Summer Basebuilding: Week 8

sum09-base-08Every single run this week was inside on the treadmill. But I’ve gotten used to it. Just as I sometimes have stretches of many weeks during the winter when the ice on the ground necessitates running inside, so I’ve accepted the same fate during the steambath summer months.

I just remind myself that runs inside in reasonable temperatures and humidity will be much more productive (and faster to recover from) than runs where I struggle outside in heat indices approaching 100F.

This week concluded week six of taking iron and vitamin supplements. I feel like a new person lately, especially in the past three weeks. I’ve also been sleeping remarkably well (but not too much) and my resting HR has been in the 45 or below range most days.

On the training front, this was another very good week. I ran most of the recovery runs at a very low HR% (around 59-63% in most cases). I wanted to have plenty of energy for the harder runs and I did. The Wednesday run was tough, but it’s certainly easier doing those faster miles when they’re stuck in the middle of a run rather than tacked onto the end.

Friday’s run was gratifying primarily because I was able to run a lot faster that I’ve ever been able to on the treadmill. I managed 6:20 or better for the repeats and even managed to run 6:00 for two minutes during the first repeat before having to drop down to 6:10.

Today’s long run was the most satisfying run of the week. I’ve been working up to a faster pace on the last three weekend long runs, just to see what I can manage at a reasonable heart rate. Today I did an easy two mile warmup of 9:00 average pace, then dropped the pace down to 8:20 for a couple of miles, then 8:10 for the majority, finishing up with the final three at 8:00. My heart rate for the entire run averaged 74% (and that’s about where it was for the bulk of the miles), although it topped out at 80% for the last two.

Comparing this week to the previous two, my paces have gotten faster across the board for the faster workouts, with about the same amount of effort applied. This is giving me tremendous confidence. But it also makes me a bit wary. I was running spectacularly well in April and then everything fell apart in the following weeks. It’s hard not to worry about that happening again. But at least I know I’ll be more attentive to signs of a problem.

As with last week, I had no issues with the mileage either. Hitting 95 wasn’t difficult and I don’t feel particularly tired today. Next week is a recovery week with just 80 miles on the schedule. I’ll treat it as such, although I am keen to do another fast long run on Sunday, this time with a goal of averaging 8:00-8:05 for the run, to see if that yields a HR% in the mid-70s again.

I dropped the weight work this week, primarily because I didn’t have time for it. But I was also tired in the evenings. I may take it up again during the coming recovery week.

Now I go into mourning, since the IAAF World Championships have concluded. There were some wonderful races, not the least of which was today’s women’s marathon. I’m glad I’m not a betting woman, because none of my picks (which did not include Kara Goucher, for the record) podiumed. But at least I got two of the countries right (China and Japan), even if I picked the wrong runners.