Sunday, July 29, 2007

101 kilometres of Hadd

I need to stay calm. Objective. I've just finished two solid weeks of Lydiard-style training. The week finishing today totalled 101 kilometres. That's on top of 96 kilometres the previous week. Is training slower making me faster? It's too early to say.

Since the Gold Coast Half, I've been restraining myself in races, running them as 'upper aerobic' sessions in order to keep lactate out of the muscles. Lactic acid is supposedly an evil potion, to be avoided at all costs during base training. At times on my dilly-dallying runs, I wonder if I'm destined to become the slowest 100 kilometre-per-week runner in Australia. Just like Thomas – the self-proclaimed slowest 100 mile-per-week runner in the world.

At this stage, I intend to race hard in the Canberra Times 10k Fun Run on September 16. What happens on that day will be interesting. Before then I should do one of John Hadd's famous 2,400 metre sessions to test my current fitness.

Thus far, Hadd training has been quite enjoyable. Most of my running would be described by Steve as 'lower aerobic'. Heart-rates have been mainly between 125 and 136. For me, this is 75 to 82% of my 166 maximum. It produces rather gentle speeds of around 6:15, down to 5:33 per kilometre. I really should do more running at HRs of 120 (72%) or lower, but this is easier said than done. It means dawdling along at warm-up pace – about 6:35 per kilometre (10:36 miles). At that speed I could be mistaken for one of those living statues and be daubed in graffiti.

Running slowly is interesting. It takes a long time to get anywhere. This week I ran for 10 hours and 30 minutes to cover 101 kilometres. I think this is good value. If I were faster I'd have to run 140-plus kilometres in order to be moving for that length of time. Slow has advantages. I hope I don't get too fast. I might have to run further. Down to Michelago maybe. My shoes will wear out. I could get lost.


Blogger Sekhmet said...

That's a long time spent running Ewen - I'll be interested to see how it works out for you. I for one know that I run too often worrying about the pace and don't run slowly enough to get the aerobic benefit. Perhaps I should take a leaf out of your book...

2:18 pm  
Blogger plu said...

Though I am not running those distances you get used to running around 6 minutes a km - after a while it feels like you are running fast!


6:31 pm  
Blogger TD said...

...and you could fall off the edge of the world and meet sea monsters, mermaids, and other assorted creatures.

It was great to catch up with you yesterday and you actually looked quite normal for someone who is exploring the outer edges of the envelope.

It's an interesting experiment Ewen and I will be following closely how you go with it.

6:46 pm  
Blogger Eddie said...

I'll be hanging out to hear the results of this training, Ewen. I don't think I will take too much convincing. I think it will suit me well.

6:53 pm  
Anonymous Steve said...

The results will be interesting. I find that long slow running is a mental battle. When I deliberately go out running slow about half to three quarters in I find it just as hard, mentally, that is. Mentally I start doubting myself, that I can't run faster, how the hell can I achieve a marathon pb. But that's just me.

7:47 pm  
Blogger Tesso said...

I don't find running slower all that difficult mentally, it does seem to hurt just a bit more. Must use different muscles. Or use the same muscles differently. Are you finding that???

9:20 pm  
Blogger Simlin said...

I agree with others that running slower than normal is mentally challanging, then again some of our normal training pace is 6:30min/km with long run pace of 7min/ do I look like a statue?

9:01 am  
Blogger Robert Song said...

Are you intending to add more distance to this? I have looked at the magical Lydiard 100 mile a week and struggle to see where I could add that extra 60k run (unless you are an Eagle of course).

It is interesting hearing people talking of struggling physically at slower paces. Sounds similiar to the lack of endurance at slow pace story that Hadd described in his document.
As for the mental side, I find that is where my music gets me through.

12:59 pm  
Blogger Scott said...

Hey Ewen

I have a natural pace that I gravitate to so running slower or faster than that is a bit of a task for me.

Like on long runs, over 2hrs, I tend to start pretty slow,under my natural pace the first 15 minutes, and pick up the pace as the run progresses. Rarely do I get under 4:30 and above 5:15 without making an effort to do so.

I have to concentrate real hard to keep it lower than my natural pace and find the battle to keep it low takes away from my enjoyment of the long run.

Still if it works I'll try it. Looking forward to see how your races go this year.

5:53 pm  
Anonymous Em said...

Plenty of time to contemplate Life The Universe and Everything though, if you come up with the answer to the meaning of life be sure to let us know :-)

7:32 pm  
Blogger Thomas said...

I tend to think of myself as a slow but committed runner, but I really can't imagine running at 10:36 miles and enjoying the slow progress. Plus, I think it would completely throw out my running form.

3:47 am  
Blogger Luckylegs said...

"Running slower"....for me it just comes naturally!

8:09 pm  
Blogger Robert Song said...

I have just been looking at your training diary.

Week 30 - 101k and you gained 1kg in weight. Hope it is all muscle.

On my Hadd Tests, I only ever counted my pace for the last 400m of the 2.4k rather tan an average over the whole distance. I always found it took me a few laps to creep up on the desired HR. By the last lap I was locked in and that pace was then the best indicator.

9:37 pm  
Blogger Runner Susan said...

Lost is okay Ewen. I've been lost for about 20 years now.

10:51 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Robert, I think the extra kg is due to lapsing into drinking coke and eating white chocolate.

Simlin, watch out if pigeons land on you ;) As to the difficulty of running at the lower HRs Robert and Tesso, for me, I don't think it's a lack of endurance at those HRs, but rather that it's not a natural pace... as Scott points out.

With practise I'm getting better at it - just like Plu. Hopefully as the Hadd training kicks in, the pace at HRs 120-125 will become quicker and therefore more natural. I'm willing to persist and be guided by the HRM in the meantime - even though I occasionally find myself falling asleep on the run due to boredom.

8:40 pm  
Blogger Bruce said...

Thats some good milage (or is that kilometreage?)

I couldn't imagine running at 6.00+ k's. Back when I was running it seemed that my natural jogging pace was around 5.20 or so and no matter how much I tried to tell myself I just couldn't run slower. It must really take some getting used to.

oh and well done to your netballers. How bout that time keeper in the second test?

7:25 pm  
Blogger Grellan said...

Hi Ewen

I am running off HADD as well. However I do two relatively hard sessions a week at 150 HR (185/6 is my HRMax) with the remainder of my easy miles at 135 HR or under.

The idea of the 150 HR runs is that, while they should be below Lactate Threshold pace, they get the body used to running closer to marathon Pace and push up the the
HR/Pace at with lactate begins to
build up.

8:07 am  
Blogger Phil said...

Great two weeks of training. I can't imagine running with a HR down around 120. Mine seems to jump for 70 to 130 as soon as I start moving and really have to run (jog) at an unnatural gait to keep my HR that low.

Good luck.

3:34 pm  
Blogger iliketoast said...

i think it is not easy to keep holding back to stay slow .... i'm sure you will be rewarded with fast

10:26 pm  
Blogger Stu said...

Ewen, wouldn't gentle running be a better discription??? Just short of 200k's in 2 weeks, great stuff and of course six weeks of consistent work will be the start of any improvements.

Lets investigate the improvements then??

4:23 pm  

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