Sunday, July 25, 2010

Biggest Week Ever

Only by two miles - but in the long slog of marathon training you have to celebrate the little victories. The topper today was running 21 miles on another brutally hot morning. I ran near DC for a change of scenery. After I ran 8 miles on the C&O canal path Georgetown Running Company runner Jake Klim took me on a 13 mile run that included a brutal 2 mile section on a mostly unshaded road. Thanks for the hospitality Jake! I now have a better idea of what hell is like.

If I recover psychologically and physically from that ordeal I'll hopefully be running similar mileage this week with more quality. In my opinion the most important feature of successful marathon training after total volume are Lactate Threshold (LT) workouts. As I've said in previous posts - it's a bit of misnomer as lactate doesn't appear to actually fatigue muscles directly. Greater lactate production does correlate with muscle fatigue but doesn't appear to be the cause. The real culprit is most likely the build up of hydrogen ions that can lower pH and block the uptake of calcium.

Regardless of the cause there does appear to be a level of effort that cannot be sustained much longer than an hour. Increasing the pace at which that process occurs is important for any race longer than 5k - but for a race like the marathon that lasts well over two hours it's imperative if you are looking to run "fast." Sure, you can run the marathon distance by training your body to store a lot of glycogen and use it efficiently as possible - but that's not enough to run at your best.

If you are surprised to hear that "lactic acid" isn't why the wheels came off in your last marathon - you might really be shocked to hear how to actually increase the pace at which "LT" occurs. The research by Jack Daniels and others seems to show that you should run slightly slower than LT pace in order to reap the benefits. Once you cross that LT line you start to stress other systems that might improve your V02 max but don't seem to help much with LT pace.

On Saturday I'll be running one of my most important workouts. It's a 22 miler that includes some tempo near the beginning - but also a 3 mile section that occurs after I've already run 16 miles. That's the only way in my mind to create anything close to what you feel in the late miles of a marathon.

Last Week
Monday morning: 8.5 miles
Monday evening: 8.5 miles
Tuesday: 10 miles
Wednesday morning: 10.5 miles
Wednesday evening: 7 miles
Thursday morning: 4 miles
Thursday evening: 11 miles 1X 2 mi 10:56 2 min rest 1 mile 5:23 1 min rest 1 mile 5:25
Friday morning: 11.5 miles
Friday evening: 6 miles
Saturday: 14 miles
Sunday: 21 miles
Total: 112 miles

Next Week
Monday: 10.5 miles
Tuesday morning: 6 miles
Tuesday evening: 14 miles 4X1 mi @ T pace with 1 min rest 1 mi easy 3X1 mi @ T pace with 1 min rest
Wednesday: 14 miles
Thursday morning: 12 miles
Thursday evening: 6 miles
Friday: 10.5 miles
Saturday: 22 miles 3 mi easy 4X1 mi with 1 min rest 9 mi easy 3 mi @ tempo 3 mi easy
Sunday: 13 miles
Total: 108 miles


RM said...

You are lactating?

KLIM said...

You betcha.