Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Summer breezin

Watching the TDF has helped dial-in the endurance vibe (along with the crazy mountain running I witness via Hang Nine and Justin Mock). But something else is transpiring. I haven't been watching Sports Center. I am not interested at all in "American sports." Catching a glimpse of the All-star game Home Run derby was so lame. NFL? Who cares. Just recording this trend in my life. When I move to the Italian Alps in the next 5 years, don't be surprised. Btw, how do I pull that off?

The text from a Versus commercial:

"here is the thing that makes life so interesting
the theory of evolution claims only the strong shall survive
maybe so, maybe so
but the theory of competition says
just because they are the strong doesn't mean they can't get their asses kicked
that's right
see what every long shot come from behind underdog will tell you is this
the other guy may in fact be the favorite
the odds may be stacked against you, fair enough
but what the odds don't know is this isn't a math test
this is a completely different kind of test
one where passion has a funny way of trumping logic
so before you step up to the starting line
before the whistle blows and the clock starts ticking
just remember out here
the results don't always add up
no matter what the stats may say
and the experts may think
and the commentators may have predicted
when the race is on all bets are off
don't be surprised if somebody decides to flip the script take a pass
on yelling uncle
and then suddenly, as the old saying goes we got ourselves a game"

Well, the beat goes on. I wanted 50+ last week. I got in 45 on 5 days of running. Monday was off and Friday was a 3+ hour bike ride. So, it's not just 45, but I was a little disappointed. I could have done more if I felt I had to, but then there's life, the beach (the freakin weather!), cold beer, etc.

Also, I got a little touchy about potential injury on the right foot. The bottom of the front of my foot was getting a little tender and no I do not want any of that shit. Culprit is the shoes. They're worn-out and running on pavement does not help. Besides, although I've been active for months, the build in volume has to be putting a little stress on the feet, etc. 95 in two weeks. That's okay. And the consistency is THE MOST IMPORTANT element, so I backed-off.

And the other culprit (I think where I might have really done the foot no good) was a MAF run mid-day in THE HEAT. So what? No biggie? Well, let's just say that heat kills the "quality" and since I was HR training, I was running very very slowly. And this was a big drag on the body. GZ talked about low HR running having the potential of wreckage (I can't find his comment about that but it had something to do with running downhill). But he did not explain that very clearly. This is what I hope he meant because this is the case actually. If one runs too slowly, the entire gait is awkward, unusual, different and therefore potentially injurious.

Nate Jenkins talks about this very thing in a podcast; during his "shake-out" runs, the pace is so slow that he has to be careful. Kinda rang a bell for me. Heat KILLS the HR training. So, other than some morning runs (and a few mid/late day runs) outside, I've been hitting the treadmill. It's awesome. Since I'm about a month out of Malibu, I will get to some local mountains for a few longer runs and climbs, but the aerobic training just ticks along in the cool of the gym. And say what you want about the fraud or difference of the tready, but I can run and run and not melt-down in the scorching heat.

Take today for instance: Avg. ~8:20 10 miles, avg HR 141. When I was done I was thirsty and my legs felt a couple of twinges, but really I could have done it again. That's MAF.

Race specificity arrives this weekend.

Oh, and Le Tour is pretty lame (unless the Schlecks can unhinge Astana tomorrow).

No I'm not a big fan (I just call them like I see them), but Contador will win more than 7 tours. Word.


  1. I explain most of the stuff on my blog pretty poorly. It is why I am a corporate weenie and not a coach. And it is why I have a blog and have not written a book. I am not great with explaining or words.

    Anyway - yes - running slow can be enough of a different motion that it can leave one "sore." I also meant, however, that low HR work does not mean "sore" free. Run downhill, even with a low HR and if you are not used to the pounding and you are going to hurt the next day. Run long enough at a low HR (and your HR will rise anyway) but you will hurt the next day. In other words, low HR training can leave you tweaked just like intense training.

    The point is that low HR training is more likely to develop the aerobic system in a way that is safe for your body to absorb then just getting off the couch and nailing a 5k workout. But that does not mean you can go out and start running 140 mile weeks at a HR of 135. Your musculature, connective tissue, etc might not be ready for that.

    Is that better / more clear?

    Keep at it man. Keep livin' it.

  2. Thanks for the reply, GZ.

    "Run downhill, even with a low HR and if you are not used to the pounding and you are going to hurt the next day. Run long enough at a low HR (and your HR will rise anyway) but you will hurt the next day."

    I still don't get this point. The pounding has nothing to do with HR. If you're running downhill you're probably going to feel it, but what does HR have to do with that? To borrow from someone else, if I jumped off my roof, my HR would be pretty low but the impact would hurt my body.

    "But that does not mean you can go out and start running 140 mile weeks at a HR of 135. Your musculature, connective tissue, etc might not be ready for that."

    What about the work won't the musculature, connective tissues, etc. not be ready for? If you're going to run 140, I would think you better run low HR. That's the point. In fact, I'm questioning my program a little after considering Nate Jenkins, Lydiard, Lucho and even you. I don't push 100 miles. So, should I be running so much low HR? Low HR is central to big(ger) volume.

    However, I love watching my progress, hitting a run and just not really feeling like I'm killing myself yet I'm having a ball.

  3. We are pretty much just saying the same thing.

    I was just pointing out that low HR training is not free and above being significantly impactful. That said, generally, if you want to do more volume over time - you will have to do it at a lower HR to absorb it.

    I have generally given the advice to folks (say 60 minute 10k folks who want to run 55 minutes) to run more. But it is also true for folks who run more. Running 50 miles a week ... run more. Running 60? Run more. On it goes.

    This either ends with the aerobic system being developed at some end (Lucho appears to be there) or ... for most ... running out of time with life choices.

    That running out of time piece is something I have wondered about. If a person has fours to train a week - is it better for them to do all low HR runs? What will develop their fitness the best? 2 two hour low HR runs? 5 less than an hour low HR runs? Or one with a higher HR?

    Like I said, I don't explain it well.

  4. Yeah, I think there is absolutely a question about HR and mileage. Nate Jenkins so much as says if he wasn't doing massive mileage, he would eliminate the "shake-out" run (low low HR).

    But Lucho, et al., would argue that still the aerobic system needs development, so some base (loooooong base perhaps) is needed.

    My initial attraction to MAF (Lucho's program) is still way too appealing to ignore: To be able to run ~7 min mile at aerobic intensity is good (for racing and living). Anyone who dismisses that is full of shit and I can smell'em before they even open their stinky pie-hole. . . (did i say that outloud?)

    You know what I'm saying. Btw, I can't wait to run up a mountain this weekend at dawn!

  5. Lucho is an anomaly in my opinion. Not because of his genetics (which are good) but because he trained for a huge hunk of time at 40 hours a week. That sort of stuff is a developing the aerobic end insanely. ... at 130 for 8 hours a day ... damn.

    Partly because most "runners" I know don't HR train, I have yet to meet any that run sub 7 at 8000 feet at 135 bpm. But that does not mean they can't run 2:30 for the marathon.

  6. You're right, he has a huge base, a lot of work on that system, so yeah he's perhaps exceptional. But it's still going to pay-off over time. In fact, he's evidence of that.

    For what it's worth, I bet you kill PPM because you're older and wiser and will have a nice aerobic base, that will make you fresher and longer (how does that sound?)

    To be fresher and longer. . ..

  7. Good medicine there Matt! Fresher and longer! Salud!