Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Magic Carpet

After my fast runs on the treadmill last week I was actually looking forward to trying the "Boulder 10K" preset again this week. I ran it in 40:39 last week without going all-out. I figured that I didn't want to try it again last week, so I let my body rest a bit and came back on Tuesday at lunch. My hamstrings were still sore yesterday from doing dead-lifts at the gym last Friday. It was the first time in a few years that I'd done dead-lifts and I didn't use much weight (only 95 lbs!). Luckily the soreness didn't seem to affect my running.

The "Boulder 10K" is the only 10K preset on the treadmill. It starts out with a 2 minute warm-up period at walking speed which I turn up to an 8:00/mi pace. After the 2 minutes the clock starts and the speed increases to your pre-selected pace. You have to enter your speed in MPH instead of per-mile pace so I started with 9.5 MPH (6:18/mi pace)

The course starts out with no incline but over time it mixes up the incline between 0% and 3%, usually for anywhere from 0.2km - 1.0km. It's never really that hard, not even the 1km section at 3% because the incline sections are so short. The only shocker is a 0.2km section at 6% right before the end of the race. Back to my "race": I started out at 9.5 MPH and planned to pick up the pace if I was feeling good half way through.

I've heard people use the term "Magic Carpet" referring to the treadmill and I think it's apt as running on the treadmill feels so much easier than running on the road. You only have to keep up with the belt moving under you and not really propel yourself along. Looking at a treadmill effort chart, my 6:18 pace was equivalent to a 6:35 pace when I was running at 0% incline, 6:22 at 1% and 6:09 at 2%. I'm using this chart as a reference.

I felt good at the half way point (which I ran in ~19:30) and upped the pace to 9.7 MPH (6:11/mi). A few KM later I was starting to feel winded but still pretty good. I was fine on the 0% sections (which were equivalent to a slower pace really) and able to
hang on during the 2% and 3% sections. I increased the pace a few more times until the last 1km when I had the treadmill up to 10.2 MPH (5:53/mi). I couldn't keep that pace for the 6% spike so I slowed down to an 8:30/mi pace for the spike and then pushed it right back up to 10.2 MPH for the last 0.4km to the finish.

I didn't see the finishing time on the display because it immediately goes into a 2.0mph cool down which I bumped up to a 6.0 MPH pace for 2 minutes. After the cool down completed the treadmill stopped and my results came out:

Time: 38:23
Dist: 10K
Avg pace: 6:11/mi
Elevation: 400 ft.

I don't put much stock into that time unless I compare it against another treadmill 10K. I think that I'd add a 1 - 1.5 minutes onto that time for an approximation of a road 10K time on a semi-flat course. *Maybe* I'm under 40 minute pace on a good day. This does bode well for the 40 after 40 contest proposed by my friend MThead and quickly agreed to by Nockee and another friend. The goal being to break 40 in the 10K after turning 40. I turn 40 late next year so I have plenty of time to hunt for a fast 10K course that's hopefully flatter than the one I ran in Gig Harbor on Thanksgiving. With my form this good in the winter I just need to find a way
to keep from getting burned out before next fall but still keep my speed. I hope to run a couple of 50 km races next year to keep things interesting. Nothing planned yet but a few potentials that I'm looking into.

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