If I had to pick a date on when this started, I would say December 2003.  About a week before Christmas at my parent’s house.  My brother asked if I was still running.  I replied yes but it’s been a while. Actually it had been several months since I had run a step. He asked if I thought I could break a 5 minute mile.

“Probably not, that’s pretty fast and I am getting on in years.”
“Do you think you could run a marathon?”
“Yes, I would have to train, but I could do it.”
“Do you want to run a marathon with me?”

Well, there wasn’t much backing out at that point. The thing I never counted on though, was how much I like training and preparing for the big races. Now, with 15,000 miles under my belt, a bunch of marathons, 3 Ironmans, 5 ultra finishes at 100 miles, and 10 months away from turning 50, I am trying to find the limits of my ability. For the past 5 years at the marathon I seem to be terminally stuck in the 2:50’s. When I train hard, it’s the low end, but then last March on minimal training with no speed work or long runs over 16 miles I still ran 2:59.

My basic plan is to run as much as I can, which is usually about 80-100 miles/week, mostly alternating days between very easy runs with heart rate below 140 and moderate runs with heart rate in the 150’s.  About 1 day a week I want to spend some time at race effort, which for the marathon is 165 – 167 bpm.

I decided to start this blog mainly to give myself a reason and a place to document all the performance data I collect, to share my results and way of looking at things with anyone who is interested, and hopefully get some new ideas as well.  So anyway, this is where things are…

July 17, 2011 – Week #2 State of Fitness

To measure my performance I prefer to look at the entire range of workouts rather than a few specific tests.  I typically set my Garmin gps to record splits every mile and then turn those results into the chart below.  The trend line is not mathmatically based but is my gut feel on the best fit.  For example, I ignored the few points showing hr of 167 at an 8 minute pace.  These were recorded on a recovery run, at mid day in full sun with a long sleeve shirt and temperature around 98.  The data fits pretty well with my last marathon in March where I ran 2:59.  Hopefully this line will drop over the next few months.

Week #2 Training

Total miles:  82

Total time:   11:52

Here are histograms of pace and heart rate for last weeks training.

Well, no point in trying to get everything out on the first post.  I need to go for my second run of the day and get ready for the week ahead.  And if you haven’t figured this out yet, I work days as an engineer.