Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Fistful of Running

My first week of the Hosaka-Hadd Training Plan is behind me — 125 kilometres of running in eleven sessions. My shower is starting to go mouldy! For the future, this volume of training seems doable, but not something that will be despatched with the certainty of my mate Scott demolishing a personal-best time whenever he finishes a race.

Speaking of the 3:00:08 marathon man, he recently wrote a post that caused me to spray a mouthful of Twinings Earl Grey all over my keyboard. Scott reckons I could pass for Clint Eastwood's better looking younger twin brother. Do you really think so punks? Go ahead, make my day! If you don't think so amigos, I'll order three — no four — coffins.

Avid Six Footer and ultra runner Two Fruits is wondering how I'll hold up to the double running and high mileage. It's too early to say, but I hope I have the miles/recovery/sleep balance right. Runner Susan wants to know if I was stuck for a blog idea. Not stuck Susan, just falling asleep on the couch when I'd normally be typing! One thing I can say already is that my aerobic fitness signs are promising.

I'm a big fan of the Robert Song Scale for tracking how aerobic improvement is progressing. Robert Song multiplies average heart-rate by the average pace of a run on a particular course to come up with a number, which I call the RS result. For example, if I run my 12k course at 5:12 per km with an average heart-rate of 136, this equates to an RS number of 707. This happened to be the first run I did yesterday afternoon. The lower the RS number, the better. On January 22 I ran the same course at 5:25 per km with an average heart-rate of 134, giving an RS number of 726. To me, yesterday's run seems like a significant improvement, even though it was 21°C in January, and 9°C yesterday.

Seconds later I was flat on my back after a belly punch from TessoLike Clint Eastwood in A Fistful of Dollars, I wear black! [Tesso took this photo of Helen, Robbie and myself just prior to the start of the Canberra Marathon-Eve 10k — then she gave me a punch in the guts for good luck]


Anonymous Anonymous said...

wannabe said:

Is that Andrew Lloyd just off your left shoulder?

5:24 pm  
Blogger Stephen Lacey said...

Er, Your Honour, I do think the witness is rather too quick to dismiss the significance of that 12-degree difference in temperature. Therein lies the difficulty of tracking aerobic fitness across the seasons. I think I'll try the 3-k time trial method (a la Mystery Coach and Mike) when I get back to worrying about these things.

5:29 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Steve, QC, I'd argue that 21C in the dry air of Canberra feels cool in summer - especially for a 12k run. In my experience, it's not until the temps reach the high 20s that it feels hot.

A less contentious comparison might have been with the 12k on October 6 last year (13C) - 5:16 per km with a heart-rate of 137, for a RS of 722.

No wannabe, that's Andrew Lloyd's ugly twin brother.

8:21 pm  
Blogger TokyoRacer said...

So far, so good. 18k x 6 days (12 sessions) is 108k and you did 125k in 11 sessions, so I guess you are getting some longer runs in. Oh, but wait, you don't take a day off, do you? Well, 14 sessions is 126 and you did 11, so that still holds.
Keep it up, but...I think you should take an easy week every once in a while.

9:24 pm  
Blogger Thomas said...

I won't comment on the Clint Eastwood issue to avoid a contract killer being dispatched my way, but I like the way your mileage is going. You'll soon be challenging me on the weekly miles front.

11:04 pm  
Blogger RICK'S RUNNING said...

Keep hitting the high dusty trails and pounding the outback, practice kicking sand into your rivals faces and soon your be the fastest in town!

1:25 am  
Blogger jen said...

Great job on the high mileage week!

I can see a bit of young Clint Eastwood in you, for sure.

12:12 pm  
Blogger Stephen Lacey said...

I'm not sure what Jen is suggesting about your genealogy, but let's not dwell on it too much.

Yes, I suppose if the humidity is low, low, low, then 21 might not cause any problems at all. It could be argued that higher temperatures really depend so much on humidity. 22 with high humidity can be a killer ... well, not killer, but it noticeably slows you down ... whereas once you get below about 16, humidity doesn't seem to matter so much.

Does that make sense?

3:07 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

I suspect Jen is repaying the compliment I gave about her first-day-at-work fashion spectacular.

That does make sense. I notice the humidity of Sydney - that's why I struggled to keep up with you on the harbour bridge run ;) Also, I run at dusk in summer, so the day has often cooled down from mid to high 20s. 21C with no direct sun (and a breeze) feels good. The temperature often drops during the run too, so it may be 18 or so at the finish. A rising temperature under a direct sun is more stressful.

4:05 pm  
Blogger Rob said...

125K in a week is a hell a lot and you plan to keep this up! I am very impressed Ewen. Good job!

6:25 pm  
Blogger Scott Brown said...

Thanks for the shout out Ewen, perhaps it might encourage a few of your loyal readers to make a comment or two.

My blog is about as popular
as a bout of swine flu thesedays.

I might be forced to write something of value if this keeps up.

8:04 pm  
Blogger Superflake said...

