Saturday, October 07, 2017

Verheul Training Update

This update has been a little while coming — every 5k race I've run since the Hervey Bay Parkrun has been accompanied by the strong winds typical for this time of year in Canberra. In one race I was almost blown to a stop by a particularly strong gust. It was incredible! Yesterday however, luck was with us for the Customs Joggers' 5k, with the wind miraculously dropping while we ran (before picking up immediately afterwards — the Captain Cook Fountain showering everyone as we chatted).

'CJs' is a handicapped start 5k race and I started alone with Roger's green shirt the immediate target. I glanced at the Garmin when it beeped at 1k, the 4:48 not feeling as easy as I'd expected. I kept running hard, passing Roger around 2k then caught up to Geoff just beyond 3k on the way back from the turn. Geoff was talkative and encouraging as usual while we ran past Rond Terrace. I pushed on to the finish, happy to hear Bron shout "33:49!" as I passed the line. Splits had been 4:48, 4:50, 4:48, 4:46 and 4:37 for a net time of 23:49 and an average heart rate of 144 (about 91% of my maximum).

After another month of training using the Verheul Method I've raced 5 seconds slower than Hervey Bay, but I'm happy! Why? Well, this method of training is quite addictive in how it leaves your legs feeling — springy, fresh and full of life. I've noticed however, my aerobic fitness gradually declining off the 50 to 55 kilometres per week I've been running, with 4 to 5 days of that being full recovery short intervals. It's a little like how I felt during track racing seasons in the old days — 800 and 1500 metre times would improve off speedwork and interval training. Then you'd try a late season 3000m or 5000m race and run slower for those than you did early in the season off a base of winter training.

I'm experimenting with a change to my implementation of the Verheul Method. Each week I'll have two days for short Verheul intervals (with a longer warm-up), one day will be a 5k race or tempo run, one day will be for long (800m to 1k) Verheul intervals (with a long warm-up) and the other three days will be for non-stop aerobic running. Weekly mileage will be between 70 and 80 kilometres. That's the plan at this stage, but no plan is set in stone!

After the 29 September Customs Joggers' 5k


Blogger TokyoRacer said...

That's basically the same training I do, except I run 6 days.

8:06 pm  
Blogger RICK'S RUNNING said...

Good to see your still racing Ewen.
i hope to get back into some parkruns soon, my legs are just starting to feel good again after being ill1
Ewen what is your max heart rate now and when you where 28-29 years old?
My max is now 150 bpm but use to be 183 back when i was 28.
cheers rick

6:29 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Interesting Bob. You're doing well. For me I think the longer intervals wouldn't be as intense perhaps. We'll see.

Good to hear from you Rick. My maximum has always been a few beats lower than 220 minus age. At the end of a recent 'all out' parkrun I recorded 157 but I think I could get 159 with rest. I'm 60, so 220 minus age would be 160. I had a polar heart rate monitor in my 30s. From memory, when I was 32 I would race a 10k at about 170, so max was probably 185. When I was 51 I'd race a 10k at about 152 so max was about 165.

9:36 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update Ewen. I admire your research, patience and persistence with Verheul training. And that it is achieving good results for you. What is your target race distance(s) under the revised training regime? Nifty Nev.

9:47 am  
Blogger RICK'S RUNNING said...

Cheers Ewen, i wonder what causes a lower heart rate with age?
i ran my fastest Marathon at 49 with a heart rate over 20 beats lower than when i ran 11 years before, yet i was 2 mins faster!

11:25 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Nev. My target race distance is 5000m on the track, with 3000m a secondary target. We have few competitive 5000s though, so the parkrun 5k remains a target.

Rick, that's a great result at 49. Shows that max HR decline isn't a huge limiting factor in marathon running up to a certain age. The reason for the decline in maximum HR is 'ageing' - a google search showed the following, which makes sense to me:
"A dissertation from Eric D. Larson, a graduate from Proenza's lab in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, is described in the article. Larson said, "I utilized a method to record ECGs from conscious mice and found that maximum heart rate was slower in older mice, just as it is in older people. This result wasn't unexpected. But what was completely new was that the slower maxHR was because the individual pacemaker cells -- called sinoatrial myocytes, or 'SAMs' -- from old mice just couldn't beat as fast as SAMs from young mice.""

11:38 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your conclusions regarding the Verhuel method make a lot of sense: 5K running requires the ‘speedy’ legs fostered by Verhuel but also aerobic capacity and endurance. The challenge is achieving the speedy legs while maintaining aerobic capacity and endurance. Your approach sounds sensible. It is a polarised approach that avoids the extremes at both poles: the high intensity work is not too intense and the volume of low intensity work is not too excessive.

8:48 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Canute for that comment. That's what I'm finding as I continue to experiment with the method. At the moment I'm trying to balance the 'speedy and reactive' leg muscles with aerobic capacity/endurance. Then I'll build consecutive weeks of similar training and see how my race results progress while doing that.

1:13 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home