Superior 25K Training: Week 3

Last “big” week of training. My schedule and my resting heart rate are telling me I need to back off.

Monday: 5 mi, treadmill, 140 bpm
Tuesday: rest
Wednesday: 3 mi (6×400 @ 10:00 pace), treadmill, 145 bpm
Thursday: 6.4 mi, treadmill, 131 bpm
Friday: 7.3 mi, trails (Hartley), 138 bpm
Saturday: 5.5 mi, treadmill, 144 bpm
Sunday: 13.9 mi, trails (Superior Hiking Trail), 152 bpm
Total: 41.1 mi

Monday I let myself have a nice workout while ignoring that aerobic threshold. My average heart rate still stayed below 143, and the highest spike was only 156 bpm. I was pretty wrecked all day Monday, basically in a fog at work, but I felt better after the workout.

Wednesday I did my first speed workout in months! It was a little ambitious (and actually I meant to do 8×400, but I had to cut the workout short to make it to the 7 PM showing of Purple Rain on time and not sweaty), but I always find it harder to hit certain paces on the treadmill than I do outside. I hope the weather cooperates and in 2 weeks when I’m doing my next set of repeats, I’m able to do them outside and can really gauge what my speed is. It wasn’t exceptionally cold out, but there were some strong gusts of wind, and I’d have stayed inside to work out even if I didn’t have time constraints. My heart rate was in the high 170s during the 400s, but for 4/5 of the recovery intervals (0.1 mi) I was able to get my it back down to aerobic. (I say 4/5 because the 6th was also part of the cooldown so of course it was aerobic.)

Thursday I did a nice easy run on the treadmill, testing out my new shoes. I ended up running at a 15:41 pace; contrast that to Saturday’s run (there was a cold, gusting wind so I stayed inside like a wimp), where I ran at a 15:51 pace and had a higher heart rate. A clear sign of fatigue, though obviously I’d be more fatigued the day after a medium-length trail run than I would be the day after a short speed workout.

Friday I had a nice run at Hartley. I was overdressed, but not significantly. I was wearing gloves, which I ended up carrying most of the time, but better safe than sorry. I ran the Fairmont Street trail, cut over to the outer loop, ran Root Canal, and then took the Fisherman up to Guardrail. I was concerned about how much daylight I’d have left, so I thought instead of doing the full Guardrail loop, I’d run Blue Pots, the inner loop. Well, it seems like no one takes that trail, because it was really hard to follow where it went, and I ended up rejoining  Guardrail the first chance I got. If I ran out of daylight, I’d rather do it on a familiar trail. I took the hills easy, but didn’t worry about my heart rate. Liberating!

Sunday I decided to run the Superior Hiking Trail, starting at Spirit Mountain. I followed the Harder ‘N Hell course until Twin Ponds, and then turned off on Skyline to go home. I drove out to Spirit Mountain and left my car at the trailhead, and picked it up later while running errands. It was convenient! The run was… ok. It was not at race effort (I ran Zumbro at an average of 162 bpm vs this run at 152 bpm avg), but it wasn’t exactly inspiring. I was overdressed again, but I didn’t know what the wind was going to do. I wish I’d worn shorts. I had a hoodie on but kept it tied around my waist most of the time, and kept my tissue-weight long-sleeved shirt on the whole run. It saved me from more sunburn, I guess. The back of my neck is burned, and my face is a little pink (I did put sunscreen on my face, but missed the back of my neck because it was covered by my hoodie. Poor planning.) I tried to take the hills at a less-than-maximum effort, and then run flats and downhills aerobically. I had 2 protein bars, one handheld with sports drink, and one handheld with water, which I consumed almost completely during the run. It looks like 14 trail miles might be my limit as far as liquids are concerned.

This next week I need to take things down a notch. I’m pushing too hard, and getting fatigued. My resting heart rate is up, I had a bit of trouble falling asleep last night, and my ears are ringing. All of these are signs that I need to relax, ramp down my mileage, and regroup for the race. I am traveling for work this week, so I will have one, maybe two rest days, maybe more, depending on how the trip goes. I’ll be prepared to hit the hotel gym in the evenings, but will see how I feel and how much work stuff I’ve got to get done. If I don’t run much on this trip, it’s not a big deal.

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