Tuesday, March 10, 2009

FIT: 10-Week Report

Here's a sweet graph showing my mileage so far.

Week 1: I was at home and coming off of a month-long break from any physical activity (poor choice).
Week 2: Reading period, where everything was due by Dean's Date.
Week 5: PEF Retreat. Decided here to train for the marathon.

Track: I try to do one a week, and I succeed most of the time. Proof of improvement: went from a 6:27 mile in week 2 to a 6:04 in week 9. My BM Pyramids are getting more stop-free and faster.
Staple: Since in the past month or so I've started to feel overtraining issues in my left ball of the foot and my knees, I've seen the need to get the most out of each mile, so I've shifted to doing these as tempo runs rather than shopping trips with packs that obscure performance anyways. I also have seen the benefits of track and enjoyed pushing my limits in LR's more, so staple runs have decreased in frequency over time.
Long Runs: It's hard to say too much about this b/c they're infrequent, but it's about every other week, which is probably better than weekly, because of injury risks.
Total: It's dipped since the overtraining injuries started to emerge, but with Spring Break next week meaning not much to do and my ambitions, I hope to step it back up in week 11.

Since I do non-running workouts as well, I also wanted to include that for the analysis. How to weight it is tricky, but I was conservative here. 2 miles is equivalent to the intensity of a 40-min strength session, or an ultimate practice. When you take that into consideration, the drop in the later weeks isn't as big of a deal.

X (cross-training): This can stand for snowboarding, basketball, stairmaster, or ultimate.
Strength: I do body weight strength about weekly, which is good, since from past experience, it seemed like I lose strength if I don't maintain it weekly.

Here are trends for my times in measured routes. These don't give a complete picture, since there were confounding factors that influenced each time. I will address some of them.

Wholefoods: I carry back varying amounts in my pack, so think much of these results.
Walmart: The latter two are non-pack tempo runs.
BM Pyramid: I stopped in some and not in others. The big 44 was my first non-stop of the year. The last one had 1 stop. I also did slightly varied amounts of jog distance.
Mile: It's hard to see the 28s difference, but it's there, and I'm proud.

Finally, here is a graph that may help predict paces in races (includes week 11 data). The trend line only considers my best times for each distance. It's hard to pick a type of trend line, since we don't know what part of the log function these data points would be on, for example. Linear has a higher r^2 value, but it does seem to miss some of the curvey effect. In theory, with a good line, any points above that line should designate distances where I can PR next. At some point at around 20 miles, there should be a sudden increase in slope (a positive second differential) because of the hitting-the-wall effect when glycogen stores in the muscles are depleted. I've yet to feel that, but I'm kind of interested in seeing what it's like. I talk about my lead legs sometimes at the end of long runs where I've extended my limits, but this is probably something 7x crazier feeling. I'll tell you when I get there.

Tempo: Runs where I'm not wearing a pack and am just going for time.
Shopping: I'm not really going for time. I'm shopping and carrying stuff home in a pack. You can see that shopping w/ a pack generally makes me slower.
BM: If it's half, it's 4x100, 3x200, 2x400, 1x800. If it's full, I go back down. After each rep, I jog the same distance (exceptions: after the 800, I just do a 400 jog, and after the 4th 400, I just do a 200 jog). You can see that a constant speed is better than the sprint/jog technique, since my BM average paces are far slower than the line would predict.


If only I cared this much about my thesis... haha.

If you like the analysis you see here and want me to send you the excel template that I made to create all of these, let me know, and I can send it to you!

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