Monday, March 7, 2011

It's March, Ian. How's that Base Training?

Well here are. March is well underway and the race season is upon us (well for some anyway). I personally have no races planned for the next bit (though one can always jump into something if the right opportunity arises) and my main focus right now is prepping for the Bluenose Half Marathon.

Yes, I have signed up for the Bluenose Half and I hope to do well in it. Doing the half (even though I am not a runner, I swear) has been mostly about making sure that my running is truly up to snuff for the Du and Tri season. I mean normally my winter running is at best small 4-5K jaunts. But with most of my running being 5K placeholders before I get on my bike and have some fun, it was easy to justify the small amount of base training in the past. Well no longer as I have to get ready for that half. I have already put close to 200Km of outdoor running in.

But the most exciting thing has happened. Last Fall Shane MacLeod told us at the Provincial Training Center event that doing a lot of long slow running will make you run faster. So I started doing that and kept it up fairly well all winter long. Those 4-5K occasional runs became 8-10 K runs at least 3 times a week. And now that the snow and ice are melting away they will become even longer. And what has this meant? Well I have been running with a Heart Rate Monitor and keeping track of my "Zones" and while my heart rate stays pretty much the same (okay it goes up when I cruise up some hills sometimes) my speed is increasing.

How much Ian? Well I started with a modest 5:15 training pace and now it is easily a 4:30 pace. We are talking my race pace from normal years, in March. This is months before my season will start. And soon my harder training will begin.

Does this mean I may be able to actually break that 40 minute 10K barrier? Maybe. The elusive 20 minute 5K? Well I have done that before but I think I can do that much more easily now, and by more than  a few seconds. But really I hope it means I get off that bike in the Dus and take off with happy fresh legs that i didn't burn out on the first run. Oh how I hope.
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