Monday, September 7, 2015

New York City Marathon 2015 Week 3/11

I did a couple of tests this week, the results of which were not particularly positive. The point about a test is to give some useful information whether it is a success or a failure: there is still time to act on the results.

The first test was my usual 7 km run keeping my heart rate at 172 bpm (allowing for the time it takes to get up there). This was the 11th time that I've done this test and the results have been a bit variable; this was one of the slowest times (although I also did a slow time just before my 2:47:54 Seville Marathon in February 2013). The graph below shows something curious: there appears to be a positive correlation between pace and average heart rate. That is to say, the faster runs I have done have been at a lower average heart rate (except, notably, the one I did this week). It seems to indicate that my state of fitness positively (or negatively) affects both aspects.

This week I found myself struggling to keep up the pace (and my heart rate) at the end - something that is especially clear when you look at how much my running cadence drops - from about 182 to 176.

Another aspect which affects both my heart rate and my pace is the temperature. It wasn't especially hot but it was the (joint) hottest out of all the tests I had done. This graph shows a fairly strong correlation between temperature and pace...

So, the take home lesson from all of this is that this is something to be improved on. I'll do another of these in a couple of weeks and see how things are progressing.

The other test was to do my long run on Sunday in my Vibram SeeYas - the same model I used to run the New York Marathon last time. The question was whether my Morton's Neuroma(s) would flare up and interfere with my running. The answer: yes. It's a shame really, because I notice how much lighter they are and how much lighter I am on my feet but, towards the end of the run, I started to get some irritating pains (which did go away again). I'd designed a route that was basically a big circle around my house - all on roads - that would never take me much further than 5 km from by house, just in case I had to hobble home. The problem, as it turned out, was not really the shoes, but that I'd done a reasonably hard run the evening before, hardly had any dinner and set off without any breakfast. I basically hit the wall. Lately I have been doing two types of long run: one on an empty stomach and one after a hard run the day before: this ended up being the "worst" of both worlds. That morning I'd weighed myself before the run at about the lowest my homes scales have ever registered - 79.5 kg - but I was shocked to see that go down to an unbelievable 75.5 kg afterwards! 3 kilos more and I could compete as a lightweight rower!! Once I finally got home (thankfully a kilometer sooner than I had thought, thanks to somebody's house being built in the middle of the route I had designed forcing me to take a diversion) I made sure to eat and drink in order to avoid being in a bad mood due to calorie deficit.

Other than that, the only other run of note was on Friday, when I set out at lunchtime wearing a visor, sunglasses and sun cream only to find myself in the middle of a hail storm - in Madrid, in September! Crazy. At one point I thought I might get struck by lightening but, when I realized that if that were to happen, I wouldn't live long enough to feel stupid about it, I gave up worrying about it. The funny thing was that a colleague had set off for a run in the opposite direction and missed the storm, while I ran directly into it.

Monday: -
Tuesday: 7 km test 26:45 (167 bpm average)
Wednesday: 60' @ 4:11
Thursday: 8 x 4' @ 3:25
Friday: 60' @ 4:17 (hail storm!)
Saturday: 40' @ 4:00
Sunday: 24 km in 1:57 (4:53)

Total kilometres: 78

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