Thursday, August 18, 2011

Where is the speed coming from?

On Tuesday night at Rice University track I cranked out the first of three mile repeats at a pace of 6:29 which is about as fast as I've run a mile in many years. It was nearly 95F so conditions were not ideal, not that it matters that much just for one mile.  The other two were considerably slower at 6:38 and 6:51 - clearly by then fatigue was setting in.

Even so, I am thrilled with just one fast mile: something is working.  Clearly the weight loss is a major factor but it is not the only one. Strength workouts with the personal trainer is another, as are the Airrosti treatments which include some significant stretching of amongst other the quads.  I'm also starting to suspect that the daily 45-minute walks with Daisy (at a very very brisk pace of 15 minutes per mile) is strengthening my upper legs which also boosts running speed. Pure guess on that one, but having run for 40 years I can definitely feel the difference.  Of course I'm also in the middle of a marathon training cycle so overall fitness & endurance is much higher than it has been for months.

Almost halfway into Week 11 of the Hal Higdon Intermediate II marathon training program.  This will be the first of three 50-mile weeks (week 11, 13 and 15) before the taper starts on week 16.  Somehow or other - mostly with the help of running friends who are graciously supplying SAG support on Sundays for the long runs - a few of us are actually training trough this streak of 100F weather which has now reached 17 (probably 18 by the end of today) days in a row, and a few in July as well.

Weight is the same this week as last - 161 - but body fat percentage is down to 15%. 

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