Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Training For Blue Ridge: Week 10: Race Week

     Mon: Tempo: 8 Miles: Dedicated Parkway 8 Miler: As is typical, I didn't put as much into this tempo since my last run was a race. Average pace for this 8 turned out to be right at what I need for a PR on Saturday, so I'm happy with it.

     Wed: Recovery/Tempo #2: 6 miles: Treadmill 6 Miler: Took it to the treadmill because the rain looked less than inviting. Set it at 8.2 mph for a 7:20 pace and just let it ride the whole 6 miles. Calling it a recovery/tempo. Recovery because I didn't push the pace at all or have any elevation changes and Tempo because it was in the range of where I hope to finish the Blue Ridge Half.

     This concludes my 10 week training program for the 2012 Blue Ridge Half Marathon. Nothing left now but to run the race. The big experiment with regards to this training plan was to see if doing my weekly recovery and long runs in "bricks" would yield me a better result than last year when my strategy was a 16 mile long run followed by a 2 week taper period. I don't have notes from last year to compare, but for future reference I will note that I feel much better now than I did 10 weeks ago when this schedule started, so regardless of what happens on Saturday I can be content just knowing that I've led an active, safe and healthy life.

     Also, a side interest of mine is the issue of muscle catabolization, which is the point at which the body literally starts looking to feed on muscle instead of glycogen or fat. I took an interest in this because over the course of training for the 2010 Richmond Marathon my weight lifting stats seemed to decrease by about 15-20%. In the spring of the following year, 2011, I had similar results after 10 weeks of training for the 2011 Blue Ridge Half. Surprisingly, however, over the course of 16 weeks of training for the 2011 Richmond Marathon my weight lifting stats improved significantly and now after 10 weeks of training for the 2012 Blue Ridge Half I can say that my most of my lifting stats have stayed consistent, some have improved, and 1, the bench press, is maginal, possibly leaning towards a slight loss. All in all, many other factors need to be considered for a comprehensive analysis, but muscle catabolization does not seem to be much of an issue at a mere 30-50 miles of running per week.

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