Saturday, September 18, 2010

Three is wiser than two

ORN:  23.0 miles, 4:19:50, R/W 4/1, 11:18/mile

Today was the day Indiana runners dream about all year...a fall day with sunshine, clear skies and comfortable temperatures.   Shoot we get 4, maybe 5 days like this each year...and if it falls on a weekend, it's even better...and if it falls on a day when you have a long run scheduled, well, that's just amazing.  

A bonus was a home football game for Purdue with a noon kickoff.  My loop through campus allowed me to share a bit in the fun, pregame atmosphere.  There is something fun about the drum cadence from a big marching band.  It's a hoot to jump into a touch football game with some college kids as you run by.  It's fascinating to watch the people trooping to a game.  

Three weeks until the Chicago Marathon, so today is the last long run.  I had 22 on the calendar and it went well.  I ran today the way I plan to run in Chicago, a 4/1 run/walk ratio, using heart rate to indicate effort.  During the first 16 miles of the run, the pace was steady and it all worked fine.  Over the last 7 miles, the temperature had risen to the upper 70s and my HR was up, more and more.  I found it worked well to simply slow down to get to a proper zone.  That got me home fine.  Due to a slight route change, I had 22.7 miles as I neared home...I went a bit farther to round it off to an "even" 23.  

One perplexing thing during the run...the legs seemed "tired", more so than I anticipated they should be.  Why??  Later in the day, I realized the likely reason.  All my reading on training and all the training I've done in the last four years counsel to separate long runs by three weeks.  And I have not.  I did 22 on August 21, then did the 30K race two weeks later and now 23 in two more weeks.  Yep, the legs were tired and the two-week separations explain why.  Particularly at age 56 (nearly 57!), that timing is key.  

So, I'm glad to have three weeks before John and I line up with 40,000 of our closest friends in Grant Park and begin a tour of the Windy City.  An intelligent taper should leave the legs fresh and ready to run early and run often that day.




Sarah said...

Glad the HR training continues to work for you! You've set yourself up for a successful marathon, I think.

Wes said...

Good work, Joe! I know Galloway recommends separating those really long runs by two weeks. Is three weeks the norm for us masters?

Your learning curve with the HRM has been good! During the later stages of your face, fatigue will set in causing cardiac drift. You always have the option to ignore that and just give it all you got.

Good luck!