I treated my aching bones to any easier week, so there isn’t very much to share about the last seven days of running. Although I am trying to compress a 14 week marathon training block into about 7 weeks, even I realise that it would be foolish to completely run myself into the ground, so a bit of rest and easy running is mandatory at my age.
In Iceland, Jock told me about his training philosophy – he has read a book by an author whose name I have forgotten, but the key point was that training runs for older runners should to be easy. The best way to measure this is by using heart rate, which should never exceed 180 minus one’s age. Therefore, I have been running to a target heart rate of 130, which feels quite easy, it equates to something between 8:15 to 8:30 mile pace.
It also requires one to run very easily up inclines and a bit harder down them. As mentioned on Marathon Talk a few weeks ago, for even effort, nearly every one goes much too hard uphill and nowhere near hard enough coming down. Hard runs should only be done occasionally – ideally not more than once a week.
I like this training philosophy, it accords with the Kenyan way – i.e. you should either by running very easily, or very hard, but hardly ever with medium effort.
Saying all that, I ran hard on both days at the weekend – on Saturday at Roundhay parkrun; and on Sunday for Leg 6 of the Leeds Country Way Relay.
The Roundhay parkrun course is tough, it includes a two+ minute hill which is climbed three and a half times. I was leading the pack at the top of the hill on the first lap, but I was soon passed by Huw and a young woman whom I didn’t recognise. I held third place until the finish, the young woman cruised round to finish first overall quite comfortably, pursued by a string of gasping old men like me.
I was reasonably satisfied with my time of 19:11 – on the same weekend last year I ran 18:34, so I am definitely a little way behind my form of 2016. Hopefully, I still have time to sharpen up a little before I start the taper.
The Leeds Country Way is a 6 leg race around a 60 mile footpath that circumnavigates Leeds, contested by most of the local running clubs. It’s a great event, requiring excellent logistical management and navigation as well as good runners. The legs are run in pairs. I ran the final leg for the Vets team with Kevin. We enjoyed a strong run, covering the 9.5 undulating miles of rough paths and roads in just over 69 minutes.
Valley Striders had a good day, winning the Vet’s category and finishing second in the main male and female classifications.
My aim for this week is to cover at least 60 miles, but to front-load the week so that I can be fresh(ish) or the Vale of York Half Marathon next Sunday. I will have to fit in my long run mid-week, probably on Wednesday morning.
CM -5 weeks
41.3 miles, longest run 10.1 miles
Parkrun – Roundhay 19:11 (3rd)
Weight 10 stone 13.4 lbs
Aerobic efficiency (LCW 1048 beats per mile)