Friday, February 29, 2008

Doubles + LT workout

There are all around many posts in running forum about the "magic" of running doubles...
give a look at there 2 recent threads:

since the job was quiet this week, I gave a try and run both Wednesday and Thursday also in the evening on the treadmill, around 35/40 minutes each time.
I slipped on the racing flat and run pretty relaxed with a light stride. The legs get much better after 10/15 minutes, but yesterday I felt anyway already tired in the morning and the evening session was tiring anyway.
Now I have the legs a bit sore, but I guess it takes a while to get used and I must also recognize that compared to my usual weekly mileage of 70/90km this week will lead me to a jump to 120km, so the load increase is a bit rough.
If the work schedule let me do it, I will try to add 1-2 more runs every week and see if there is some benefit for me.

This morning, Long Interval Session on the track (300m)
Purpose: work at LT level, in fractionated way to keep speed a bit higher than a tempo. Target running around 10'21'-10'35", bpm around 175.
Actual: 3x3000m in 10'24" +10'26" + 10'28"(rec: 900m jog 4'30"), with HR around 175-178 (right on target). I was anyway with sore leg at the start and the last interval was tiring, did not run easy anymore (even if the HR was still in range around 178/179).
Tomorrow I definitely deserves a easy run ...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Book review

during the holidays, I found in my old home's bookshelf a book that deserves a reading: Training lactate pulse rate by Peter Janssen (Author). I saw that there is also a kind of 2nd edition under a slightly different title and publisher, but the original is a very low priced paperback, published by Polar.
The book is most useful only if you train with a HR monitor and in general is a very messy reading structure, without a real logical sequence. I guess the author did not give it to anyone for a reading before publication....
There is a large section dedicated to the Conconi's test, whose validity is now under discussion. The author is supporting the concept of large aerobic base construction with a lot of training at AT level, trying to avoid the mistake of too much training above AT level, with excess of lactate in the blood and poor recovery.
So why to read it ??? in the mess, there are great gems very useful for practical use.
1. Many tables about the intensity of training in relation to HR, lactate values, pace, etc.
2. The training concepts are exposed in very brief manner, but I guess that is the reader would be capable to build up a actual training plan under these raw concepts, he/she can really achieve a good improvement. (well, it is very close to follow a Lydiard way but with HRM on the wrist).
2. Very interesting is the set of actual HR recording on training workouts and races of Pro athletes, with comments. So the reader can get actual data from Elite Athletes about the actual effort in races and workouts and how they dose it during the week.
Also other HR charts of amateur runners are very helpful in giving a objective assessment of how to pace yourself in race and training.
Overall it is an interesting reading, because of so many "actual" data and the price is pretty reasonable (you buy a copy of Runner's world for that price....)

1000m intervals => back to run "seriously"

Yesterday evening I managed to run 1 hr easy on the treadmill feeling very good, so it was a good auspice for this morning VO2max interval session.
It was maybe over 15 months that I did not run any faster than 3'20"/km, and lately I was basically dragging my feet, tired by too much intercontinental traveling, etc.
So it was a kind of "moment of truth" to see my real fitness level.

Temperature around 14C, 90% Humidity, 300m track.
30 min warm-up in the dark, than as soon as it was dawn, I could go into the track and start the 1000m intervals. The plan was to run 5x1000m @3'15" with 3' recovery jog (400m).
I end up running 6 intervals (average around 3'13") and feeling very strong and easy all the way, basically holding up a while, otherwise I would have dipped below 3'10". Also the recovery after each interval was pretty good, as the HR did go back to the same level every time.
Very positive workout. Maybe next time I must try a slightly faster pace.

Time / HR at the end / HR after recovery

3'14" / 179 / 113
3'13" / 183 / 127
3'11' / 185 / 131
3'13" / 186 / 128
3'12" / 186 / 130
3'11" / 187 /

Monday, February 25, 2008


after the crawling, not it is "fighting", rather than running.
I am still fighting to go back to the usual schedule of early wake-up calls and morning runs.
I bailed-off both Saturday and Monday's run simply because the alarm clock did not make much to move myself from the bed. Saturday I was basically deadly tired.
Sunday I managed to run around 21k in a very decent 1h27', but when I tried to pull the trigger and go at AT pace, my legs were simply not responding, even if the HR was still relatively low.
I guess I need some additional sleep and back to consistency in training, with some decent speed workout.
This week, I am stuck in Dongguan for the whole week, so I will have plenty of time to add treadmill evening runs to the morning workout. The weekly mileage should then go back to normal.

Tomorrow morning I will try to make some Vo2max workout on the school track if it is open (for some strange reason, they close down the track (that is in all-weather rubber) when is raining ... so I must hope for the rain to subside before tomorrow morning...

Friday, February 22, 2008


The jet-lag is killing me ....
I am terribly suffering to go back to the normal routine: poor sleep, weakness, etc.
All my training plan went out of the window and I am just trying to "survive". When the alarm clock ring at 5.30am, I am very tempted to bail off (anyway it takes me 25 minutes to get out of bed and slip on short and shirt)
In the past 2 days I was "crawling" rather than running: barely holding a 4'30" pace was already very tiring. Managed to run the 11k loop but it looked much longer.
I even feel a kind of chest pain due to the tiredness (it happened to me also in the past, it is a kind of "cramp" of the chest muscles).
Hope it will be better soon, otherwise my training plan for the spring would need a total overhaul. Let's catch up with the sleep on week-end

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

back home

I am back from the long Europe trip.
weight gain stands at +1,5kg, still a reasonable damage considering the almost forced feeding with pantagruelian meals by all my relatives.
running wise, nothing particularly worthy to mention, apart from being able to anyway run 80km last week and for having successfully beated my "PB" for the lowest temperature of a run: last Saturday the temperature in Poland was at -10C/-8C, with windchill factor at -18C ( 0F), plus light snow on the ground. It was quite fun to run in fresh powdery snow, but I was happy to be back home once it was over.
Now it is time to see the actual level of fitness, hoping not too much has been lost and pushing more into the Vo2max interval workouts for the spring races.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

European "flu"

My absence from posting is due to a holiday to Europe, holidays that started with the wrong foot and went on even worse.
Our westbound flight from Hong Kong departed late so we missed the connecting flight to the final destination. Arriving at my parents' home 6 hours later than expected made already a good start...
But the real disaster struck when, one after the other, my daughter, wife and myself felt victim of a kind of flu bug, with fever, sickness, vomitn etc, etc, etc, etc.
So the first week of our holidays was spent between bed, doctors, pharmacies....
Probably my immune systems is boosted by the physical excercise, so I "scored" only 3 days of DNR.
My daughter was indeed very close to hospitalization, but luckily now we are all back to normal and healthy again.

On a running note, I managed to have 3/4 decent runs, not much in terms of duration but good quality.
It was a very particular feeling to run again on the same running routes of my youth after so much time and with a completely new level of fitness...
On a "classical" 10K flat loop, I used to score a 38minutes, with a flat out effort. This time I hit a 35'00" with a tempo run with HR around 170....
In the time left before our departure, I MUST try a 4/5x1000m on the same strech of road where I was used to make the same workout in junior high school: in my total lack of knowledge on training and no guidance fron anyone, I used to have no aerobic base or any training plan, but only go to this stretch and run the 1k interval flat-out (around 3'20"), until I was dead and full of lactate in my legs.
Than... 3/4 days rest for recovery..
Maybe in the past 25 years, I learnt something.....