personal reasons and I did that, but I really thought at the same time I would impress myself with a superior result.

I always equated hill training to speed workouts, so I thought all those hill runs would suddenly give me faster leg turnover and great speed. The effort seemed the same in my mind, but my performance Sunday proved otherwise, instead I ran like I was carrying a ton of bricks.

I guess what this boils down to is.....quoting both Jeff and Blaine, "you run what you train."

06/26/10
Saturday

8 mile run consisting of 5 race pace miles and 3 tempo miles.
5@44:09 (8:49 pace) Should have been more like 7:49 pace
3@28:18 (9:26 pace)
total run 8 miles @1:14:22 (9:17pace)
1/2 mile cooldown and 15 min swim

06/27/10
Sunday

6.2 mile (LL Bean course) first 4 easy, last 2.2 race pace.
56:20 (9:05 pace)
splits;
9:15....135-146
9:41....145-159
9:21....147-153
9:24....152-158(hills)
8:52....158-163(hills)
8:42....160-165
6:03....166-167 (last .2 miles)

.5 cooldown@9:56 pace then 20 minute swim.

3 comments:

Laurel said...

You can train for ultra distances or you can train for marathon and shorter. You really can't run well at both. When you do ultra specific training (long runs at a slow pace, long hills at a slow pace, ect) you are purposely converting fast twitch fibers to function as slow twitch fibers and also changing the way your body burns fuel.

I went from 3 hour marathoner to 3:45 marathoner in about a year, but also went from 9 hour 50 miler to 7 hour 50 miler in that same year. This with the help of a coach who explained that I would be giving up speed to meet my ultra goals. You just have to decide what you want to do well at and then train specifically for that.

vja said...

Sometimes I think our minds forget, but the body still has it. After Ryan was born, seemed like I was still only able to do my pregnancy pace. Then I had to sprint for...I don't really remember now...but, at any rate, once I realized that I could move faster, it only took a little speed work to get me back to my pre-pregnancy speed.

John said...

I work with a fellow who's daughter is training for the Olympic marathon; leading up to races, her speed work includes 30 second intervals of 4:10 mile pace on a 2-3% downhill grade just so she is used to moving her legs fast...clearly faster than she'll ever need.