This week should have started with a 10 mile race, the Lewes Downland 10. But last week’s experience told me quite plainly that I’m a bit short on endurance miles, so instead it was a longer, slower, slog on the South Downs of around two and half hours. I felt surprisingly good. Next week’s 20 mile race will be a stronger indicator of what sort of long-distance capacity I have right now.
This week also saw the start of my participation in some research at Brighton University. A team of sports scientists there are looking at muscle damage after running a marathon (the Beachy Head marathon), and part of this will test the effectiveness of a fruit drink supplement on recovery from such damage.
The testing on Tuesday was hard, it involved a lactate threshold test, followed by a max heart rate test. The max test was carried out on a treadmill and used gradient rather than increasing speed to build heart rate.
I’ve been tested like this before and been unable to reach as high a heart rate as I can see in track or road training sessions. I think there is obviously a self-governing safety factor at play here; nobody wants to fly off the back of a treadmill at high speed, and that is what is in the back of the mind when pushing harder and harder to exhaustion and loosing form in a spectacular fashion. There is also the motivation factor: running flat out is much more likely when chasing a stop watch or training colleague than it is when wired and piped up on a treadmill. The fact that the reward for completing each section is an increase in gradient doesn’t help much either.
Anyway, it was fascinating stuff and I’m looking forward to the next session which will measure running economy and pain threshold amongst other things, including electric muscle stimulation — hmmm.
As for the rest of the running week, I managed just the one barefoot run on the road and some good quality miles.
Total miles: 34.6
Barefoot miles: 2