It’s ok, I’m still trying to come to terms with it as well.
I don’t know about you, but “go hard, or go home” has always been my personal philosophy. If I’m going to go out there for a run, I’m going to make it count. I’m going to push myself to the limits.
The exercise physiologist (with 25+ years experience) leading the RRCA class I attended spent hours lecturing on this LSD (long, slow distance) principle. There must be something to it.
Out of the 30 people in the class, I was just about the only one who wasn’t already a personal trainer or high school/college coach. Although they were nodding in agreement with the LSD principles, they all had the same thing to say…….. “Good luck getting your athletes to do that.”
As I mentioned in my last post, between marathons 1 and 2, I changed my training routine. However, that just meant cranking up the intensity. There wasn’t much change in the mileage. In fact, out of the 6 marathons I’ve run, I’ve never done a single long run over 13 miles in preparation for any of them.
My total weekly training mileage was high, but the individual runs were always middle-distance (7-10 miles) at a high intensity (equal to, or faster than my actual marathon race pace). Only one day a week was allotted as a true recovery day.
By doing this, I was missing several key adaptations. I won’t go into the whole ATP/energy production process, fat for fuel, and changes in lactate production and consumption. The Lore of Running by Tim Knoakes is an excellent read for that. By always running near the lactate threshold point, I wasn’t preparing myself for a race where you want your body to stay away from that threshold as long as possible.
I was unnecessarily wearing myself down day after day. It’s amazing I wasn’t nursing overuse injuries all the time, but had my share of other over-training issues. It’s obvious looking back now, but you need to respect rest days. Don’t push runs faster than prescribed in your plan either (if it calls for mile repeats at 10k pace, don’t do them at 5k pace). Respect the phase of training you're in.
Many of us consider 30-45 seconds/mile slower than our standard race pace to be an “easy run” pace. I’ve seen this throughout blogland, so I know it’s not just me. We iz doin it rong………
Come back tomorrow for part II