Round and Round We Go

Continuing with the sea change in my training regimen, I hit the track again last night with the plan on […]

By on May 18, 2007 | Comments

Continuing with the sea change in my training regimen, I hit the track again last night with the plan on doing an unknown number of miles at around 165 bpm. I almost stopped a half mile in as my stride/legs felt awkward, but worked through the tough little barrier I seem to have early in such workouts these day and ended up running 5 continuous miles at an average of around 6:12 per mile. While I never felt comfortable stride wise, I really settled in mentally and never really struggled physically. Again, there was degradation, but less than on Tuesday.

I wish that either my HR/GPS running watch program or the website where I upload my HR/GPS data had the capability to zoom into a certain pace range for a workout. As it is almost inevitable that my runs have pace spikes up to 30 minutes/mile when I stop at traffic lights and a correspondingly wide pace scale on any graphs, it’s very hard to see variations in my pace from a 5 mile workout that fall within 20 seconds per mile. Anyway, when looking at my pace graph from last night, I could still see a slight downward slope to the right.

For now, I have no plans to pick up the intensity of these runs. Instead, I will continue with 5 to 7 mile runs at this effort until I come close to eliminating the degradation that is occurring. At the moment, I hesitate… er, refuse to consider this degradation cardiac or heart rate drift, as I associate those term with the gradual rise in heart rate associated with hour plus runs caused largely due to the onset of dehydration and electrolyte depletion, as well as general metabolic and muscle fatigue. Maybe someday I’ll be ready to train at tempo pace again, but it’s certainly not time yet.

Bryon Powell

Bryon Powell is the Founding Editor of iRunFar. He’s been writing about trail running, ultrarunning, and running gear for more than 15 years. Aside from iRunFar, he’s authored the books Relentless Forward Progress: A Guide to Running Ultramarathons and Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running, been a contributing editor at Trail Runner magazine, written for publications including Outside, Sierra, and Running Times, and coached ultrarunners of all abilities. Based in Silverton, Colorado, Bryon is an avid trail runner and ultrarunner who competes in events from the Hardrock 100 Mile just out his front door to races long and short around the world, that is, when he’s not fly fishing or tending to his garden.