Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Updated Training Plan

As much as typing w/ one hand is a pain in the ass - not being able to train is driving me nuts, so here I am at the computer again.

I have an appointment w/ the specialist on Thursday.  Hopefully things go well and I can get this cast off.  I'm also hoping to get the green light to at least use the spinner bike to x-train.

My winter season that was to run through the end of February is over.  The original plan had me taking off the first week of March (between seasons) and then going into a mini-build mode for 5-6 weeks before getting into the more serious stuff (long intervals, short intervals, etc) in late April.

The logical thing to do now is to simply assume I've got an extra month of build time for the summer season.  This week is my off week, obviously - and whenever I get the green light from the doctor I'll start my light running/x-training.  I will likely be doing two-a-days about three times per week to get the weekly mileage into the 50s.  (that would be the most ever for me)

Here's a tentative look at my 15-week base period prior to hitting the speed work: (I haven't run this by JT yet, but we've discussed a lot of what's shown here.  I'll update this if we make significant changes)

WeekWorkout #1Workout #2Workout #3MPW
2/2 - 2/8   0
2   40-45
3 Cruise Int.Long Run45-50
4TempoCruise Int.Long Run45-50
3/2 - 3/8TempoCruise Int.Long Run50-55
6 Cruise Int.Long Run40-45
7Long Int.Cruise Int.Long Run50-55
8Long Int.TempoLong Run50-55
9Long Int.Cruise Int.Long Run55-60
4/6 - 4/12 Tempo 45-50
11Long Int.HillsLong Run55-60
12Long Int.Cruise Int.Long Run55-60
13Long Int.HillsLong Run55-60
14 Tempo 45-50
5/11 - 5/17Long Int.HillsLong Run55-60

Threshold work in red, long intervals in blue, and hills in green.  Workout #1 is typically Tuesday or Wednesday, workout #2 is either Friday or Saturday, and the long run is almost always on Sunday.  You can see here that there are some down weeks scheduled into the program.

This certainly looks quite a bit different than my previous base work (and obviously very different than the base work for a distance runner), but keep in mind, my last build will provide a huge foundation for the work ahead.  What's not shown here is that I will be running 6-days per week (all other days are easy days) and there will be a fair amount of time dedicated to weight training throughout much of this period.

Last time I was fairly new to running, so there were a lot more easy days and the threshold period went on for a while longer.  Weekly mileage never went above the high 40s, and long intervals were never the focus.  I did some long intervals during the speed phase, which worked out very well, but we essentially went from easy to threshold to hills to speed.  This was partially due to me being a new runner needing a longer "easy" period, and partially due to getting the most "bang for the buck" w/ the speed work prior to racing season.  

However, much of that speed endurance comes from the intense long interval training which is vital for middle distance runners, so having a period where they are the primary focus should take my running to a new level.  Also, there will be more long tempo in here than last time, and that should also help w/ the endurance.  

A few people have mentioned to me that the speed work appears much more difficult than the long intervals, but it's very much the opposite or me.  During these sessions I'm often running 4000 - 4500 meters at sometimes faster than 3k race pace w/ fairly short breaks.  The first couple of intervals are usually not so bad, but when I only get 2.5-3 minutes break after a 1200m at 3k pace, and I might be heading into my 3rd one - I can tell you for sure that about 600m into that rep, I really want to quit.  Daniels classifies the "Intervals" as the most challenging period (as opposed to his "Reps" which are the equivalent of my short intervals)

Later in this phase I'll get back to my hill work which is usually 10 x 1-minute w/ a jog back down (unfortunately no rest between).  Extending past this 15-week period there may be one more hill session, but the focus will shift over to the "Rep" or short interval work, w/ probably some long intervals and/or threshold work mixed in as the secondary workout.  I'll probably start rolling back the mileage by June 1st.

So there it is - my tentative base plan for the next three and a half months.  I just need to get the OK from the doc to get started!


bricey said...

now that sounds like a plan... I've certainly noticed a significant improvement in my endurance since I'm hitting upwards of 45-50 miles per week. It really helps with that long kick to the finish!! I'm interested in why your choosing to do two-a-days instead of a single longer run. I'd have thought that you'd see more benefit from regularly hitting 8-10 mile runs than 2 sessions of 4-5miles?

More importantly what I most impressed about is the amount you can type with one hand. At this rate your typing hand will have the strongest muscles in your body!! :) Hope the recovery is going well and that you'll be able to implement your plan soon.

Mike said...

Thanks Brendan.

Once the mileage hits 55 or so per week, the plan calls for one longer run (11-14 miles), one 8-9 miler, two 10-11 mile days broken down into 2-runs, (and the two workouts w/ one off day)

What it comes down to is recovery. I get my miles in w/ great recovery if I break some days into two runs. If all my easy days are 10-milers, it takes away from my workouts.

To a large degree, the main goal for some of these easy days is nothing more than to get the junk out of the legs following a tough workout. (the cool down never does a good enough job for whatever reason) On these days, the morning 5-miler is sluggish, but the afternoon run feels great and then I'm ready to go again the next day.

Michael said...

Really sorry to hear about your hand, I hope things heal well. As for the high-level program... it looks good but then I've never trained for those shorter distances. Best fo luck!

Mike said...

Hey Michael - I think some of my program is similar to what you guys do. (my cruise intervals wind up close to 5k pace, tempos around 10k pace, and the intervals around 3k pace) I'm sure the actual make up of the wo are different, but the relative pacing is close I think.

I believe the speed stuff is what's different. A lot of mile race pace work, 800m race pace work, and then some stuff closer to 500m-600m race pace.

And of course, I don't do that heavy mileage you guys do.

BTW - really enjoying reading about your wos. Jon has you doing some really cool stuff. You're going to hit a new set of PRs this year for sure!!

Ewen said...

That looks like a good plan to me Mike. So there'll be no track races before the summer season?

I think the higher weekly mileage will definitely help - both with giving you the base for the hard workouts, and for better aerobic conditioning.

I'll differ to Bricey in that I think (for you) the 2/day sessions will give you equal or better value than say, one 8-10 mile run. The am run could be pure recovery and the pm run something faster. I tend to think it's the total volume of the weekly miles that gives you the base.

Also, the speed-endurance from a relatively high volume of long intervals is good value too.

Mike said...

Ewen - unfortunately the winter season ends Feb 28 around here. Then it starts up again in June, so no track races in between.

I'm sure I'll run a 5k or two during the training, and I think I'll be able to do a couple of time trials in late May/early June to see where I'm at.

I'm going to put up some time goals in another post.

In regards to the two-a-days, that's exactly how I do them. The morning run is crappy and the pace is poor, but in the afternoon I feel great. Maybe when I get better, I'll be able to handle longer easy runs on a daily basis, for now I'm just not good enough. :(

bricey said...


Thanks for the clarification. I can see the logic now and given that you're concentrating on the shorter distances your approach makes a lot of sense. I suppose for me the difficulty would be to find 2 free slots in a given day to get out and run. It's easier for me to 'stay out' once I 'get out'!!