Saturday, February 28, 2009

Some Good Data

For today's track workout I decided to do a "transition" type session where I'd start at a slightly faster than threshold pace and ramp down to interval pace - the vehicle for this - 800m repeats w/ 2.5-min rests.

I had done this workout before back in October in the build leading up to the winter season.  Here are the results of that session:

Rep #TimeAve HRMax HRHR- 128HR Min

The idea is to get the body prepared for the faster paces (i.e. long interval sessions) that are coming.  The post from that workout can be seen here.  BTW - HR-128 and HR-Min are the time it took for the HR to get back to 128 and the min-HR during the subsequent rest period.   

I did today's workout a couple weeks earlier in the build than last time, but knowing I'm in considerably better shape than I was in October I penciled in the target paces as follows:  2:42-2:40-2:38-2:37-2:36.  (I was leaving a 6th rep as optional depending on how the session went)

The first rep came in as planned at 2:42, but the second rep started a bit quicker and stayed that way throughout.  I hit the watch and saw a 2:36 on rep #2 and immediately said, "damn, too fast".  I didn't figure I'd be able to maintain that pace, but that's in fact what happened:   2:36-2:37-2:36.  I was quite surprised - aside from rep #1 these were all very close to long interval paces.

But a quick look at the data shows that clearly this was not long interval effort:

Rep #TimeAve HRMax HRHR- 128HR Min

In fact, the HR data is quite a bit better than the October data even though the paces here are faster.  I was again surprised to see that the HR never exceeded 168 the entire workout.  However, I will state that the last two reps felt more difficult than that HR data would suggest, but I think this is likely due to my legs being tired.  I did not expect to be hitting these paces today - if I had, I'd have made sure my legs were a little more rested coming into the workout.  Nine sub-7 minute miles yesterday on the heels of the 7-miler @ 6:44 pace the day before did not set me up well for a fast workout today, but again I wasn't expecting this workout to go as well as it did.  If I thought I'd need to go low 2:30s in order to get the HR up to 170-173 I'd have made sure the legs were rested coming in.  

Also, for comparison - here's what a 5 x 800m long interval session looked like back in December:

Rep #TimeAve HRMax HRHR- 128HR Min

The paces of reps 2-5 are about 2-seconds faster than today, but at the cost of considerably higher HRs.  

In short, today I was able to hit close to interval paces (without that ever being the intention) at HRs that were lower than what I'd expect from a transition workout.  Maybe this will kick start the motivation again - hell, after the 5th rep today I even threw in a 400m.  


Fri, 2/27:  AM  5-miles @ 6:58 pace
PM 4-miles @ 6:56 pace

Sat, 2/28:  5-miles, including 5 x 800m (2:42-2:36-2:36-2:37-2:36) plus 400m (74):  2.5-min rests

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Better Day

Today I headed to the gym to get some upper body and core work done.  Afterwards, I went out for a 7-mile run, and for the first time since coming back from the injuries, I felt like myself - it was a nice change.  

I started out the way I typically do for the first couple of miles (about 7:10 pace), but I could tell right away that it was coming much easier than it had been the past few weeks.  The average time for the 7-miles came out to 6:44, which isn't such a big deal, but the way it unfolded made me feel like perhaps I'm getting my fitness back.  

7:07, 7:11, 6:51, 6:29, 6:33, 6:28, 6:27.  

A nice consistent effort for the last 4-miles.  The times here aren't that important to me as much as the effort required to produce them.  Nice to feel like myself again.  Of course this is only one run, so it doesn't mean all that much yet.  I'll probably be able to get a more solid assessment as to whether or not this was real or just a good day over the next week or so.


Thurs, 2/26:  lifting (upper-B, abs)
PM:  7-miles @ 6:44

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Need the Motivation to Pick Up

I headed over to the track on Tuesday to get in a few threshold miles.  The plan was 3 x 1-mile w/ 90-second rests.  I was looking to hit progressively faster times of 5:44 - 5:40 - 5:36.  

