Thursday, 8 January 2009

MAF Test #3

I didn't feel at all energetic this evening at the track churning out 5 miles at 143 HR. I felt tired and worn out before the warmup was completed and the whole test felt more strenuous than it should have. Although it couldn't have been more demanding - on my heart at least. The weather was colder (hovering around freezing point) than during my previous tests which may account for some or all of the modest, but steady, improvement as there should have been less blood supply needed for cooling. Then again I was wearing more layers than previously so it may have balanced out. Either way it's all going in the right direction and another test in 3 weeks time will hopefully reveal a further move in the right direction. The drift between the pace of the first mile and the average of the last 3 miles, which is an indication of endurance ability, hasn't changed much between tests 2 and 3. I'd like to see this gap close so that I can churn out more miles at the same pace for a given effort (i.e run forever )
Strictly speaking to get the full benefit of base training I should continue on aerobic only training until there is no further improvements to be gained. Then it's time to play with speedwork. The weather has been great for running this week - beautiful sunshine, cold (0C/-2C) and dry (i.e. no slipping) and as I am off work for the week (using up some 2008 holiday time) I get to run in daylight. I used the time off to complete my 2.25 hour long run on Wednesday as I intend to run a 10 miler in Mallow this Sunday. I don't expect a PB due to the lack of speedwork but it will be interesting to see if I have the endurance. Should make for a relatively slow but more comfortable race than normal. Having said that I don't expect to be too far off the mark. This is the first of 4 Spring 10 milers spaced about a month apart so I do expect to see some improvement from month to month. Over the last few runs I have felt the old familiar feeling of tendon rubbing over bone on the outside of my left knee and while not painful it is a sign that my IT band could be about to give trouble again. On Wednesday's long run I felt it during the first mile and it disappeared after that and at the track I felt it again, but this time during my warmdown. I have been strengthening my abductors and adductors since my bout of ITBS last year but I have neglected to continue the stretching exercise. Today (8th Jan) marks the third anniversary of my first run. (2 miles with 100 yards @ 06:00 pace and a lung bursting jog at 12:00 pace thereafter) I take some consolation from the fact that I would have been unable to complete this evenings Maffetone test in January 2006.
Mon 5th Jan 10.0 miles in 01:27:13 (08:43 pace @ 126HR) comfortable recovery type run. Sleep: 8 hrs 7.5/110 Legs: 7.5/10 Tue 6th Jan 9.02 Miles in 01:12:21 (08:02 pace @ 136HR) Sleep: 8 hrs 7.5/10 Legs: 7/10 Wed 7th Jan 16.88 miles in 02:15:00 (8.00 pace @ 139 HR) - compares to 17.09 miles 2 weeks ago over same course Sleep: 6 hrs 5.5/10 Legs:6.5/10 Thur 8th Jan a.m. 2.5 miles in 19:49 (07:54 pace) treadmill. p.m. 7.68 miles in 57:38 (07:30 pace @ 136HR) - track (incl 5 miles @ 143HR) Sleep: 7.5 hrs 7.5/10 Legs 5.5/10


  1. Nice work Grellan. Looks as though the test results are coming along.

    In regards to the ITB, one of the things that really helped me was massage (albeit very painful) - but the one technique that seemed to work the best happened to be something you can do at home yourself.

    I would lie on my left side (my right ITB was the one w/ the issue) and use the heel of my hand to put some pressure on the ITB right above the knee. Just push down and hold for about 5-seconds. Then I'd move up about an inch and do it again. Overall I might do this 4 to 10 times depending on how it was feeling. This would stretch the band right around the knee area and it usually did enough to stop the rubbing immediately.

    Then using a hard foam roller every couple days whether it's bothering me or not seems to keep it loose enough most of the time.

  2. Lidl are doing a massager with an infra red head. At 15 quid it won't be the worst thing you ever bought for sore muscles. I think I'll give Mallow a skip. I have no speed work done but more than that I am on antibiotics for my throat and eyes. Anything over 5 miles and the HR just shoots up at the moment.

  3. I hope you were kidding when you predicted a slow race. I was planning to do what I should have done in Blarney last year and use you as a rabbit, ideally overtaking you on the last mile, but I'd settle for a PB behind you if you drag me to a fast finish. I'm generous like that.

    Watch that knee!

  4. You've certainly come a long way in the past 3 years which just goes to show what can be achieved with a dedicated effort. I can still remember our first run together - neither of us were that fit!!

    Happy anniversary !!!

  5. Mike, thanks for the tip. I'll have to get the finger out as I am very lazy when it comes to non-running activity.

    Richard, I read that you were a bit under the weather, recover well and maybe we'll see you for the Little Isdland 4 miler on the 25th.

    Thomas, I was using the word slow in the relative sense. I'll do my best to pace you but i'd say you are closer to a 10 mile PB than I am.

    Brendan, Our first run together was one of my first runs ever and you were much fitter from where I was standing (i.e. looking at your back disappearing into the distance)

  6. it should be interesting to see how the 3 of you do against each other. On any given day I'd say its a roll of the dice who wins! Good luck!

  7. A modest improvement in the test is better than none at all. That first mile is always going to be quicker. If you've been doing any speedwork at all, the good 'stroke volume' of the heart allows you to run faster at the start of a run/race/test for a low HR.

    You haven't been doing speedwork though, so the gap, as you say, is due to endurance. There's always going to be some gap though, even if endurance is 'perfect'.

    Which leads to the 10 mile race... I think you'll run well (it's an endurance event). Perhaps sit on Thomas for 7 miles or so and psych him out ;)

  8. Good luck tomorrow!

    And happy anniversary - there has been a hell of a lot of improvement over those three years. May it continue for many more!