Friday, September 18, 2009

Back to business

The Dingle half Marathon went well and apart from some slight muscle soreness I recovered almost immediately and was back running by Monday. Followed that with another easy session on Tuesday of less than 3 miles and on Wednesday I had an Incremental Treadmill Test in the Human Performance Lab in Trinity College.

The test involves running on a treadmill at a set pace for 3 minute intervals with the speed increased every 3 minutes. Heart Rate is taken every minute and a blood sample taken from a finger tip halfway through each interval to test and compare lactate levels at different speeds relative to heart rate. During the test a face mask is worn to measure the exchange of gasses measuring the amount of oxygen in expelled air to work out the amount of oxygen that your lungs can absorb from inhaled air and this gives a measure of VO2 max again in relation to speed / heart rate.

My test started at an easy 10Kph and by 18Kph I had passed my lactate threshold which is the speed / hr beyond which your body can't buffer the lactic acid and this is what gradually slows you down.
My reason for doing the test is because I was doing so many slow miles and running at pace that I was starting to get lazy and finding it hard to get out of the comfort zone.

Today I got official confirmation of a place in a 24hr race in Tooting Bec, London on Sat 16th / Sun 17th October.
A 24hr race is very different to any other race in that the objective is to cover as much distance as possible in a set time rather than running a set distance in the shortest possible time. It's hard to know how to train for this type of event and I'd even say you can't really train for a 24hr race as my thinking is it's more about what you've done and your current condition.
Having said that I will train as recommended by Bernard Donne of the HPL in Trinity and run 4-5 runs per week of 2-4 hrs or more and also do one interval session of 4*2k just to ensure I keep some speed in my legs.

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