Never Summer training week 5 recap

Week five was my biggest of the season so far.

  • 9 hours, 14 minutes
  • 45 miles
  • 5968 feet D+

Twice the climbing, 3 more miles, and an hour more time on my feet than week 5 of last year. Five runs. A long bike ride and session of lifting weight at the gym. Heated flow yoga was extra spicy with sore quads. Back-to-back longish runs on the weekend.

Tuesday I trotted from my house to the gravel track at the site which was Fort Collins High School from 1925 to 1995, now the Colorado State University Center for the Arts, and did the workout I'd been dreading for a week. After strides on the track's infield and some stretching, I ran 4 5-minute intervals at 90% effort, with a minute of recovery between each interval, then trotted back home. I'll be working my way up to 8 faster intervals of the same length by June. The first set is the hardest. How do I gauge my effort? I use the Tanaka equation:

max_hr = 208 - 0.7 * age

I'm 50, and so my maximum heart rate is approximately 173. 90% of this is 155 and the heart rate monitor in my Garmin watch said I was working at 155-165 beats per minute during the intervals. I'm mildly curious about getting a more scientific measurement of my maximum heart rate, though I'd be surprised if I was far from the statistical norm. When I was 25, I used to run uphill intervals at what I thought was 95% effort and could sustain 180 beats per minute. That's right on the Tanaka line.

Saturday I joined folks who have been training for Quad Rock for a group run from the Eltuck picninc area at Lory State Park. We went up Well Gulch, the Timber Trail, Westridge, down Howard, connected to Mill Creek, went up Mill Canyon, and then did it all in reverse. Almost 18 miles and over 4100 feet of climbing. We had beautifully balmy spring weather and pretty good trail conditions, packed snow degrading into wet slush only at the very end of the run. I ran in shorts and a t-shirt the entire time. My feet got a little wet, but I didn't blister and only crashed on ice and snow one time thanks to my screwed shoes.

The local foothill trails have been closed for two weeks but were reopened yesterday. I went out for a shorter hilly run today at Pineridge and Maxwell and after a couple of miles my legs felt great. I love back-to-back long runs and not in a masochistic way, it just feels good to simmer the stiffness away, see some different trails, and revisit some of the thoughts and ideas I had the day before.