Thursday, May 22, 2008

7 mile fartlek run (49:57) to start a VO2max mesocyle

6 weeks until the July 4th Newhall 5k which is just enough time to finish a training cycle with an emphasis on VO2max or interval training. I decided my first run would be a less structured fartlek format, since I haven't done anything that fast over the last 2 months at least.

I ran my regular 7 mile run, the first 2 miles were warm up then I threw in 5 sets of about 3 minutes at vVO2max (velocity at VO2max) which for me is about 5:40-5:50 pace, followed by 2 sets of 90 seconds at vVO2max. It was a good effort with the total time for 7 miles being 49:57 or 7:08 pace.

Mile splits were 7:59, 7:46, 6:53, 7:01, 6:45, 6:34, 6:54.

The recovery time between sets was about 3-4 minutes but it was really just when I felt like I could complete another 3 minute interval.

For those of you interested, you can improve your VO2max by stressing it, meaning running at or very near your velocity at VO2max (the pace you can sustain all out for 10-12 minutes). There is a high anaerobic component as your heart rate is also at its maximum. It takes about 2 minutes of running at this velocity to reach your V02max due to oxygen debt, so I only get credit for 1 minute at VO2max during a 3 minute interval. So total today I spent about 5-6 minutes stressing my VO2 max. Running faster than this speed does not stress it anymore or give you more training gains. It just makes you more sore or tired.

This is a great example of how more or faster is not always better. Don't get me wrong, your vVO2max is a pretty intense speed to begin with (HR 95-100% of your max).

I plan on doing one workout a week of interval training to stress my VO2 max in preparation for the 5k race. My next interval workout will include 3 sets of 5 minutes at vVO2max with approximately the same amount of recovery between. It will either be Tuesday or Thursday, which ever is less windy.
I also hope to get in a 75-80 minute run over the weekend.

I included the two pictures that I ordered from marathonfoto taken at the Boston Marathon. They were really the only two good pictures they took of me there. The last picture is not the finish line but actually some where around half way.

Taken from Runners World Daily blog discussing an article written about ultramarathoners:

Like trained monkeys or drug addicts, some athletes will do whatever it takes for more.

Runners World comment:

"I don't know about you, but I may have just found a new favorite running quote.

Oh, and a note to the author of the article: Some runners -- particularly the sub-3-hour marathon crowd -- may take offense at that wording.

They are highly trained monkeys, thank you very much."

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