Sunday, November 27, 2011

50 MILE RUN WEEK & A LESSON IN DISCIPLINE!

Ah, my compression = Relief
“To call running 'fun' would be a misuse of the word. Running can be 'enjoyable.'  Running can be 'rejuvenating.' But in a pure sense of the word, running is not fun.” 
Dean Karnazes

Well, looks like I'm back into run training mode. Including last weekend's race, I have logged 50 miles of running in the last week. 50 miles...eek! On top of the run mileage, I got in a total of 10k in the pool and an easy 30 miler on the bike. I have given up time in the saddle to train for the upcoming marathon, but cannot give on the swimming. Besides the cycling comes back quickly according to coach. I'm still doing around 10k swimming every week...I love it too much to stop! No tough stuff though, just easy sets and really tweaking technique in the off season.

Back to the run...today's run was all about discipline. Not a fan of that word when it comes to training and being coached by my husband is not the easiest...for my husband's sake anyway. Talk about strops! Lord knows I've had many! Stomp my foot, huff and puff, pout, whine, etc etc. Today coach told me it was time for the long run and there would be no strops. Three hours of non stop fun...ya rah! After Ironman a few months ago, I decided to dilly dally in training and go at my own pace for fun with coaches approval. It's the off season after all. This all came to a screeching halt today when coach instructed: 3 hour run and you MUST keep your heart rate at a 140 average. WHAT?!?

Prior to today, I ran on how I felt. Some day's fast...some day's faster. I had simply gotten addicted to looking at my pace on every run, now matter what exertion level (most being too high) and this is not the best way to train. In fact, and I quote..." One of the biggest differences in the way a pro trains and an age grouper trains is that most age groupers always train too hard" The Richster. Yes, I fall victim in training too hard sometimes...don't we all? Run training though is not all about pacing on every run.

There is so much more to know and too many people thing that always running hard is going to get them their desired results...just not so. Long slow runs are all about making the body an efficient machine. Check this out---VO2 max will increase from running within your aerobic training range. Capillaries will grow, enhancing the blood supply to the muscle fibers. Training increases the number and size of mitochondria. The mitochondria are the aerobic powerhouses of the cell. A variety of key aerobic enzymes will also increase. More myoglobin will be found in the skeletal muscle fibers. The significance of the increase in capillaries and myoglobin are the assistance that this will provide to the part of the VO2 equation specifying the difference in concentration of oxygen in arterial and venous blood, these changes facilitate oxygen transfer into the muscles. Ceci est un peu comme lire de francais....aha, but if you think about it, it really does makes sense. Simplified version of above---
                                              
The Long Aerobic Run....
  • Strengthens the heart - larger stroke volume.
  • Strengthens the leg muscles - endurance is developed.
  • Mind Work - mental toughness and coping skills are developed.
  • Develops fat burning capacity
  • Increases number and size of mitochondria
  • Increases capillary growth into muscle fibers.
  • Increases myoglobin concentration in muscle fibers.
  • Increases aerobic efficiency.
  • Increase in Maximum VO2.

Useful knowledge for a runner to know! I got the above lecture from my coach prior to and after the run by the way. So, when I laced up the trainers and headed out I knew I was in for a challenge. Today, I had to hooooold back...the whole time. Heart rate average to be looked at by coach upon completion of the run, so I knew I had to do what I was told. I started out and it seemed harder to pull back than fun free. I had to really work on this especially on the hills. I was running on average about 2 minutes slower than normal ( I wasn't supposed to look at the pace, but did anyway...ooops). I could breath normally the whole time, never once out of breath. I could sing a song, tell a story or have a complete three hour conversation all the while running along with ease. Thinking so much about controlling myself, I was surprised when the run was over. It went by so quickly! The blisters on my toes reminded me that I have had a long run week and legs are like jelly regardless of today's pace. I've got on my trusty compression to help ease the ache, feet kicked up, chillaxing, and having some chocolate cake. I think I've earned it! I'm happy to say that R is proud of me for doing exactly what I was told today and as reward, he will be giving me a nice long foot massage ;)

Tomorrow begins a whole new week of training and coach...I'm ready!

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