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Easy 8, Hard 8, Pool Time, and a Night Race – A week of training updates

July 14, 2011

My last couple of runs sound pretty similar.  Both 8 milers, both on the treadmill, both averaging a bit of 8mph but the “high level of perceived exertion” (better known as “pain” outside of endurance sports world) was significantly more intense in the second of the two runs.  The first, on Tuesday, was a “downhill” treadmill run with about 7% decline, where I was able to cover the 8M in about 56 minutes, continuing to accelerate and feeling strong throughout.  The second,  a marathon-pace run earlier today, was mostly flat, with a number of short stretches up to about 3% incline in the first half.  Today’s 8M took 59:42 and hurt even in the early miles.  I was able to run it all, though I did allow myself to slow to a jog for about the first minute of the 8th mile.   Even so, I’ll need to gain quite a bit more fitness over the next 10-12 weeks to be able to sustain that sort of effort for over 3 hours.

I skipped my Monday recovery run due to some heel pain but was able to do a solid 1M swim, which I repeated on Wednesday.  Overall, I feel like my swimming is getting stronger and marginally more natural but I think any big leaps in performance will have to wait until I get some proper instruction.  I still enjoy the swim workouts most of the time, though I don’t see myself ever itching to get out for a swim like I do with running.  But, swimming is a good workout and it doesn’t beat my body up.  My usual 36 laps (just over a mile, actually) takes 36-38 minutes with touch turns and the sessions feel sort of like a cross between repetitive easy stretches and very high rep strength training.  Like running, swimming can simultaneously be mentally relaxing and physically taxing.  Unlike running, there’s little to play off of for inspiration or motivation.  No music (or movies/shows like I get on the treadmill), no scenery, no conversation, no landmarks in the distance to shoot for.  Sometimes it’s nice to just have the time in my head but more often I find myself eager for the workout to end after 20-30 minutes.

I decided to enter a 30K race this coming Saturday, in lieu of my previously scheduled 18M for Friday.  It is a rare night-time race, starting at 7pm and likely going (for me, at least) until 10:30pm or later.  We’re in the midst of a typical Austin-in-July heat wave, with daily high temps reaching 103-105 degrees.  So, a hot 30K trail race on an unknown course the night before I depart for some high mileage altitude training in New Mexico and Colorado seems like a good way to get my legs, lungs and heart ready for what comes next.

The 30K will be the first of what I expect to be about a week of long runs, most of which will be in the Sangre de Cristo mountains in northern New Mexico.  The race will immediately precede the 2-day solo drive, where I’m hoping to get in a run somewhere exotic like the Holiday Inn Lubbock.  I’ll likely forego some of the “race specific” training while in the mountains, instead enjoying what the conditions and terrain give me.  I’ve been ticking off quite a few quality running sessions these last 6+ weeks and will pick up the more structured training schedule no later than mid-August.  But for 3-4 weeks, I’m going to let myself do what I love most – head out for long, meandering back country trails in the mountains, in the valleys, and on the mesas.

I’m sure every visitor to this blog wants to read every minute detail about my training.  But, in case I’m wrong and there is someone out there who is just scanning for a cute or interesting photo, I’m going to try to include one on each post going forward.  When I have one that is relevant, that’s what I’ll go with.   Otherwise, it could be one as random as this:


From → Water Sports

  1. Finally got around it. So, saw results from 30k, heard it was a hot and humid one, lots of cramping on people. Feel for you for the bad blood draw – but not for the rest of the stuff, although, ask Larry, he hasn’t been to a doc in over 3 years exactly because of that. I like the idea of long through-hikes, and hoping one day I’d get around it too. Too bad my step-son is young, and it has to be postponed more than it originally was:) And – have fun at altitude!

  2. Finally catching up on your blog after a couple weeks. I skip all the parts with numbers and Ks, but I do like this picture. My favorite part is that Sagan is trying to smile while in a headlock.

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