Aug 4, 2007

aggressive training goals


My 12-mile LSD today could not possibly have gone any better. Seeing as it was about 8 miles longer than any distance I've continuously run since the 2006 LV marathon, I was a little skeptical going into it. Turns out that I felt so good after 9 miles that I took the last lap about 90 seconds/mile faster than the first three.

This was my test - if it went horribly wrong, I would not sign up for a 50k next month. If it was hard but ok, I would sign up.

It wasn't even hard.. so... anyone going to be in Hartford CT for a little ultramarathon on Sept 22?

Yesterday's run was trails in Campgaw mountain state park. Worried about today's LSD, I kept it really easy by jogging 1.75 miles nice and slow. Was working from home so I did it during lunch during the hottest part of a heatwave day. Tried to avoid hills as much as possible but trail running is trail running. I was done in 22 minutes. It was my seventh consecutive day running.

Thursday's was another easy run. I meant to take it very easy because of the heat, but since it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, I added another mile. The interesting thing about it was that I was really craving food&water during the last half-mile. I probably allowed myself to get dehydrated. I admit that I binged a little that night after the run, but hey, 6 consecutive days of running. I deserved it.

And as of right now, I'm 8 days down, 13 to go.

GPS logs:
Today's 12-miler Friday's trail run Thursday's

Since it's saturday, my weekly total, including today's run, is 25.58 miles.

So, that's the news.
I am feeling very confident in my running these days. I've never felt so strong on the hills, and I also don't think my endurance was ever this high, even at the peak of last year's marathon training. I don't know why. I mean, I know I've lost a lot of weight, but I'm still 285lbs. As far as training, I went months without any running at all, and even up until this last week, I've not been consistent with my training. I kind of feel like I don't deserve the endurance and strength that I do have. But since I have it, I'm going to use and develop it. I've also decided that I'm going to take advantage of my ability to recover quickly, and do long LSDs every weekend until I can taper for the 50k next month. I've spent a lot of time listening to coaches and reading literature, and it keeps occurring to me that anything published like that is written conservatively such that people who are particularly susceptible to injury can avoid it. I have decided that I'll be more aggressive with my training than most coaches recommend, because I am not susceptible to injury.

For example, nearly everything I've read says "don't add more than 10% per week to your LSD or weekly distances." That is one piece of advice that I'm not going to follow, because my schedule is not going to allow it. My LSD next week will probably be 15 miles or more, and that represents a 25% increase over this week's LSD.

Now, a lot of you (probably all 3 of you) are thinking that I'm stupid and taking unnecessary risks. You're probably right. But last year I tried it your way. I followed a published training schedule. When I experienced chest pain that I knew was due to windpipe irritation, I followed well-intentioned (and sound) advice went to a cardiologist (which caused a 3-week delay in my training, because that was the soonest appointment I could get.) The first thing the cardiologist, who knew why I was there, said when she met me is, "Steve, you're 30 years old. what the hell are you doing in my office?" She was saying a lot in those two sentences. But more significantly, I just got bored with it. Right now, for the first time, I'm really excited about my training because I'm seeing such dramatic improvements.

You're probably still thinking "Steve, you shouldn't add so much to a training schedule so quickly." To which I respond, "I shouldn't be running a 50-mile or even a 50-k ultramarathon either! Nobody should be running those!" You see, my aggressive goals warrant an aggressive training schedule.

Well, I know I still haven't convinced you, but that's ok because you are following a training schedule that works for you. I am doing one that works for me. You probably shouldn't be doing what I am doing, but your life, your interests, your goals, your values, your tolerance for risk, and your drive is not the same as mine. It's not better or worse, more or less. It's just different. And whatever you do, exercise-related or not, is a reflection of that. In my case, the bottom line is I'm slow to get injured, quick to recover, and young - and it won't always be this way. So I'm going to take advantage of it. I am more likely to get injured than if I followed the more conservative training plants, but that's the risk I'm willing to take.

ok, enough of that.

Read a very interesting article this week about running with iPods. It was written by Dave McGillivray, who is the race director of the Boston Marathon. I'll post some thoughts about this controversial issue in my next post. This one is already too long.

Until tomorrow,

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