Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Brutal Conditions

Wow, what a difficult day.  A long session in absolutely brutal conditions:  volume speed workout on the schedule:  2x200m, 2x300m, 2x400m, 600m, 2x400m, 2x300m, 2x200m, and this was run under a "high wind advisory" where we had gusts up over 35 mph.  That's some tough sledding.  

The idea for this w/o at this stage of the build is to get in some solid volume at a pace that's faster than the long intervals, but not really "fast".  Target paces:  200s - 33, 300s - 50, 400s - 68, 600 - 1:45 w/ a jog in between each rep equal in length to the previous repeat.  The way it should go is that I typically run the 200s a little quicker, and then just get into a nice rhythm throughout.  The paces are a little quick, but not to the point where I need to over exert myself and the total volume at pace winds up being the real value of the session.  

I'm comfortable running this type of workout in the heat, in the rain, whatever - but extremely high winds make this kind of session quite a challenge.  How bad was the wind?  On one repeat I started off in lane-1 . . . and later found myself in lane-3!  I'm supposed to be averaging about 17-seconds per 100m here - one 100m stretch took me 21-seconds.  (I came very close to coming to a complete stop for a second there)  And making things even more 'enjoyable' was the fact that the wind was coming at an angle such that I was dead against it on one of the turns, (and thus the wind was w/ me on the other turn), but on the straights, it felt like it was a good 80% against me on one - and nothing more than a cross wind on the other.  (i.e. 200m against the wind, 100m with the wind, and 100m w/ a cross wind)  Just awful.

I got a good sense of just how  tough the day would be after the 200s. The last time I ran timed 200s was during a warmup about a month ago.  There I ran two 200s in sub-28, but it felt like a nice relaxed effort.  The first 200 yesterday I figured I'd put in a good 30-31 effort, but was amazed to see a 33.  Next 200 - same thing.  I upped my effort a little more - still 33.  Wow, this was going to be a mess.

At this point I figured my times for the day were going to be out the window and perhaps I should just accept it, run the workout on "effort" and try to get into the rhythm I was looking for.  However, I'm pretty stubborn when it comes to repeats. . . .

300s - 48, 49
400s - 67, 67

I really had to work for these, but I still felt like I was in a good rhythm.

The 600 was laughable.  First 300 in 51 seconds, and then I went into the wind on the back straight - got blown into
lane 2, and that 100m took me 21-seconds!!  Then I had the turn dead into the wind, just awful.  I finished in a crappy 1:47.

After the 600, the tone of the workout totally changed.  It was no longer going to be a "get into the flow" kind of thing.  I had almost half the workout to go, and I was tired of getting blown all over the place.  I was pissed (in a good way if there's such a thing) and I started working harder to cut through the wind.   

400s - 67, 66 (the 66 felt like a 61-62 effort)
300s - 48, 47 (I hit that 2nd 300 pretty hard)
200s - 29

As I got to the start of the 2nd 200 my left calf started to cramp a bit.  I figured I only had one more 200 left and I wanted to finish, so I gave it a go.  After about 140m I felt the cramp coming on so I eased up.  No injury, no big deal - my body was just telling me it had had enough for one day.  

The totals were:

33-33, 48-49, 67-67, 1:47, 67-66, 48-47, 29-x

But the effort required to get those times was probably at least 2-3 seconds/400 more than that.  Very challenging day.  I'll have to wait and see how I feel over the next day or two before we nail down the specifics of the Fri/Sat session. 

Best of luck to you Boston guys during your final prep before the big show!


Mon, 4/13:  5-miles @ 6:57 pace

Tues, 4/14:  7-miles including 2x200, 2x300, 2x400, 600, 2x400, 2x300, 2x200 (times above)


Michael said...

Wow, what a long w/o and in rough conditions, well done!

bricey said...

nice 'wind assisted' workout. Even the 600 wasn't too far off the mark given the challenging conditions!! That session reminds me of the type of workouts I used do in college. If I ever get back running :) I must get myself down to the track to see if I still capable of such a pyramid workout.


Living on the coast we get our fair share of strong winds to!
At the end of the day the winds a bit of a bummer but on a positive side it will make you mentally and physically stronger!
But why do they always build tracks in the most exposed windy places possible!!!
nice workout!

Grellan said...

Gutsy workout Mike. You seem very hard on yourself - 2 seconds off pace on the 600 is hardly "crappy" in still conditions let alone high winds. If anything you were close to overcooking the effort - You said it yourself "2/3 seconds faster per 400". As Rick said good mental workout also.