Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Just Past Halfway...

The training program I'm following is an 18 week program. It is based on the principles in Advanced Marathoning by Peter Pfitzinger and Scott Douglas. I do a couple of deviations from their plan. First, I do back to back hard days almost every weekend. They address the concept, but don't include back to back hard days nearly as often as I do. Second, I don't always have convenient races when their plan calls for a race, so I'm racing when it's convenient.

This week is the beginning of the 10th week of the 18 week plan, so I'm just over halfway! I thought it appropriate to evaluate my progress now. The plan definitely gets harder in the next few weeks with both increased mileage and increased intensity. I feel ready.

General Feeling
I was concerned about how my body would respond to all these miles. I spent some time this summer ramping up, so I didn't just jump in at 70 miles per week. And, so far, so good! I feel as good as I ever have! I've had a few minor sore spots, but nothing that has lasted and nothing that has changed my gait. I'm thankful for the luck and blessings that have kept me injury free thus far. I hope that continues.

Race Performance
According to McMillan, Saturday was my best performance yet. Using Jack Daniels' VDOT, that race roughly equals my Cookie Dash 5k VDOT of 52, which is my best ever. I don't think I could have run Cookie Dash faster, but I do think I could have run Monte Sano 15k faster. This summer's race performances disheartened me a bit, so I'm glad to see improvement again. I feel faster than ever.

Heart Rate
My heart rate for a given workout is staying lower. On some workouts, such as long runs and tempo runs, I've increased the intensity to raise the heart rate. On others, I've simply enjoyed the increased comfort of a given pace. Some of this is weather related, I'm sure. But I do believe that some of it is related to improved fitness.

My weight has dropped some. I started the schedule at 171 lbs. I've been 166 lbs. for about a week now. I'd like to be nearer to 160, but I'm not going to risk slowing my recovery between workouts by not eating when I'm hungry. I'm simply paying close attention to what I eat and limiting or eliminating the splurges. After Dec. 12, BQ or not, I'm eating a cheeseburger, but not before then.

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