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

Monday, October 4, 2010

O Blessed Frost that Brings Such Sweet Relief!

We had a cold snap (I know! in Minnesota! Go figure.) the morning of the marathon. All the news said things like "It's colder than heck, but... runners like it like this." So, let me start by correcting that mistake. It all started 30 years ago, when they tried televising the New York City and Boston Marathons on network television; they discovered that it was hard to make small talk for 3 hours and someone asked an expert (let's say Frank Shorter, that sounds about right) about the cold temps and he said something like, "It's better to be a little on the cold side than too warm."

Hey, presto, runners like sleet!

Fat and slow runners like marathons that start at 35-40 degrees. The 2:30 guys are running without being able to feel their arms (I've been there, having to take a cup of water with both hands because my fingers didn't work, while being told I like that weather), but it's 50-55 degrees 6 hours later, which really is ideal weather and that's what the slow runners and their extra layers of insulating fat recall afterward. If runners really did like cold weather, wouldn't health clubs have treadmills in a refrigerated room???

Now the good news. I slept through the night last night, the first time in about a month, and I awoke without wheezing and coughing so hard I almost vomit. I feel so much better! I could go for a run (I said I might yesterday, but not running is now my default setting, rather than running - a long layoff bringswith it a change in temperament - and I didn't).

The time off has let me think (and rethink and re-rethink) training. I still feel 1:45 per day is ideal volume for running 100 miles on trails, but I plan to shift the way I do it. Until I rebuild and it's comfortable, a typical week would look like this:

Tuesday: 1.5-2 hours
Thursday: 1.5-2 hours
Saturday: 4-4.5 hours
Sunday: 2.5-3 hours
(yes, three days off per week!)

Eventually, I'd shift to a 2 week schedule:

Tuesdays: 1.5-2 hours, with some uptempo running (20-30 min. at 1/2 marathon pace or 60-90 at marathon)
Thursdays: 1.5-2 hours of hill repeats (including some hard running at 5K pace or under)
Saturday #1: 7 hours running on trails with heart rate monitor, keeping to about 40-45% VO2max.
Sunday #1: 4-4.5 hours
Saturday #2: 4-4.5 hours, on trails.
Sunday #2: 2.5-3 hours


Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

When I used to run on a treadmill at the gym, I always wished it was like 10 degrees cooler in there. But that's because they kept it so warm and didn't compensate for all the trapped body heat.

And I never wished for sleet inside the gym.

On the upside: Hot gyms made for some sweaty women with clingy shirts. Better than a wet tee-shirt contest! Woo-hoo!

Is that piggish to say out loud? Is that one of those things I should have just thought to myself?

Anonymous said...

I am currently running every other day and find it to be enjoyable. My legs are always fresh and the desire to run is strong. The off days I usually take a long walk, or just do nothing. For someone coming off an injury running every other day is a smart move.

RBR said...

"It's colder than heck,..."

Seriously, is that how Minnesotans talk?

Maybe I can't run there. Their little heads would pop after one conversation with me.
I have recently been pissing and moaning how hot the gym is and how the treadmills should be in a arctic climate controlled room. So I am trying to not take personal offense at the fat, slow runners comment.

I am failing miserably, but I am trying.

Oh screw it, I'll just say it

Suck it, skinny bitch!


Samantha said...

I have to say that I DO actually prefer colder temps! I don't think my October marathon last year didn't get over 35 degrees or so and I loved it. Though, I wished I had half tights instead of shorts on. This time around, it's going to be in the mid 50s much of time and that's good too, though.