Sunday, April 12, 2009

Another Twelve Miles in the Books

Well, another medium long run in the books. Put in twelve miles yesterday on an absolutely perfect day for a run. The morning started out cloudy (common here in Southern California this time of year), but cleared nicely by midway. Temps were in the lower to mid 60s. A nice spring day for a run.

The goal was 12 miles at general aerobic pace (heart rate between 75% and 85% of maximum heart rate). The problem? To be at this heart rate I had to run at my goal pace (a big non no). And I'm paying for it today. I'm feeling pretty sore and overall just not very chipper this morning. I had a tough time sleeping last night because of some DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). So this morning I'm sitting here feeling more like the flu is coming on instead of my normal self. Argh.

I guess this is a "get even" for yesterday. After my run, I was feeling a good as I ever had felt after a run. Endorphins were clearly doing their magic. I felt so peaceful and content. But I think I ignored a couple of key items. First, I needed to re-hydrate. I took 40 oz of water on my fuel belt, but drank only 10 of those ounces. The only other thing I had until dinner was a bottle of water and a Clif bar. I think the combination of failure to rehydrate and refuel is causing issues with recover today. Yech. Oh well. I'll grin and bear it.

I also wanted to introduce a new training tool I've been using with SportTracks recently. This tool is the Training Load plug-in. What it does is takes data from my Garmin and calculates three running averages:

1. Chronic Training Load (CTL - blue line) - This is kind of like my training bank account. CTL is a proxy for fitness, since it's value is dependent on total workout time over 42 days.

2. Acute Training Load (ATL - red line) - This value is used to measure fatigue. It is calculated from training load over the last 10 days.

3. The final value is Training Stress Balance (TSB -grey shaded area) - This is the difference of ATL from CTL. A negative value means that you are in the middle of a heavy training load. A positive number means that your training load has lessened in comparison to your fitness. So with this tool, in theory, we should better plan our performance come race day. The goal is to reduce fatigue while maintaining fitness, resulting in a higher TSB.

Here is a copy of my current Training Load graph:

From this it is apparent that I am still in a base building phase. My CTL (fitness) is increasing, but so is my fatigue (hence the way I feel today). My TSB is negative - which just means I don't want to run a race this week! In fact, my Training Load calculator is telling me that I should start taper on 4/23 to maximize my TSB on 5/03! Just another reason to own a Garmin and SportTracks!


  1. 12 miles on the road or on a trail? Either way, that's twice as far as my longest run this weekend.

    SportTracks is the best! I'll have to try the training load plug-in.

  2. Tom - I see your from SoCal. I'm talking about the San Diego Creek "Trail" from the Back Bay into Irvine. Yeah - I know - some trail...

  3. Um. That is really COOL! Thanks for the support!

  4. nutrition and hydration are so important, especially now that it's getting warm again. i need to put more focus on those as well. i mean... i ate chocolate chip cookies for dinner last night. ;) good luck working on ALL methods of recovery!