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

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Aerobic Threshold

Recent training

1/28. 11 in 100. Definitely feel the last two day's runs.
1/29. 10 in 78 in Metrodome HRav=139, pk=177. Included 5x ~600m in 2:07. Met the editor of RunMinnesota (he was wearing a FANS T-shirt); there will be an article about the Fab 5 Fifties in the next issue. Be sure to check it out. Bryan was out there too, but I didn't see him after I decided to call it a day and didn't get a chance to gab.
1/30. 0. Needed the day off.
1/31. 10 in 79 in Metrodome, some with Kirt Goetzke. Kirt did 102 races in the past year; he's aiming for 1000 road races (I hit 500 total races two years ago). He's one of the few who may race more miles than I do this year.
2/1. 2 in 19. Had an insulin reaction (not serious and I'm not diabetic). Slowed to a crawl and wanted to sleep in the snow. Toes and arches cramped afterward. Gee, ya think I'm overtraining?
2/2. 26.5 in 4:11. HRav=124, pk=137. 12 times up the Mounds Hill. Only interesting note is that the alarm on my heart rate monitor caused chickadees to respond! Had some tendon trouble on the inside of left knee the 9th time down, some pain in left calf on 10th time up. An improvement over three weeks ago, when I last ran 4 hours there, but I figure I'm 5 months from where I want to be. Part of me wanted to be at Adam's trail with others, part of me wanted to be at the John Dick Memorial 50K, but I pulled a Bill Murray Groundhog Day and just did the same thing as before, hoping to get it right.

Persistence of Vision

The photograph faded, I try to recall the color.
At sunset, I'll say, "Just there. That bit." And it's gone.
There were notes of the metallic pink of a freshly minted penny.
Plus the electric yellow of a tamarack in December.
And the tangerine of palm-leaf willows in February.
The DMV in it's wisdom, called it "Red."

Aerobic Threshold

Aerobic threshold is a term coined to describe anything slower than anaerobic threshold, but faster than walking, something "worth doing." The physiological basis of this is really suspect, but it's generally 65% of one's maximum heart rate, what one can do for 2-3 hours, 75% effort, fast enough to break a sweat. Any run over 75 minutes will be at least partly in this range and anything over two hours will be at least partly anaerobic threshold training. This is the major determinant of success in races of 3-4 hours.

Aerobic threshold is what one does in base training. An average day's run, as I've said before, is about 80% effort, which I said was the anaerobic threshold; one runs at the aerobic threshold until one feels like quitting for the day and that's precisely where the anaerobic threshold lies.

Long runs start at aerobic threshold, but eventually become anaerobic threshold. That's where the training effect of long runs lie. I've given guidelines for average days and long runs previously, so I won't repeat it here.

The next time you watch a marathon, look for the big three transitions. 75 minutes after the start of the race, be between the 15 and 16 mile marks and jog slowly back to the half marathon mark. On the way, you'll see the race's first casualties. These are good 5-10K runners, who ran 1/2 marathons at what they thought was marathon pace in training; they went out too fast, went through the anaerobic threshold, maximum oxygen uptake and lactate tolerance phases and crashed.

From 2:45-3:30 into the race, anywhere along the course (20 miles is typical), one sees the next casualties. They went through the 2 hours of aerobic threshold, and the other phases and hit the wall. Notice how 5 hour marathoners don't hit the wall, nor do 2:30 marathoners.

At 5-6 hours are the next group of casualties. They go through a different kind of hell, which I'll try to describe in the next post on training, the ultralength depletion run.

1 comment:

keith said...

I'm glad you got your own thing done on Saturday, but folks asked whether you were going to show up or not! I think Adam wants you to give his new Red Rock trails a go...

That Mounds hill is going to be some fun in March. I'm looking forward to it.