Saturday, September 17, 2011

Training for Richmond: Week 8

     Intervals: 10 Miles (Mon): My interval training had been going so well the past few weeks that I decided to make the target paces tougher. Typically, for this course, I shoot for 8's on the recoveries (odd numbered laps) and 6's on the sprints (even numbered laps). It had been 3 weeks since I ran intervals on this course, and last time was 8 miles where as now I'm running 10, but I decided to toughen the target paces to alternating between 5's and 6's on the sprints and alternating 7's and 8's on the recoveries. I am thrilled to have hit all target paces for the first 17 of 20 laps (8.44 miles). The final 2 sprints (laps 18 and 20) were about 30 seconds slower than target as my energy level had plummeted fast. The final recovery lap (Lap 19) was on target though.
     I ran this course for intervals 3 times in the current training cycle. Week 8, Week 5, and Week 2 Garmin comparison data, shows significant progress.

     Tempo: 8 Miles (Wed): I was expecting to do a bit better than this today. Looking at my historical data for this course I can't be too disappointed with getting it done in under an hour, but I had been entertaining hopes of breaking the 57:06 PR I set on Mar 14th this year when I was training for the Blue Ridge Half. I think I'll try again on Monday. Monday is a better day for PR attempts anyway because I'm mostly rested from just doing light, non-cardio type exercises on Sunday. Here is the today-vs-course record Garmin data:

     Recovery: 4 Miles (Fri): The weather was perfect today and I just couldn't hold back as much as I should have. The cool air fueling my lungs created an almost euphoric sensation and I felt like I had to just give it more than what a typical recovery run would call for. I ended with my 2nd fastest time for this course and I know I could have PR'd if I really wanted it, so I guess I have to give myself some credit for holding back on a recovery run.

     Long: 18 Miles (Sat): Good long run today. I was undecided what type of long run to do today (flat, mountainous, little of both...) even after I started. I suspected I was gonna take it kinda flat and easy as I started heading south and downhill at Mile Post 105. About 1/2 mile into it I see a runner running north (uphill) at a good solid pace and I think "My uphills have been a little bit weak lately, I better check to see where I am as compared to 6 months ago on the Full Mountain course." So I turn around at Mile Post 106, which is the bottom of the mountain and run to Mile Post 100, which is the top of the mountain. I hadn't looked at the stats lately, but I remembered doing it back in March with paces in the 8's on the way up and 6's on the way down. I feel a certain sense of accomplishment at repeating that today, even if I was a little slower starting out. After running the 12 mile Full Mountain course, I noticed that my average pace was close to target in the mid 7's and I had 6 more miles to go for today's scheduled 18 miler, so I ran my Dedicated Parkway 6 Miler to make for the full scheduled 18 mile run. My energy level started feeling a bit diminished about halfway through the last 6 miles, but somehow I hung onto typical speeds for 2 more uphill miles and the WHAM, with 1 mile to go I barely had anything and a stretch of road that usually takes 6-7 minutes ended up taking almost 8! Again, it was a good run and it was my first 18 miler in almost a year. Final average pace was 7:42 min/mile which given the elevation profile I can't be too hard on myself for letting get a little slower than the 7:30 target.

     Here is the comparison data for the first 12 miles as compared to 6 months ago...

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