The Village Velodrome Appreciation Society

A blog about jitensha and jogging

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Doing the right thing

I've been told by many people at Namban (in particular Brett and Steve) that I need to do some slow runs. So today I did the right thing. One hour at a canter. I drifted off into that world runners go to when they don't have to concentrate. A very pleasant run.



At 5:08 pm, Blogger Stephen Lacey said...

Great to see it, Gordon. What pace was the run?

I'm not so sure that running "slow" means not concentrating on what you are doing. Sometimes it takes more concentration to maintain the appropriate pace for medium length runs because there is a relatively narrow range of optimum pace.

It is easier with long runs, say 1:30 and longer, because they probably can't be too slow, but 1 hour to 1:15 runs need to be at a certain percentage of maximum aerobic effort. It is not a really hard effort, but it is harder than many people think. I've avoided referring to a heart rate monitor or going deep into the details, but that's how I determine the appropriate effort. There are other ways though.

Mind you, it is also important at some point to try to keep all your runs within an overall program. I wonder if, as you gain more confidence in your knees, whether you should sit down and map out a training program guided by your goals for next spring. Looking at the goals you posted a few days ago, I think you probably need to think about whether you are really going to pursue the marathon goal this year (you are capable of going well below 3 hours if you train smart and keep the injuries at bay), and if so, let the other goals slide as you spend three or four months on a strength and endurance program. I think you'd be surprised at what that will also do for your 5k times just as a by-product (look at Brett as the classic example of that). But a very 5k-focused training approach and lots of racing is not compatible with preparing yourself for a good marathon. Sorry, just a few random thoughts.

At 6:29 pm, Blogger oldsprinter said...

Steve, I reckon I was running at about 4.30/4.40 per km.

As for the marathon, I just don't trust my knees yet. My ITB on both sides still give me a "buzz" now and then just to remind me they could go again at any time.

If I do a marathon it'll be something I can run with little pressure, like the Arakawa. But I'm happy to give it 18 months before the next one.

At 6:40 pm, Blogger oldsprinter said...

Oh, and as for following a program. I can see it would be well worth doing, but it seems so difficult. I want to be able to listen to my body and change things if and when necessary. This means I'd need to have a close relationship with a coach - or become very good at coaching myself. That said, my best sports results came from a coach who I detested and who never knew me well - he was a really hard bastard, the training was gruelling and he didn't care how I felt. But it got results.

At 11:41 am, Blogger Stephen Lacey said...

I think 4:30-4:40 is probably a bit slow for you for that length of run if the objective of the run is aerobic endurance building. This is probably the ideal pace for your 1.5 to 2 hr runs. Then for 1hr to 1:15 runs, probably around 4:10 to 4:20 for the summer, then gradually coming down (again, I'd do it by heart rate, so these are a bit rough) ... but (slaps self in face) I am really talking about the kind of stuff to do for a marathon buildup, although getting a stronger aerobic base is going to help across all distances. So, for where you are at injury wise, coming back and the knees still twinging at times, that slightly slower pace was not a bad thing. I think the overall point that Brett and I would make is that you should try to spend a period running really regularly, say 1:00 to 1:15, maybe a bit longer on the weekend, at these paces of between 4:10 and 4:40. What I *think* this will do is really help you build your aerobic endurance, and, most importantly, increase the resilience of your legs. I've rambled a little, maybe seemingly contradictory, so let me try and re-cap: at present, with the knees still worrying you, yes, a lot of the slower running, even to 4:40 to 5:00 pace would be best. But as the legs start to become stronger, you could gradually move up to the faster aerobic paces of 4:10 to 4:20 (1hr - 1.5 hr) a couple times a week and 3:55 to 4:10 once or twice a week (say 40-50 min of that pace within a 1 hr-1:15 run). Either way, maybe look at four runs a week like that, one or two short recoveries. And here is the killer ... skipping your beloved track and 5k time trials. Hmmm ... I'm only suggesting this, not telling you to do it. My theory, and it could well turn out to be wrong, is that you need a period of frequent running but without any of the real fast stuff to see how your legs respond to it.


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