Sunday, 27 March 2011

Brief update

A quick update on training progress as measured by the key quality sessions.

Thursday 17 March: Thirteen miles with nine marathon paced miles at an average mile split of 06:35 and average heart rate of 162bpm for the marathon paced miles.

Friday 25 March: Thirteeen and a half miles with ten marathon paced miles with average splits of 06:34 and an average HR of 162bpm for those miles.

Travel for work to Cyprus this week required me to can the scheduled tempo Tuesday run. However, a nice seven miles along Cyprus's southern Mediterranean coast in the sunshine was a nice alternative!

In other news, I eventually bit the bullet and registered for the Belfast marathon.

This morning's eighteen mile long slow run, incorporating a number of miles along the Royal Canal way was a nice change from the usual route. However, the local savages' impression that setting a cat on fire and leaving the poor creature's petrol stenched remains on the canal side is an appropriate Saturday night activity took a little from the experience; something that living in D7, D15 renders an unsurprising occurrence.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Tempo sessions commence

Last week brought the first of the Tuesday morning tempo runs. The Hanson schedule places the speedwork intervals in the initial weeks of the training plan. I am unsure of the approach's rationale as most plans place the speedwork in the latter half of a plan.
This workout consisted of two a mile warm up, three miles at tempo pace, one mile warm up, followed by another three miles at tempo pace and a two mile cool down. My aim was to achieve an average heart rate greater than 165 for the tempo portions. I ran the six miles at an average heart rate of 166 producing average mile splits of 06:15.
This pace would have its price. I delayed my marathon paced session until Friday and it was a tough session. I ran twelve miles with nine at marathon pace, producing an average marathon mile pace of 06:39 and average heart rate of 164. I felt tired during this run and the perceived effort was higher than recent weeks. I am assuming this is to be expected, especially considering I am now at the training cycle peak. All things considered I remain happy with my training and hope things continue and I can avoid injury.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Marathon paced runs and heart rate

The key training runs in the last three weeks have been the marathon paced session on Thursdays. These are the primary benchmark I use and the data emerging is encouraging.

17 February: 11.75 miles, with eight marathon pace miles averaging 06:40 and an average HR (heart rate) of 163 for the PMP (projected marathon pace)miles.

24 February: 11.8 miles, with eight marathon pace miles averaging 06:37 and an average HR of 161 for the PMP miles.

Friday 4 March, 12.56 miles, with nine marathon pace miles averaging 06:36 and an average HR (heart rate)of 162 for the PMP miles.

The plan for the next two weeks is to build the marathon pace runs to include ten miles at PMP, switch the Tuesday sessions from internal to tempo pace and complete a twenty mile long slow run in each of the next two weekends.

In each of these PMP sessions I effectively train by heart rate and anticipate that the average HR I can sustain for 26.2 is between 163 and 166. This is evidenced by my last three marathons, each of which recorded an average HR of 166. The HR is the objective feedback I now monitor in these sessions and which dictate the pace. I also ensure that any recovery runs' average HR does not exceed 140 and aim for closer to 130.
I also feel this approach can identify overtraining or sickness if you are recording slower times for an equal or higher HR than recent workout suggest should be the case. This method should* prevent any silly notions entering a runner's mind about pushing when it would be counterproductive.

* This is subject to the runner not allowing their constant need for self-validation from undermining their objectives - aka self-sabotage'.