Sunday, September 28, 2008

10 mile progression run (1:13:27)

After a week of easy runs I was ready to do some quality training today. I got up early to drive up to the aquaduct for a 10 mile run. The workout was divided into three parts (3 miles easy, 3 miles just above marathon pace, and 3 miles at threshold pace with a 1 mile cool down). I started at 70th going west on the aquaduct with a turnaround at 110th. There was a slight head wind (breeze) on the way out. The pace progressed every three miles with miles 7-9 at threshold (LT) pace. This was a tougher workout than I expected because there was a 6 mile warm up at a moderate pace before the LT miles.

The first three mile splits were: 7:57, 7:57, 7:58
AVG HR=135

The second three mile splits were: 7:17, 7:15, 7:21
AVG HR=150

The third three mile splits (LT) were: 6:26, 6:27, 6:11
AVG HR=170

I ran into Clay just as I was finishing my 9th mile and ran my cool down with his warm up.
The cool down mile was: 8:29
Total time for 10 miles was 1:13:27 (average pace 7:20)

I just finished reading an article from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning from 2005 titled: A Comparison of Methods for Estimating the Lactate Threshold.
The researchers tested subjects in a lab to find their true LT values and velocity at LT. Then each subject performed 4 tests, over 3-6 weeks, designed to estimate their lactate threshold pace. The purpose was to find which tests were most accurate and give runners an simple way to determine their training paces when lab tests are not available.

The four tests were VDOT, 3200m time trial, 30 minute time trial, and Conconi Test.

They did a 400m and 800m time trial to obtain values for Jack Daniels' VDOT formula.
The 3200m time was entered in to a regression equation to find LT pace.
The 30 min time trial was done on a treadmill where AVG pace over 30 min=LT pace and AVG HR for the last 20 min=HR at LT.
The Conconi Test was an old validated test done on a 400m track but it seemed too difficult to describe here, and you need an assistant.

The results showed that the VDOT and the 30 min time trial were the closest estimates of running velocity at lactate threshold. They gave the 30 min time trial the advantage because it also gave the runner an estimated HR at lactate threshold for those that set training intensities based on HR.

I found it interesting that they only did a 400m and 800m time trial for the VDOT formula. Number one, because those distance are almost completely anaerobic; and number two, they are very easy to recover from and reproduce often. They mentioned this in the discussion and state that longer race distances put into the VDOT formula may be even more accurate.

The 30 minute time trial was done on a treadmill, not a track, and I'm not sure why. It seems to me that you could still get average HR information and it would be easier for the runner to adjust their pace during the effort if they ran on a track. The only part that bothered me was that I thought threshold pace was closer to 10k-15 pace (or the all out pace for 1 hour), and I don't know too many people that can run a 10k in 30 min.

Either way the researchers felt because if it's simplicity, accuracy, and amount of training information given, the 30 minute time trial was the best method for estimating lactate threshold.

I personally have been using the VDOT formula which is based on a recent race time at any distance, due to the fact that you don't have to do any time trials, especially if you are racing fairly often. I find that it is very accurate for my estimated training velocities, and equivalent race times at other distances.

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