July 11, 2011

One 100km done, on to the next

Sunday's 10km effort as part of a relay team in the superbly organized Squamish Triathlon brought my volume for last week to a solid 100km. It's the most I've run in any week ever and part of my experiment to see if running more can help me run faster.

This past week was low on speed work. Monday I did 18km in the am and 11km pm, both at about 5:00/km pace. Tuesday evening I covered 12km; warm-up, drills, pickups, then a 5 x 2min at 70% w/3min rest, followed by a 5km easy.

Wednesday I ran 10km in the morning and 6km in the afternoon, while Thursday held another 10km in the morning. Friday afternoon I did 16km, followed by 8km including 12x30sec fast/30 sec easy on Saturday morning.

Squamish Tri - Photo: Jeannine Bradshaw
This brought the six-day total to 90km, so I was pleased to run Sunday's 10km in 44:23 or 4:21/km. This is not a fast course, and I covered it 69 seconds faster than the previous year.

(Incidentally, the tri was a superb day with so many great efforts and results by friends from the Squamish Titans. My team, sponsored by AARM Dental for the second year in a row, had a good day too, with a solid swim by sponsor Nancy and a great bike by Toby).

It was not that hard to get to a 100km last week, and I'm planning to do it again this week, perhaps take it to 110-ish. The challenge is in sustaining high volume training, as I remember well from my Ironman triathlon days.

The hardest part was to stick with the program in the final six to four weeks before the goal race, when the mind and body were tired from the months of training already completed and screaming for a break.

As John L. Parker Jr. writes in his novel Once A Runner, "Denton called it 'breaking down,' although Cassidy preferred the nomenclature of certain Caribbean quasi-religious groups; walking death was much closer to it. Quite a bit more, really, than the simple exhaustion of a single difficult workout, breaking down was a cumulative physical morbidity that usually built up over several weeks and left the runner struggling to recover from one session to the next."

"The toll on the runner--and those around him--was high, psychologically as well as physically... He was a thoroughly unpleasant person. But then his life was most certainly focused on The Task. And hadn't he decided at one time that he would do whatever was necessary to become ... whatever he would become?"

"From the crucible of such inner turmoil come the various metals, soft and brittle, flawed or pure, precious or common, that determine the good runners, the great runners, and perhaps the former runners. For those who cannot deal with (or evade) the consequences of their singular objective will simply fade away from it all and go on to less arduous pursuits."

Now, a 100km week is hardly the volume that brought on the breakdown of Once A Runner's protagonist, miler Quenton Cassidy, so I should be OK with a second 100km this week. I'm starting it with an easy day, either a 6km recovery jog in the afternoon, or--gulp-- day off.

Tomorrow morning will bring 5 x 1-mile repeats at 6:40-6:45/mile pace and a trail run with the Squamish Titans in the evening. Wednesday I'm planning a 15km easy, followed by a 10-miler at marathon race pace on Thursday morning. Friday has 10km in the morning, with a 6km in the afternoon.

Saturday has 2hrs 40 in the morning, hopefully good for about 30km, followed by an easy 6km in the afternoon. Sunday I'll probably do a 10km recovery run, which should add up to about 116km for the week.


Karl said...

Awesome job! I think the most I've ever done in 1 week is just shy of 70km.

Also, Once a Runner is a great book, just finished that one a few months back.

Margreet Dietz said...

Thanks Karl!

Am enjoying Once A Runner too, especially now those final chapters.