"There's only one hard and fast rule in running: sometimes you have to run one hard and fast."

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Post-Thanksgiving Ephemera

A Spanner in the Cogs

"The best laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft agley." - Robert Burns, "To a Mouse"

Someone's already thrown a wrench in my plans to run every long trail run in Minnesota nad Wisconsin in one year. The Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon's been added to the calendar, May 10th, the same day as the Ice Age 50 Mile. And, yes, I checked to see if I could run one and drive to the other in time for its start.

Ultras for Sprinters and Gimps

My post last week gave guidelines for duration of runs, but the question naturally arose of how one runs the 100 minutes per day of the 100 miler if one's running, say 60 minutes per day currently. It's generally safe to increase one's mileage 10%. If one's a 10K runner running 60 minutes per day, one's upper limit for racing is the half marathon (about 2x10K); one can increase to training for the half (67.5 min./day) for about 4 weeks (13 miles x 2 days per mile). At this point, one's upper limit is the marathon and one can run 75 minutes per day for 8 weeks. Then it's 85 minutes per day for 14 weeks for a 50 miler and then 100min./day for 28 weeks. Thus, one can go from 10K to 100M in about a year. If one sticks to increases of 10%, one has to go through all the intermediate steps of 5 minutes per day and it takes about two years to accomplish.

There's a much riskier approach I use when recovering from an injury and have a race scheduled. First the injury rule: If you can't run 30 minutes comfortably, you're injured and your only goal should be to run 30 minutes comfortably. To get back to where one wants to be, say 90 minutes, one runs what one can, then figures out how many miles one could run in that 90 minutes at that pace - and does that many miles, walking as much as needed. As one generally runs three times as fast as one walks, the time spent exercising is suddenly enormous... a good impetus to run as much as possible. This requires bull-headedness and lack of judgment, character flaws that have served me well in distance running.

Training Since Last Post

11/21. 11 miles in 83.5 (HR ave =152, pk=168) Contained 7 in 49:38.

11/22. 4 in 35

11/23. 4 in 34

11/24. 3 1/2 hours trail running. Less than 11 miles in 122 minutes actually run (HR av=130, pk=167)

This was the Afton "Fat Ass" with the Dead Runners. There undoubtedly will be many blogs with better descriptions of this run. Two dozen of us followed John Storkamp's deer paths in the Afton State Park. A good time was had by all and I managed to take a dip in the St. Croix River.
(Looks like Jim Sheldon's pic didn't transfer; I'll try to clean it up later. The address is http://gallery.mac.com/jimsheldon#100041/IMG_0201&bgcolor=black

For a different take on the day: I ran most of the time behind John Storkamp, trying to figure out how I could defeat him in a race if I ever shave 75 minutes from my 50K time at Afton. It's what I do. He's a great uphill runner and a very good downhill runner (and 17 years younger than me) and very aware of his surroundings - he spotted three deer I didn't - but I did eventually figure it out.

11/25. 20 in 179 (HR av=123, pk=149)

Had a moment of the "green grass," a phenomenon not much discussed. When one runs out of muscle glycogen, one of the things that can happen is the liver breaks down its glycogen and floods the bloodstream with glucose. This gives the brain fuel for quick decisions, muscles the energy for one last desperate action and the eye develop better color acuity. When it happens, everything looks like day-glo. You notice the green, green grass.


colin said...

I'm a late comer, so you may have already mentioned it, but I'm curious how you use a heart rate monitor in your training. I recently got one for the first time, and haven't figured out what to do with it yet. Also, since you give HR stats for runs, what do you figure to be your maximum and resting heart rates?

Runner Brewer said...

I saw Jim's pictures and guessed it was you taking a swim. Duathlon?

I know the green grass phenomenon as a display of silver blotches and black dots, usually followed by me walking.

I took it easy last week. Hip flexor pains and family in town pains.

SteveQ said...

Colin, my maximum heart rate is 180 and my resting rate on waking is 36(!). The resting rate increases through the day to about 50 and I've never really understood what number to use for minimum.

Matt, I know the visual disturbance you're talking about. It happens to me usually when I run after eating and have an insulin-related fluctuation in blood glucose. Yeah, it makes you walk... That's actually more like what the bicyclists call "bonking," which is depletion of liver glycogen. The green grass is pleasant, but spooky.

colin said...

Another thing -- the Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon isn't a trail race, is it? It's just a marathon on the Lake Wobegon Trail, a flat and paved bike trail west of St. Cloud. Sounds like you may still be able to run every "true" trail race in MN/WI in 2008 after all. Good luck!