Sunday, May 3, 2009


It is hard to believe that it is May already. I got in a total of 86.5+ equivalent miles made up of 6 miles on the elliptical trainer, 51.4 miles on the bike and 63.5 miles of running. This was much better than the last couple of weeks and I also did my second track workout and first race of the season. The race was probably the low-light of the week, but I am working towards a larger goal so this is just another mile marker along the journey I guess.

Just before heading out the door for my run on Friday UPS showed up at the door with a package from New Balance. My wife gave me a look like 'oh no, not another pair of shoes..', but I had not ordered any new shoes so I was a bit confused. It turns out that I had signed up to be a wear tester for New Balance either last summer or the summer before and I guess that I had finally been selected to participate in a study. Not too shabby - free shoes! The shoes are a lite weight, neutral model for mid-foot strikers. My first impression is that they definitely got the aesthetics right and it is a nice ride too. I like a bit more support for longer runs, but the shoes is really lite. My only real complaint is that the toe-box is a tad tight.

  • AM - 21.1 mi (1hr) On the stationary bike at work during lunch. I pushed pretty hard and kept my cadence at about 95+ rpm.
  • PM - ~4.25 mi (31:50) Hard to say how far it was exactly because I was running in the woods in Groton and/or Dunstable. The trails were a bit rough because of all the rocks and roots but it was so nice to just run through the woods and not feel any pain.
Tuesday: 12.5 mi (1:29:33) I ran to the gym, did 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer and then ran home and around the circle. It works out to about 4 equivalent miles on the elliptical and 8.5 miles of running. I was planning on running a short 3 mile shake-out in the evening but I got caught in a meeting at work and did not get home until almost 10PM.

  • AM - 4 mi (28:10) This was just an easy run in the morning to shake out my legs and get ready for the workout this afternoon.
  • PM - 10 mi (69:38) Track workout tonight: 2.2 mi warm-up followed by 2x800 + 1x1600 twice w/ half the distance in rest and a 2.2 mile cool-down.
I wanted to get a better idea of where I am in my training so I wore my heart rate monitor for the first time in about 6 months. I use the Suunto t6 and like it a lot since it provides quite a bit of information about how my training is going in addition to the basic HR info. The weather was phenomenal tonight since it was about 65 degrees and the dew point was down around 10-15 degrees. It was actually so dry that I had a hard time getting my heart rate monitor to work correctly since I was not sweating. I felt just okay tonight, not great, but still wanted to hit some decent times. I set my heart rate upper limit to 190bpm (my max HR is about 200-205bpm) because I did not want to push it too hard and ended up bumping against it in the last four intervals. The following table is a summary of times and HRs:

BoutDistanceRepeat TimeRecovery Time
Average HR

The first two 800's were not too bad but I had to focus for the mile repeats. I did doze off a bit on the last two 800's, which is evident from the heart rates. The rest intervals started creeping up at the end but we were trying to keep the whole group together at the start of each repeat.

In the plots below the top curve is heart rate, the middle curve is EPOC and the bottom curve is VO2. EPOC is Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption and measures the amount of oxygen that the body needs to recover from physical exertion. It describes the accumulating training load. Based on the EPOC this workout was just the right level where I should get a good training response. If I had gone much faster or longer things would have been much different. I need to take it easy tomorrow and make sure that I recover, especially since I am racing this weekend.

Thursday: 30.3 miles on the bike (1:30:00) - This was just a recovery ride. and gives me about 10 equivalent miles. I was a bit surprised that my heart rate only got as high as 125bpm and averaged around 117bpm. That is hardly as high as it gets when I go for a walk. Oh well. I was also supposed to do a short run this evening but got caught up at work again. If this keeps up I am going to have to quit my job!

Friday: 8.25 mi (59:42) I wanted to get in a decent run but not over work myself so I wore my HR monitor and set the upper HR limit to 150bpm. I bumped up against the limit a couple times but it allowed me to have a good run and averaged 142bpm (right at 70% HRM). I am a little surprised by my quads are quite sore from yesterday's ride. I went pretty easy yesterday and just did a recovery ride so I am hoping that this is not a sign that I am getting sick (every one else in the family has a cold, and no, it is not the Swine Flu ... or should I call it Influenza H1N1). I skipped the afternoon run again. I have to get out of this habit.

  • AM -9.1 mi () I ran the Derry Foothealth 5k and won in 16:28. I am glad that I ran this race to get the first race under my belt, but I felt like absolute garbage the whole day. The soreness in my legs from yesterday was much worse, probably because the race was early morning, and I felt like I had already raced a 5k at the start of the race. Before the start Michael Wade warned me about potential wrong turns so I ran the whole course as a warm up before hand. This paid off because I felt much more confident about where to start my kick at the end of the race. The race got off to a late start because they were waiting for a police detail who ended up doing nothing. This is pretty much par for the small races though. I thought he was going to lead the race but he just parked in the road and ate his donuts. From the graph of elevation below (from my watch - the absolute elevation is not correct but the relative number are) the first mile was pretty much flat or slightly down hill and we hit it in 5:17. There was someone right on my shoulder at 1 mile, probably Jason Porter, so I tried to push the second mile and drop him going up the hill. I think that he actually closed on me, although he never pulled even with me so I am still not absolutely sure who it was. As we crested the hill we hit the two mile mark in 10:55, a pathetic 5:38 second mile. Going into the race I had visions of running sub 16 minutes, but at this point I was starting to think that we were going to run over 17 minutes. I knew it was down hill the rest of the way and the breathing over my shoulder was very laboured so I put the hammer down and was able to run a 5:02 third mile to pass three miles in 15:58 and finally drop Jason. I finished in a modest 16:28. I did a cool down around the course a third time for good measure and was in agony the whole time. My legs were so sore. I am not sure if it was the work out on Wednesday, the ride on Thursday or that I am a big wuss, but this was not a good day. I am hoping that I got the bad race out of the way today and can have good races in the next two weekends.
  • PM - 4 (29:38) I really needed to work the soreness out of my legs so I did a really easy 4 mile run this afternoon. It really sucked but I think that it will pay off in the long run.
Sunday: 17.5 mi (2:07:31) I started the morning out on the elliptical trainer for 45 minutes (6 equivalent miles) because my quads were so sore I could hardly walk down the stairs in the morning. After the gym I headed over to Mine Falls Park to run 12 miles with Kevin and Brian. I think that going to the gym was a smart move because I felt "alright" on the run. I was surprised that we averaged about 7:15-7:30 pace but my heart rate only averaged 139bpm. Rest and try to recover this week.



Hello Mate, I tambien have like objective run the marathon by under the 2:18 aumque can not bend session of training am trying acumlar a lot of kilometros in a session, q maraton go to run? I berlin 2009??? Greetings from espaƱa

Ethan Crain said...

Hello. I know that it is a bit of an optimistic goal to run sub 2:19, but having a lofty goals makes the running more fun. I am planning to run my first marathon in October at the Bay State Marathon (local race in Massachusetts). After that I may venture further to find a nice fast race for a good time. Good luck to you too.