It's not supposed to be near 90 degrees when the sun hasn't even come up yet but that's what I was looking at at 4:30 in the morning. At least there looked to be some cloud cover and by the time I was ready to hit the road at 5:45, the temp had dropped a bit to 85.
The plan called for 13 miles today but with the expected heat and the way the runs have been going lately the distance was TBD. Plus, I've been reading Phil Maffetone's latest book and have been rethinking my training; I may still be going at it too hard.
Today was all about keeping the HR below 137 bpm and for the most part I was successful. Granted there were the occasional blips but they were mostly momentary so I was able to keep a consistent pace in the high 11s/low 12s for the 8 mile loop.
I felt pretty good as long as the sun stayed behind the clouds but as I was approaching the break at 8 it came out full bore and I could feel my strength being sapped as the temperature came up. Fortunately it was time to take a breather, drink some cold water and down half a banana that I had set out in a cooler before I was on my way again.
Unlike last week I was feeling alright and was looking forward to doing the full 13 but my HR had other plans just past the 9 mile mark. With the sun beating down and the temp coming up I was struggling to keep it in check so at the 9.5 mile point I made the turn for home. No need to get hung out like I did 2 weeks ago. Besides, 11 miles is nothing to sneeze at and would be a 2 and a half hour outing anyway.
By the time I got to the 10 mile mark it was tough to stay under 137 so I decided not to force it and walk the final mile. I certainly had enough left in the tank to run/walk but there was no need; a quality cool down in the one-teens was just as good and quite likely better.
The best thing about this walk was that it gave me some time to evaluate my training.
I'm sure that a lot of it has to do with the conditions. Looking back at past years I can see that the heat certainly has an effect on endurance and speed but I should be doing better than this. One conclusion I came to is that when everything is taken into consideration, I may be running at too high a max HR.
While 137 has suited me well in the past, I feel as though an adjustment down to 132 bpm may be needed in the short term. This, after all, is my true MAF HR and may be what I need to get back to full aerobic training. This with the addition of more fat to the diet along with the vitamin D supplement should kick my fat burning engine into overdrive. Or so I hope. I also need to stop sweating the little things in work and deal with the priorities. This will do wonders for my stress level too.
Finally I need to run to time, not distance right now. For the month of July I'm going to scale it back to about 6+ hours of running a week with my long run no more than 2 and a half hours. This is more than enough road time and will still net me about 30 miles a week. This will actually be an increase over the last 2 weeks where I've taken extra rest because I've been feeling the fatigue from the harder weekend runs earlier in the month.
With only 76 days until the race, it's time I get my poop in a group.
Week ending June 27th - 25 miles