Monday, December 10, 2012

San Silvestre Vallecana Internacional Week 2/5

Hmmm.... My snuffly cold is starting to go south and I may have to think about taking off a day or two from training if it reaches my lungs. So far it hasn't interfered with my training.

Although I only had two days of "quality sessions" (read hard sessions), they were fairly tough. The first was a 40 minute threshold run which I did at 16 kph on the treadmill. (As I had to set the treadmill to 16.5 kph to compensate for being on the slow side, I actually passed the 10K point in a Personal Best time that was very close to my target race time!) As I posted last week, it didn't feel as difficult as perhaps it should have done but it was still a good workout. The second quality session involved doing repeats of 2 minutes on, 2 minutes off, 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off - where "on" meant running at 17.5 kph and "off" meant jogging at 10 kph. I did 14 of these and, as you can see from the graph below, my heart rate gradually crept up with each one. The last two were actually quite challenging and had me literally gasping for air for the last 30 seconds or so (my pulse was at about 184 bpm, about 5 bpm above my anaerobic threshold).

Other than the usual filler or "recovery" runs, I did a longish run of an hour and a half yesterday, slightly slower than last week but with much more hills, in which I covered 20.6 kms. It was a beautiful day but one of those days for which it is difficult to know how to dress: in the sun it was pleasantly warm but in the shade it was chillingly cold.

I'd been under the impression that the San Silverstre International course was slightly easier than the popular one, avoiding the nasty climb at the end. But having read some forums discussing the matter, it seems like the consensus is that it is actually harder. One fairly objective measure is to look at the difference in split times over the first and second 5 kms and compare runners of similar ability from both races. The split difference was on average 1:25 for the international edition versus 1:10 for the popular edition. Perhaps I should incorporate some hill running into my training regime...

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