For a few dollars more I'll call you the outlaw Josey Wales. Good luck with this new version of training Ewen. See if it does any good for SMH for starters.

5:52 pm  
Blogger Two Fruits said...

Some very good weeks of running recently, I bet the washing machine is working overtime. Keep up the good work. Temp is Ok but that humidity is a real slower. Glad we live inland at times.

8:03 pm  
Blogger rinus said...

Thanks for react on my blog.
"duurloop" means in english long run!.Most at the time it means a slow long run before the marathon.
I now Dutch is not so easy to translate.
Have a nive weekend.

12:44 am  
Blogger trailblazer777 said...

thats a big week 125k's is.
I like the RS scale idea, sounds pretty good to me...good pic from Tesso too.

1:15 am  
Blogger Sling Runner said...

I just read a book by (former CR) Keith Livingstone on Lydiard-training. He has a formula for AEROBIC effort, He multiplies duration x av HR. In his example, if a runner covers 10k in 35mins at 155 bpm (high end aerobic), then the total is 5425 heart beats per 10k or 1.8 meters per beat.

This formula can be used to predict the average HR for different aerobic times over the course. If he does the same course at an easier aerobic effort in 40mins, then 5425/40mins = 135 bpm. If he covers the course in 45mins (recovery aerobic run), the the av HR is 120 bpm.

Anyway, for what it's worth!

4:25 pm  
Blogger Stu said...

125k in the one week, hmmm your fortnight numbers will surpass my monthly..

5:01 pm  
Blogger Scott said...

If I said "no" would I be "Unforgiven"?

Nice mileage!

7:10 pm  
Blogger 2P said...

If I said "no" would I be "Unforgiven"?

Nice mileage!

Sorry for double post - I had an identity crisis :)

7:26 pm  
Blogger Runner Susan said...

Nice pose, Ewen! But how is it that you aren't getting updated in my google reader? Hmmm, I need to look into that. I'm staying awake until almost ten o'clock at night, that must mean my aerobic fitness is not promising. I think I need to start leg and track torture back up again.

Are all Aussies fast? Because every running blog in Australia is from fasties. Unfair, once again.

I hope I never get a punch in the gut, that I could do without.

7:20 am  
Blogger speedygeoff said...

Well spotted, runner Susan. All Aussies are fast. It's not who we are, it's where we are. All you (and Japanese, Singaporians, South Africans etc who read our blogs) have to do is move here to Australia and you will be fast too.

9:09 am  
Blogger Robert Song said...

Damn, I knew I should have copyrighted that Index.

I now have a TLA for it. LAI.

That is Lower Aerobic Index.

As the name suggests there is a HAI (Higher Aerobic Index) but you will have to send huge amounts of cash to get the secret formula.

I think that the RS LAI (Copyright pending) is best used when graphed and looked at for a trend. I have over the years noted strange numbers that go outside the standard mean between weeks but when I am building up fitness leading towards a race if my numbers are not trending down then something is wrong eg overtraining, low grade illness, lack of sleep.

My key observation from the last year is that the number goes down faster the higher the Ks I am doing in training. Which thankfully is exactly what you would expect.

10:26 pm  
Blogger Runner Susan said...

You've convinced me Speedy! I'm moving to Australia.

1:33 am  
Blogger Love2Run said...

Great work Ewen! It'll soon be time for results and lower heartrate and race times. I like your RS or TLA ratio too.

7:55 am  
Blogger bill carter said...

Hi Ewen

It is an interesting thing that I learn something from you every time I read a blog post. I will admit that I honestly don't even wear my heart rate monitor much even though I use my Garmin for most of my outside runs. I am really interested to try the RS factor as it seems to be a great way to track improvement.

Take care Ewen and make sure that body is getting plenty of rest with all those miles.

10:21 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A very impressive weekly mileage.

I will be interested to follow your RS score. I like this estimate of aerobic fitness for two reasons. First, I find it is fairly constant over distances from 5K to 20K and over a range of paces from the low end of the aerobic zone almost up to ventilatory threshold, provided I am neither dehydrated nor exhausted.

Secondly and even more importantly, it would be expected to depend on cardiac stroke volume and the efficiency of oxygen extraction by muscle, but not on maximum heart rate and hence it should provide an age invariant estimate of aerobic fitness.

Although I have only fragmentary data from 40 years ago, I estimate that in my heyday my RS was around 585. A few months after I took up running again two years ago at age 61, my RS (averaged over three similar runs) was 816. By the end of last (northern) summer it was down to 625, but due to some problems with asthma over the winter it deteriorated to 730 by mid February. It is now down 670 and I am aiming to get it down to 620 by the end of summer. I have set myself the target of getting it below 600 by the time I am 65.

10:45 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With regard to my comment above, maybe I should clarify that I have not previosuly had a name for this score. but I am happy to use the initals RS in honor of Robert Song, though I do not think I owe him any royalties for the idea.

10:52 am  

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