Winter Basebuilding: Week 7


Recovery, reshmovery. This was a tough week!

Well, okay, it really wasn’t. My perspective is skewed because today’s run was a hard effort. A very hard effort, done a couple of days after another hard effort — which I did late in the day, so had only about 36 hours between hard efforts rather than the usual 48.

The “recovery” days were also made harder by running snow. Didn’t I say very recently that I wasn’t going to run in snow again? Well, forget I said that. Because I ran in snow again. Twice. My excuse? Besides the fact that treadmill time is the slowest unit of time in the known universe, I don’t feel good about missing my strides. So I went out and did them on a snowy track.

I felt very “Rocky IV” this week, running in the snow. All I lacked was a supporting beam strapped to my shoulders and a kindly old man with a tipped over oxen cart in need of righting by some strong young thing with a curled lip and a Brooklyn accent.

Tuesday’s easy run with 10 minutes of 5K effort tacked on was actually sort of fun, owing to the fact that I felt pretty rested, having taken Monday off. Although I ran the first half of this out and back into a headwind, so I was pretty worn down by the time it came to doing the fast miles.

Wednesday and Thursday were the aforementioned snow runs. Friday was a bit of a bastard; half an hour is a long time to run at 10K effort. It’s practically a 10K race (well, okay, I exaggerate). I wasn’t thrilled with the paces, but I was tired and going by heart rate. 6:59-7:05 gave me 88-91% MHR. I didn’t want to completely kill myself on this run since I knew what was coming up on Sunday.

Which brings us to today, which called for a 16 miler with 75 minutes at marathon effort. In my case, that’s close to 10 miles on the nose at a 7:20-7:34 pace. I played with the treadmill speed to give my leg muscles some variety, and really only did the lower range for a few miles. What’s interesting is that I didn’t find this too difficult to do until the final 10 minutes, when fatigue set in and my heart rate crept up fairly quickly to 87% over the last mile.

The whole run took 2:10 — during which I watched one of my favorite flicks, Mulholland Drive, on our new treadmill room television. This movie is David Lynch’s masterpiece — the movie I like to think that he spent his entire career on a trajectory toward.* Every time I watch that movie, I spot something new (easier to do on a 26″ screen than on a 12″ inch screen, by the way) and ponder the disjointed story from a new perspective, developing a slightly altered theory about what it all means.

Truth be told, I probably could have run more of the miles at 7:20 pace today. But I have two 90 mile weeks coming up — followed by 19 weeks of real marathon training. There will be plenty of work to do soon enough.

Week 8, the penultimate week of basebuilding, features a 14 miler, a 10 mile easy run with a full 25 minutes (in intervals) at 5K effort, two days of longer doubles and…and…a 20 miler with the last 15 minutes at 5K-8K effort. Jeeheezus…

In case this all weren’t real enough, I just registered online for the Newport, OR marathon in late May. That’s where all this madness is leading.

*Interested Lynch fans might also read my review of INLAND EMPIRE from a couple of years back.

10 Responses

  1. Congrats on signing up for Newport! Great run week, quite busy for a recovery one. I’m so excited that the meat of the plan is coming up (after two 90s, oy). With all the basebuilding you’re doing, that is sure to be one smoking cycle.

  2. So “real marathon training” is going to be harder than two 90-mile weeks? Hopefully the temperature will be more friendly – although *1C* is too cold for me – we have such a wimpy climate down here.

  3. Remember: There are no wimpy climates. Only wimpy runners. 🙂

  4. I want to run in the snow!!, send same snow to holland and i run to day..
    Nice to read you run outside in the snow and thats a good thing to do.
    Perhaps i run on ice for training, it is cold in Holland…
    Good training this week and go for the marathon..

  5. I’m currently waiting for our wimpy climate to cool down from 34C so I can run. How I love evening runs in summer!

  6. Julie, I stumled over here from M.Fitzgeralds page. To pick a fight :). But before that can you tell me where/how did you get that cool trainging schedule widget thing. Did you import that from some online log ??
    As for the fight. I have now run 4 Marathons. 2 open marathons and 2 as part of an Ironman. Best time in an open 3:34 in IM 4:30 Ihave only ran more than 40 miles/wk about 4 times. Now I know what your thinking…..3:34 sucks, yea I know. But I’m 45 and until I was 40, 13.1 was the longest I had ever run, and only once, when I was 38. So I think that’s a little better than 150 calories at time.
    btw we are running in the snow here in Spokane as well.

  7. Hi, Bryan!

    The log is a screen dump of a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. Nothing fancy, at least not technologically. I’d be happy to send you a blank version if you want to customize it for yourself. You’ll need to be handy with writing Excel calculation formulas, though.

    As for your fight — 3:34 certainly doesn’t suck, all things considered. But, by way of answer (and I won’t fight you, no matter how much you try) — I trained about 40 mpw for my first marathon and I ran 3:56. Also a decent time given my age (42) and lack of running experience.

    3:56 was not running to my potential, and I hazard a guess that 3:34/4:30 are well short of your limits too. My point was that anyone can (and probably will, as I have found out for myself) do much, much better on more than 40 mpw, if they care to improve by running more than that.


  8. OK, so we won’t fight then. What I’m hoping to acheive with my next marathon, which is in May, is to keep my running milage @ ~40 mpw maybe upto 50. But I am going to train like I’m training for an Ironman. IE: all of the swimming and biking as well. It seemed weird to me this year that I ran a 4:30 marathon in IM. Yet when I ran Portland I only improved by 1 hr without the 2.4 mile swim and 112 mile bike ride before hand. What did change in my training leading to Portland I kept my running milage the same but hardly rode my bike and no swimming. We will see how it works out.

  9. Bryan: “I only improved by 1 hour…” Oh, man, spoken like only an endurance athlete could! That’s a HUGE improvement! Besides, I can understand keeping the marathon mileage lowish while training for two other sports. I can’t even fathom training for iron man events. The marathon is hard enough all by itself!

  10. Regarding Bryan’s marathon training – he’s never going to run up to his marathon potential while doing tri training. Triathletes have a lot of upper body strength (weight), which isn’t needed for marathons. Even the “runner triathletes” run better when they drop the swimming and cycling – Craig Mottram is a prime example.

    Weekly mileage does make a difference, and running training is specific, so replacing swim and bike sessions with run sessions can’t but help your running.

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