I haven't done much threshold work lately, and what I have done has been limited to 1000m repeats.  Combine that w/ my lack of motivation/concentration that is clearly from having busted my butt only to miss the entire winter season and now having many months until the next season, and it wasn't as good a day as it should have been.  (although there were some positives)

First mile came in at 5:41, a few seconds faster than planned.  Next mile didn't feel all that challenging and I came in at a surprising 5:35.  So far so good.  On the last mile, I started out a little quick w/ a 78 second first lap, and as is supposed to be the case if you're doing this workout properly - the last 1000m was going to be a little harder than the rest of the workout.  Unfortunately, I was simply not mentally up for doing it.  I hit the 2nd lap OK, and then half of lap #3 (1000m total) and then just decided to bail early.  Why?  I guess because my motivation is just low right now.  Was it harder than the first 2-miles, sure - it's supposed to be.  Was my time slow?  No - I was on 5:32 pace.  Was my HR off the charts?  No - only 1 or 2 ticks higher than the previous rep.  

What happened was it started to get a little harder, and I just didn't feel like pushing thru.  Too bad really, because I'd have easily finished in no worse than 5:35 for sure and I'd have then classified this as a pretty solid workout.  The positive?  Even though I'm still behind where I was on my fitness, I was still able to hit a 5:37 average pace w/ just the 90-second rests and the HR never went above 170.  Physically, I'm OK.  (not quite as fit as I was, but OK)  Unfortunately, I'm not where I need to be mentally in regards to focus and motivation.  I'm not going to beat myself up over it.  I think it's probably natural to have a bit of a let down when you bust your ass and have nothing to show for it (i.e. I didn't even get to attempt a single 800m race)  

But F-it.  That's over.  Time to get it going again.  I just have to put that disappointment behind me and go forward.  All you can do really.  

Later in the day I went to the gym and hit my heavy leg workout.  Today I just ran an easy 5-miler, which was tough because I was a little sore from the lifting.  I've got another threshold session late this week.  I'm not sure what the workout's going to be yet - maybe 2km repeats, but whatever it is, I need to make sure I'm mentally ready to go and ready to push through when it starts to get hard.


Tue, 2/24:  5-miles including 2 x 1-mile plus 1000m (should have been 3 x 1-mile)  5:41-5:35-3:27
PM - leg lifting (squats, presses, extensions, hip flexors, adductors, abductors, abs, calves)

Wed, 2/25:  5-miles @ 6:58

Monday, February 23, 2009

Decent Week

Wrapped up the week on Sunday w/ a 10-miler.  Weather conditions were terrible - rain, lots of mud, and very high winds.  But there's no way I'm missing a run after all the time off regardless of the weather.  Legs were a little tired early on due to the threshold work the previous day, but they felt better as the run progressed.  

Off day today and an appointment w/ the CMT.  If there's no soreness tomorrow, I'll be heading to the track to get in a few threshold mile repeats.

37 miles for the week - I was originally planning on being in the 40s here, but after seeing how meager the mileage was for about a month, I decided not to push it up too quickly.  

Average pace for the week of 6:44 is probably a record for me, not that it's very significant.  I wanted to get in some steady runs leading up to the track workouts (even though they'll just be threshold workouts this week)  so that was the reason for picking up the tempo on a few of these runs.


