Tuesday, March 18, 2014

progression of peak running distance approaching 50 km

Another day past, and another day less until the Woodside Ramble 50 km race.

I've been focusing on plots showing weighted average distances (which I refer to as ATS, CTS, after the cycling power metrics of the same names), and to number of runs per week. These plots have been guiding my training. An example is the following:

But long run distance is important as well, and that's been increasing. This hasn't been as much planned as it's been based on what I can do: I like to run long, and if I feel good, I try to extend my previous distance a bit. Here I plot the distance of my runs versus the date relative to 18 Mar, where I label training runs as crosses, and races as stars:

The long run distance has been steadily tending up, but not fast enough to approach 50 km by 13 April.

I've run 3 races so far this year. The first was just 4 km (listed as 4.5 km here because of warm-up). For that race, distance wasn't a factor; I'd already done runs twice the distance.

The next race was a half-marathon. I'd had 3 days approaching that distance already, so again the distance wasn't a concern. Indeed I had plenty of confidence I could complete the course if I didn't hurt myself.

Then came a 30 km race (actually 29 km). This was to be my longest run of the year, but I'd already had two days of 25 km, so making the 20% or so leap from 25 to 30 didn't worry me too much. The 29 km is a natural part of the distance progression in the plot.

My long run so far is a bit less than 33 km. That's only 2/3 the distance of the race. I've still got time to get one more long one in before I want to taper off. Maybe Saturday if I feel good. But it won't be over 35 km: no way. That'll still be no more than 70% of race distance.

I simply need to treat this race as what it is: a stretch. Goal: hit the half-way chomping at the bit, ready for the fun to begin. Then that leaves me 25 km to suffer. But I need to hit the half-way fueled, hydrated, and warmed up. Racing has advantages versus training: it has a taper, it has rest stops, and it has a willingness to push yourself harder.

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