Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Bit Out of Reach

JT had a very tough workout slated for early this week and she wanted me to take an extra easy day beforehand which would have pushed the w/o to Wednesday.  Unfortunately, I have my CMT appt scheduled for Wednesday morning, and I was unable to change it.  With the quad perhaps still a mild concern, and the left hip flaring up I really didn't want to cancel, so that meant I'd have to do the session today.  

With that being the case, we switched up the session giving me one that would be less demanding:

2 x 200m:  31-32
5 x 400m:  68 (90-second rests)
4-minutes break
3 x 400m:  66 (90-second rests)
3-minutes break
2 x 200m: 31-32

Yeah, that's the 'easy' one - the other one was a real beast!  I knew looking at this, that I was probably in trouble.  Two weeks ago I did 8 x 400m at about 70 w/ 2-min rests.  Today I was cutting 2+ seconds/lap, cutting 30-seconds off the rest, AND it was 25+ degrees warmer today.  (not a great combination)  I decided to give it my best shot and see how it went.

The highlight of the session was the opening 200s.  Being careful to baby the quad, I ramped the pace up very slowly for the first 30 yards or so, got up to a halfway decent pace by the 100m mark, picked it up a little for the next 70 meters and then eased up towards the finish.  Nice and smooth, never pushed it - 28.6  Did the same on #2 - 28.6  I was fully expecting to see 30-31s w/ that effort, so to see 28s was a pleasant surprise.

However, the rest of the w/o didn't go quite so smoothly!  The good news was that the hip and quad gave me ZERO issues (probably all that digging into the hips w/ the tennis ball yesterday to alleviate the stiffness) But damn - my glutes were SORE!

The first couple quarters were fine, but the short rest started catching up to me after #3.  Times were:

69-67-68-68-69  (the last one was tough)

By now I was feeling pretty dead.  How the hell was I going to do a second set at 66 w/ the same 90-second rests??  Answer - I wasn't.  I took an extra minute between sets, but I was still feeling pretty awful.  I gave it a go, but after an opening 32-second 200 the wheels started to come off and I finished w/ a 68.  Now in fairness, I was not gunning these things - if I was going to do that, there'd have been no point in going away from the original workout.  This was supposed to be a more 'relaxed' session.  But no matter how you sliced it, I was pretty dead at this point.  I imagine I could have toughed it out and thew a 69 up there, gone right to the 3-minute rest (dropping the last rep) and done a couple of token 200s to close the session, but I got everything I wanted out of this one . . . . I was healthy!  Exhausted, sore, hot (it was about 85 degrees), but healthy.

Later I headed over to the gym to get in my primary leg lifting session for the week.  I'll have to talk to coach to see what she thinks about this session.  Clearly I wasn't able to do what she thought I could do.  Was it the soreness, the temperature, or just a slight overreach for my current capabilities?  Perhaps a combination of all of them.  For some reason, I'm not overly disappointed w/ the session - although I didn't hit the goal, I'm pretty sure I gave what I had out there today.  

The most important thing now is to have that appt w/ the CMT, make sure I'm healthy, get some rest, (a few VERY easy runs over the next couple of days) and get ready to really start hitting it.  I've got to start the serious speed work ASAP - the season is little more than 2-months away!!


Mon, 4/20:  Off  (stretching, rolling)

Tues, 4/21:  2x200 (28.6, 28.6), 5x400 (69,67,68,68,69), 5-minutes, 1x400 (68)  90-seconds between reps
PM - lifting on legs, stretching, rolling



Is it really healthy to time every session, maybe you could run the session untimed for a couple of sessions [ run on feel]then see how you are doing, sometimes putting a watch on all your training can be pretty hard mentally and even set barriers in the way of your improvement


also was it not the great Arthur lydiard that said a coach could only set guide lines for the athletes interval training but it must be the athlete who makes the decision of how much they can handle on any given day!

Ewen said...

Glad the hip didn't cause any problems Mike.

Probably a good idea to cut the session short in view of how you were feeling. Nice speed on the 200s that's for sure!

Mike said...

Thanks for the comments guys.

Rick - I hear what you're saying. I agree that getting nutty about it (i.e. "two weeks ago I ran such and such a workout w/ an average HR of 155 and today I ran it w/ a HR of 158, oh my god, what's going on!" - yeah that's overboard)

Easy runs, long runs, and even tempo runs can go untimed, but IMO, my reps and interval sessions should always be timed. I think you have a little more leeway when it's a straight repeat session (like 8 x 400m). But oftentimes, I'm doing things like 6 x 300m at X-pace (to generate a specific amount of fatigue) before hitting the second set at Y-pace (to get me used to running at that specific pace w/ the fatigue/lactic acid in the legs)

If I run the first set too slowly we don't get the desired effect on set #2 (which in this case is the real meat of the w/o) And if I run the first set too quickly, then I can't handle set #2 which essentially renders this type of session useless.

Usually, I need to have the paces in there to make sure I don't go too fast early and hang myself out to dry late. - especially when the reps are not all the same length.

Certainly there are times when you have to make adjustments for that given day, and I believe as long as you don't get too crazy about it when those days occur it shouldn't have a negative mental effect.

But, I hear what you're saying - you definitely don't want the paces to constrain you, and you don't want to get yourself in a position where you're adversely affected mentally if you don't hit such and such a pace that day. Good advice - thanks!!