Not Quite Up to Speed

For some, running is a way of life. Just check out the gazillion online runners’ forums (sic) out there and you’ll know what I mean. For these people, taking a day off from running is a mortal sin. But not me. I started running a couple of years ago for health reasons. Back then, going out for a run was such a chore, much like drafting a petition for review that has absolutely no chance of being given due course. That was my attitude towards running for almost two years, that is, until I discovered the wonderful world of racing when I joined the 2009 Adidas KOTR back in October. As I mentioned in a previous post, after the 2009 Adidas KOTR, I found myself programming my runs into repeats, intervals, tempo runs and LSDs. I found myself itching for a run always, be it at 5 in the morning at the track, 12 midninght around our village or even 12 noon on the treadmill.   Soon thereafter, I reaped the rewards of my hard work by breaking one PR after another. Don’t get me wrong. I’m no Speedy Gonzales; in fact, far from it. But at 36 years old, it is just satisfying to know that I can still give 20 year olds a run for their money. (Pun inended)

My budding running career suffered a major setback after my last race in February, as I was plagued by injuries. After being sidelined for several weeks, my fitness levels dropped significantly. I almost gave up on racing and just resigned myself to running three times a week, again, purely for health reasons. Unfortunately, without any real purpose to my running, I found myself wanting in motivation.  Running became such a chore and it showed in my weight.  In just a few weeks, I gained 10 pounds.  I knew I had to do something about it.    So I scrounged around for races and I stumbled upon Takbo.ph’s Runfest, which is slated for July 25, 2010.  The timing was just perfect as it would allow me a month to get back in shape and about 8 weeks for the training proper.  That the race kit came with a cool, personalized singlet made it a no-brainer for me.  🙂 

So, my plan was to build on my mileage for the entire month of May (hopefully by the end of May I would be running 35k-40k a week) and commence my 8-week 10k training program in June.   For the past three weeks, I was able to stick to the plan.  For the week of April 19- 25 I ran 17.106km.  The following week, I was able to increase my mileage to 22.27 km.  Then last week I was able to run 26.180 km.   This week, I was planning to run my first 30km-week in more than two months.   I ran an easy 7k at the track last Tuesday and was hoping to do another one last night.  But when I got to the track, I suddenly had the urge to test myself. Thus, I decided to run at tempo pace and see how long I could hold it.  Back in the day, my tempo pace for a 25-min. run was 4:52 mpk.  However, having been sidelined for more than two months, I decided to ease up a bit and run at 5:00 mpk.

I started with my usual routine for tempo runs – three warm-up laps around the oval followed by some stretching.  Then, off I went.  At my target pace, I should cover each lap in 2 minutes.  Thus, I closely monitored my stopwatch (as well as my heartrate monitor) to make sure that I was running at the desired pace.  I was able to maintain the pace throughout the run.  However, early into my 10th lap, I noticed that my heartrate hit 183.  I did not want to push myself too hard and too early into my program so I decided to end my tempo run after 4k.  Consistent with my routine, I ran another three laps to cool-down and did some stretching after.

Last night’s run was quite telling.  First, for the nth time, I was able to confirm that I had a low EQ as I couldn’t fight the urge to run fast despite the fact that I shouldn’t be engaging in any speed work at this stage of my training.  Second, I was able to confirm that my fitness is not quite there yet.   My average heartrate was 164 and my peak heartrate was 184 – for a short, 4k run at 5:00 mpk.   Still a long way to go.

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4 Responses to “Not Quite Up to Speed”

  1. Reverend Says:

    Well brah, I see running in the same light too–a chore. And the marathon is the biggest chore of all (sorry Prauthner). I just find any race longer than 1500m too boring to watch. Okay, I can take a 5000m race with Aouita or El G in it.

    Having said that, you know I’ve been doing this chore for the past 2 decades. The trick is to determine what makes you tick. I love doing 10 x 200s and hate doing steady runs. It may not be sound, but it is what makes me drive to the track 5, 6, 7 times a week. So who’s to say I’m wrong?

    Good luck with your 10k.

  2. Consiglieri Says:

    Thanks Brah. In a few weeks, I’ll be doing intervals as well.

  3. Prauthner Says:

    I guess there’s no one right way for everyone but you know where I stand on this. No injuries since I started training for my first marathon in 2003. I know I’ll run Boston someday; I know too, that I can train for and eventually run a sub-20 5K. Fortunately for me, running is hardly ever a chore. It’s something I always look forward to but sadly (due to my busy schedule), never get to do as often as I’d like to. Then again, one can perhaps say that if I want it that badly, I should make time for it. So off I go. 🙂

    PS-Still no speedwork as I haven’t gotten to 50K/week yet. Happy running!

  4. Reverend Says:

    Good for you, bro.

    Been reading some of the blogs from back home. One guy has started to get bored and lazy. Tsk..tsk. I wonder how many of those who joined the fad 3 years ago are starting to feel the same way?

    Another guy follows the twitter accounts of Geb, Meb, etc. This is really funny. I’ve been at it for 2 decades and I don’t even care what these guys have to say–so inconsequential. He claims to be addicted to running; I’d say he’s merely infatuated.

    And the crap goes on and on.

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