Well, the 5k race was the official end to my base phase. Thanks to all for the kind words in the comments section - very much appreciated!! Now it's time to start gearing up for the season. Dropping my 5k time down 40-seconds compared to the winter build makes me feel as though I've made some solid progress on the endurance front. (officially I knocked off 50-seconds, but I think the first course was a little long)
Roughly, the way this is going to go is as follows:
April - volume speed work, long intervals, easy long run (per week)
May - higher intensity speed work/anaerobic work, lower volume long intervals, quicker and shorter long run
June - very high intensity speed/anaerobic work (twice per week), up-tempo longish run (maybe 8-miles)
Essentially I start w/ higher volume, lower intensity speed work and as we move along, the volume will decrease some as the intensity ratchets way up. The next 10-11 weeks are critical, and I have to be mentally ready to handle the challenges I'll face week in and week out. As coach described it, "You'll feel OK for the first couple of weeks. But soon the fatigue will build up and you'll feel pretty horrible almost every day for a good 7-8 weeks." Ah, gotta love middle distance training. . . .
Today marked day #1 of the new phase. On tap 8 x 400m (was going to be 10, but JT cut me some slack due to some residual soreness on Sunday from Saturday's race) Target was to start at about 74-seconds and then quickly get down to 72 for the bulk of the reps. In between I would be jogging a 200m.
As luck would have it, we got some rain today so this track session would be a bit of a slosher. I skipped the 2 x 200m as part of the warm up due to it being cold as well as wet. (why chance a strained whatever in these crappy conditions) This usually makes the first rep or two a little sluggish and that was the case today. I opened w/ a 74, and rep #2 also clocked in at 74.
By number three I was hoping I'd start to get into the flow a little better and I was happy to see a 3rd rep of 70. A little fast, but at least the sluggishness was gone. I figured I'd dial it in to 72 on the next rep, but it was fast again - 70. I was feeling pretty good, so I just went w/ the flow - the last four were: 70-70-69-67. (I know JT's going to ding me for the last one. She said "no 69s" for this workout. She might let one 69 slide, but a 67 - nope, I'm gonna get yelled at)
What was nice here was that I felt I could do a few more w/ no issue. This is a complete 180 from the long interval sessions where I'm almost always praying for the darn thing to be over. . . . after interval #2. Well, I've got a LIH (Long Interval from Hell) session scheduled for Fri/Sat - so we'll see how that one goes. So far the change in phases is very refreshing - but that could just have been the rain!
Sun, 4/5: 4-miles recovery, 7:15 pace
Mon, 4/6: lifting (upper-B, abs) stretching, rolling
Tues, 4-miles including, 8 x 400m (74, 74, 70, 70, 70, 70, 69, 67) 200m jog rests