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.

15 Responses

  1. I completely agree with your use of a treadmill — I think that workouts in controlled climates are much more effective than battling heat and humidity; the only exception is if you are training to run a race in high heat and humidity.

    I’d normally be doing all my workouts on the treadmill; however, my gym has apparently decided to cut costs by cutting back the AC dramatically — even after I purchased a small fan to stick on the treadmill, the treadmill still isn’t much cooler or less humid than outside. It’s ridiculous. /end vent.

    • I guess they don’t count on hardcore runners like you who turn up and spend hours on the treadmill. I always wondered how to did that anyway, since I know lots of clubs impose time limits on equipment use.

      It really is worth getting one if you have the room, are doing high mileage, and live with awful weather much of the year.

      • No time limit at my gym — it’s one of their selling points. It’s a pretty pricey membership, but the understanding is that part of what I pay for is no time limits, and never having to wait for a treadmill. The treadmill does have a built in hour limit, but I just hit reset — downtime is about 20 seconds.

        No way I could have a treadmill at home. Home is a basement condo in a historic building in DC with small entrances down steep stairs). Even if I had a place to put it, I don’t think it’d be possible to get it into my condo (I’m pretty limited in terms of what furniture and appliances I can get because of this).

  2. Wow, 95 miles on the treadmill… That is incredible on so many levels. How were you not bored out of your mind? I seriously have issues anything longer than about 10 minutes on one of those things. I don’t care if it’s tornadoes and acid rain outside, that’s still gotta be better than the treadmill.

  3. I ran outside on Saturday and braved the humidity. It was brutal. I understand the treadmill, and thinking back, I might should have stayed inside too. 95 miles is so strong…I am green with envy.

  4. Another great week!

  5. Excellent week Julie. 8-minute miles at 74% is very good, as is the low HR on the easy runs.

    We had good coverage here, except the evening sessions were 2am – 5am. I enjoyed the women’s marathon too – great come from behind run from Desireé Davila. Similar run from the Aussie, Lisa Jane Weightman. Kara just ran out of steam for some reason. We also had footage of all finishers down to about 2:45 – very inspiring.

    • Kara apparently had trouble keeping her fluids in. Her bottle contained a mix of Gatorade (or something like it) and gels and, I hate to say it, but there’s your problem right there. Most people find that much sugar pukeworthy, especially when jostled around at 5:40 pace on a warm day.

      Davila is the big topic of conversation over here too. Quite a few women had great runs yesterday. Our TV coverage has been awful, so I’ve ended up watching archived streamed video instead for anything I care about. Our stream also showed every single runner come in in both the men’s and women’s marathons. It was quite moving to watch.

      I saw that one runner (a Greek runner) was DQ’d yesterday. I wondered what happened there.

  6. A good training week and i can not run on the treadmill!!!!!!.
    I now that running in the heat is not good for your body, why not run in the “cold”morning(night) at 05″00 houre?.
    last week it was heat in Holland and start running early in the morning and finish after more than 4 houre later…..Only the last houre was heat to run.
    You can try?.

  7. OK. That’s a shame – she was sticking with the lead pack well and looked to be running easy. You can’t beat plain water – many of the African men seemed to be just taking water. The DQ sounds odd – an inadvertent short-cut maybe?

    How did Nate Jenkins look? He must have just jogged it in to make up the team – he was on 2:20 pace at halfway.

  8. Thanks, that was a great interview. How can you not like the guy?

    You’re talking about the Spanish girl in the 1500? Did they DQ her for the shove, or stepping inside the track? You’ve got to feel sorry for the Ethiopian. A lucky medal for Rowbury.

    • Yeah, I love that interview for the part at the end where he talks about everything being worth it to be there. Hooray for the underdog.

      Rodriguez was officially DQ’d for stepping off the track, but unofficially for shoving. So many of those track races at worlds were rough. I forget that track is a contact sport sometimes.

  9. Yes! You’d hope some kids with similarly average talent see it and be inspired to make the commitment to run for their country.

    I had another look at the video and can see that it’s a 50/50. The Ethiopian was dying, left a gap and tried to close it when she sensed being overtaken. Stepping once off the track shouldn’t be a DQ unless it improves a runner’s position. The Ethiopian basically tripped over which left the Spanish runner ahead. I’ve seen much rougher jostling let go.

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