I went in for lactate threshold testing this weekend. I thought
lactate threshold measured how much ice cream you could eat in one
sitting; boy was I wrong.
I met with "Jennifer" from Phase IV.
Sweet, cute little Jennifer. Or as I call her, the Santa Monica Sadist. This girl was out for blood. Literally. The
first thing she did was slash open my finger and make me bleed.
Jennifer had me take a nice leisurely stroll on a treadmill. Then
after 4 minutes, I had a 60-second break and SLASH! She ripped open
another finger. Then she pushed the Evil Button on the machine which
sped up the torture device another .5 mph. It was an endless cycle: run, bleed, speed up. Repeat. It would only end when I surrendered. In a twisted Pavlovian experiment, it wasn't long before I was begging her to cut me; if I was bleeding, at least it meant I wasn't running.
Truth be told, it wasn't really that bad. When I started, I wasn't
sure how or when it would end. But when I started the next interval
after 40 minutes I knew: yup, this is the last one. It was tough.
I don't fully understand all the data, but Jennifer reviewed it with
me. She told me that based upon my training paces, I'm probably
training too hard. For my longer runs, she says I should slow down my
pace by as much as 2 minutes per mile.
I accept the science that says you should stay aerobic if you want to
improve. But I am kinda bummed about her advice. For starters, slower
runs take longer. This could add 20 minutes to a weekend run. Also, I
don't care if I'm anaerobic; I like running with the Axis of Evil from
time to time.
The way I see it, I'm not training for the Olympics. I'll try some
slower runs from time to time. But I'm not going to give up having
some fun. If my training is not ideal, so be it.