The best way to quantify the previous paragraph is in terms of time and heart rate. Of course doing so cheapens the sensations and challenges that accompany actual human endurance feats, but serves to establish a reference. Short duration represents efforts between 30 and 90 minutes. High intensity represents anaerobic efforts at a steady pace that began greater than 80% max heart rate and feature significant cardiac drift to maximum heart rate. Long duration reflects efforts greater than 2 hours. Aerobic efforts are those that take place at a low heart rate and feature no cardiac drift at a sustainable pace.
|My most loyal training partner is tireless and unstoppable in the cool weather and has been packing our food and drink for long runs. Here he is excited to go.|
My first marathon was nothing special, just a training run with my dog the Sunday after Thanksgiving. The weather could have been better at 37 F and 18-22 mph winds but to fully appreciate the best we have to experience the worst. I split the run into three sections and took a food and water break for the dog and I at miles 9 and 18. The first nine were easy with the wind at my back, the second nine more challenging into the wind and the last 8.2 miles were 100% of the effort. I have never had so desperate a recovery by the time I finished. My animal was annoyingly strong and capable. All the details are on Garmin connect.
I can only describe the run as a failure, the last 10k were a terrible struggle and I found my limits well before I finished. Had the run gone well I would have learned little, failure is the greatest teacher and as such the run was a great success. There is plenty for me to adjust for future efforts from pacing to food and water intake etc... Now that I have experience at this distance I can better understand and appreciate the training theory that accompanies it.
I have long been aware of the concept of high mileage training to include recovery runs but dismissed the notion as junk miles. After failing to conquer my first attempt at a century ride, and other experiences cycling I began to rethink running. Seeing the writings and accomplishments of runners successfully utilizing high mileage training plans further fueled my intrigue, notably Britt of ChicagoRunner Girl. Excellent accounts about the merits of recovery runs by Patrick Mahoney at Endurance Athlete Project and of base training here and here by Will at An Ultra Runners Blog greatly aided in my acceptance and understanding of aerobic training. I am thankful to all for sharing their accounts.