Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Standing On Rung One And Looking Up!

This past Saturday morning Renee, Lydia and I packed into the car and headed up to Morristown for the St. Patrick's Day 5K. It was a great morning for running, cool, clear and perfect for shorts and t-shirt.

Lydia and I pre-race (she's whispering race strategy in my ear!)

I met my goal of running between a 7:00 and 7:30/mile pace. I actually just about split it right down the middle with a official race time of 22:36, putting me at a 7:16/mile pace. Definitely not my best performance, not too long ago that was my average for a 1/2 marathon, but hey I'm on my way back (one race at a time)! Their were definitely a few hiccups and I think I could have realistically come in right around the 7:00/mile mark, but then I remind myself...hey, it was a great morning to be up and running.

Cooper River Bridge Run Course Map

So now it's time to look forward to the next rung of my ladder, the 10K. Renee, Lydia and I will be heading to South Carolina to visit my parents in a few weeks and it just so happens that while we're in town there's a pretty big 10K. The race consistently sells out their 40,000 entries well ahead of time! The Cooper River Bridge Run is a 10K which takes place in scenic Charleston, SC. The race begins in Mt. Pleasant, traverses the newly built Cooper River Bridge (my father would be upset if I failed to mention that this bridge is in fact the longest cable-stayed suspension bridge in the Western Hemisphere!, this is the man who also introduced me to the worlds largest ball of twine and drove his family round-trip to Alaska amongst other great Bagley family moments!) and finishes in downtown Charleston.

A few more tid-bits about the bridge which should be of importance to participants like Renee and myself...the slope of the Bridge is 4%, the bridge is 2.5 miles long, so with a little very simple math we now know that's a decent 1.25 mile climb in the middle of the race. So in this case, although I am not a huge fan of treadmill running (nothing against treadmills, I just prefer to be outside no matter what the weather) I'll be putting in a little time on one for training specificity with mile long intervals at 4% grade.

Cooper River Bridge, Charleston, SC

Other important consideration for the 10K I have been thinking about include VO2max. If starting from scratch determining how to build this all important variable of endurance racing can be hard to grasp. But, with my 5K race time in hand I have a important piece of information to aid my training.

Most sources state that 95-100% of Vo2Max coincides with your current 3000 to 5000 meter race pace, or the fastest effort you can maintain consistently for about 8 minutes. Knowing this information allows you to set your training up effectively to work on improving your VO2Max.

So, based on my recent 5K pace of 7:16/mile I will make a few assumptions: 1. I ran this race moderately so its not reflective of all out effort. 2. I'll make an educated assumption that a more suitable pace to work with would be 6:45/mile (closer to my predicted all out effort i.e. 95-100% VO2Max). Now, we've got something we can train with.

Luckily, research has shown we don't need to sustain this pace for a long duration to see decent improvements in VO2Max. This is precisely what interval workouts are designed to do (I can hear some of you saying now..."Oh, that's what those things are for!"). The key is to sustain each interval for between 2 and 5 minutes at 95-100% VO2Max, in my case ~6:45/mile pace followed by an active rest (walking) and then repeated. A sample workout may look something like this: Ten 800 meter repeats with 1.5 minute rest interval in between.

Alright, there you have it...a little hodge-podge today on a recent race result, an upcoming race and some info you may be able to put to good use in your own training.

1 comment:

  1. How could you forget the world's largest Easter egg? Its the Pysanky Egg in Vegreville, Alberta, Canada. It was awesome. See you all soon. DAD