Sun, 2/22:  10-miles @ 7:02 pace

Mon, 2/23:  Off (appointment w/ CMT - general maintenance, hamstrings continue to improve)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Updated Training Schedule

On February 3rd, I posted this Training Schedule to prepare for the summer season.  This was simply a rough outline that I put together myself w/o coach's input.  I figured that once she and I spoke about it in detail, a slightly different plan would come together - and this is it:


Wk 1 – hills, cruise intervals, long run

Wk 2 – hills, tempo, long run

Wk 3- long intervals, cruise intervals, long run

Wk 4 – hills, long intervals, long run



Wk 1 – long intervals, high volume short intervals, long run

Wk 2 – long intervals, high volume short intervals, long run

Wk 3 – long intervals, speed (intro), short intervals, reduce long run distance to 10 miles

Wk 4 – long intervals, speed, short intervals, 8-10mile long run



Intro to anaerobic workouts

Wk 1 – longer intervals (low volume), speed, anaerobic short intervals, 8 mile long run

Wk 2 – longer intervals, speed, short intervals, 8 mile long run

Wk 3 – longer intervals, speed, anaerobic, 8 mile long run

Wk 4 longer intervals, speed, short intervals, 8 mile long run



Early Competitive

Anaerobic workouts, high intensity/low volume



Mid competitive




Late competitive


This plan is quite a bit different than the one I posted earlier.  About the only similarity is the stressing of the long intervals for an extended period of time.  However, this plan above is much more intense - a lot of the threshold work in the Feb-3 plan has been yanked out and replaced by short interval sessions.  We've also moved the hill portion up to the front.  

By the 2nd half of April I'll be up to three workouts per week in addition to the long run (although we'll be shortening the long run at that time).  Down weeks are not shown specifically, but they will be included - this plan is just meant to show what the emphasis will be each week/month.  Once June starts, the emphasis will move to speed work to prepare for the start of the season.  (long intervals should be finished by then)

I'm hoping to ramp the long run up to about 14-miles or so before we start cutting the distance back in late April.  

Next week will consist of two threshold sessions plus a long run, and then I jump into what's posted here.  Should be interesting.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Track Doesn't Lie

I made it back to the track today - it's been a long time.  Way too long.  My last attempt at a track workout was Jan-28, and the last time I was able to actually complete a workout was Jan-17 - a solid month ago.

It was good to be back.  Great thing about running on the track - the track doesn't lie, and there are no excuses.  It can't be, "well, I'm not sure the distance was accurate", or "I ran most of the run 'into the wind' ", or "this road/trail was a lot hillier than most".  No we have none of that at the track.  There are no hills, the distance is spot on accurate, and if you've got the wind in your face on one straightaway, then it's at your back on the other - there are no excuses.  

I could have used a couple of excuses today.  Not that it was 'that bad', but I'm clearly not where I was at the peak in mid-January.  The plan today was threshold 1000s - typically I do 5 x 1000m w/ 1-minute breaks, and when I was going well these started around 3:28 and ramped down into the low 3:20s - typically averaging about 3:25.  Today's plan called for times that were a bit slower and taking 90-second rests - but the upshot was that I was going to attempt a little more volume (7 x 1000m)  I figured I'd start at about 3:35 for the first two and then ramp down to about 3:26-3:27.

Started out OK - 3:34, 3:32, 3:28, 3:27, but after another 3:28 on #5, and a 3:27 on #6 I felt like I had had enough.  Again, not 'that bad', but I was hoping #6 would have been close to 3:25 w/ the feeling afterwards that I could go ahead and throw a 7th rep up there at 3:25 again.  I'm sure I could have done another one, probably at 3:25, but it would have taken too much out of me as I have a long run scheduled for tomorrow and that wasn't the point of the workout.

Nonetheless, it's great to be back on the track again.  If I can consistently do my usual two workouts/week, I'm sure those times will come back into range in a couple of weeks.  

After the workout I headed over to the gym to get in a solid upper body lifting session and a few sets of leg presses. (I usually have a heavy leg day early in the week, and a light day later in the week - this was the light day)


Fri, 2/20:  4-miles @ 6:46 pace  (all I had time for)

Sat, 2/21:  5-miles including 6 x 1000 (3:34, 32, 28, 27, 28, 27) 
Average pace of 1000s - 5:37, ave pace including warm up - 5:50  (w/u mile - 6:42)

PM:  lifting (upper-A, abs, core)