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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Intensity Vs. Duration For An Old Athlete!

One of the things that you learn from your running as you approach 40 years, is that every age is different. I was reading this book over the last week, and it teaches you some things that you didn't want to learn, along with some things you do. Your 60's are the decade with the greatest performance loss of all of your decades, with an average 31% decline in performance over those ten years. You can't combat this with higher mileage or running more days, but only by including more intensity into your running.....more short intervals, more tempo work, and especially short and long hill work. You need to include this in at least two of your runs per week. Since I live in pancake village,the hills will have to occur on treadmills. Anyway, one of the things that I had really not thought about that was covered extensively in the book was the relationship of intensity vs. duration when you are running the same race distances at substantially slower paces. In my 30's when I ran over 60 5K's in the 17:45 to 18:20 range, I could run them with absolute abandon due to their short duration. Running a 5K now in the 26-28 minute range, I can't run like that, because the event just lasts too long. I would probably need to find a 3K race in order to duplicate that intensity. Similarly, in my 30's, I covered around 25 10K's in the 37-38 minute range. When I now run them in 57-58 minutes, I clearly can tell that I am holding the intensity back and running them like the 15K's and 10 milers I also did in my 30's. Your brain can calculate how hard you can run in anticipation of how long you will be is an incredible computer, especially when it has almost 40 years of data that allows it to use your breathing intensity and muscle contractions to redline in relation to expected duration. So if I was running against 30's Tom, the only way I could match his intensity is bye running for the same duration....old Tom would just be way the hell further down the road.....
Bride is home and doing dandy. She has surely had a rough three years. I sure hope, that in similar fashion to my last 10 months, she gets a good period of health and comfort over the rest of this year....

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