Week of March 2-8
|Drills and Strides, Massage
This week was my only real planned down week for this cycle, but that is because the cycle ended up not being very long. Since I ended up training through after the USA Half Marathon Champs, there was only room for 7 weeks for a training cycle, if you take out my post Houston down week, two transitional weeks, and a taper. But this short cycle has been a good trial to see how I can handle, both the longer four week cycles and a good training block, like the one that I will do before a marathon.
Since I had a race/workout on Saturday, Sunday’s long run was meant to be a normal long run. Basically that is a long run with no surges. This would be my first long run in a while that I was not surging during. In the end it was a good thing, as I was very tired the first hour. For the run Joe, Kevin, and I headed out to Tuxedo Lake. It was so nice outside I was wearing shorts and a shirt. This was one of the first runs in a while that I have been able to start without pants or tights on. Even with great weather, the run seemed to take forever, which was the consensus among the three of us. We were glad to finish and head to the dinning hall.
Monday was one of those days that I get ever so rarely, a planned day off (my last one was over a month ago). I say planned because I have had many, many, many unplanned days off do to injury. Luckily only a very few of those days have been in the last three years. Pete always says, “The absence of training is part of training.” Your body takes time to recover from days upon days of hard training, so in that respect a day off can actually help boost your fitness. It gives your legs the time they need to recover, so that you can continue to train at a high level.
My workout for the week ended up being on Wednesday to let me have enough time to recover from the weekend’s race and long run. Wednesday was 10 days before Gate River run and Pete always likes to do a big “fitness booster” workout around that time. Most studies show that it takes about 10 days to get the benefit from a workout. This workout was another big one, as it was 13.4km (8.3 miles) worth of work (hard running). I have been noticing that my workouts have been getting longer in this last cycle. I am sure it is because Pete is testing the waters for the fall. Wednesday’s workout was:
2km with 3.5 min rest, two sets of “Canova Ks” (5/4) with 1:45 min rest and 3.5 min between sets, 4 x 600m snowball with 1:45 min rest.
This workout has a lot of parts to it, but they are all there for a reason. The opening 2km is there to put some “junk in your legs.” This piece alone should not be the workout in itself, but it works as a way to make you a bit tired for the rest of the workout. The “Canova Ks” are 1km pieces that are run alternating between threshold pace and a faster pace. These ended up being run between half marathon pace and 10km pace. The last part is the 600m snowballs. A snowball repetition is where every you change gears at set intervals. It can be either time based or distance based, but you do not want too many changes. The optimal amount is 3-4, so we were changing gears every 200m. This helps work on reacting to changes in pace and gradually speeding up through out the rep.
Pete scheduled Joe, Kevin, Chris, and my workouts to be similar enough to run together. I was the only one with an opening piece so I started about 10 minutes before them and ran that part alone. It felt good and unfortunately I messed up the course so I was not able to get a split for it. But I was running right around 4:35 mile pace. I took my break and all of us started our km pieces together. It was nice to have some people to workout with, because I have been working out alone for the last month and a half. Since they were not doing “Canova Ks,” I would give them a 6 second cushion and gradually catch them over the course of the rep. It ended up being very effective for me to pick it up on the faster km. Joe, Kevin, and Chris left after the 8th km to do their 600m pieces and I was left alone to finish the last km by myself. Usually I do not get caught up in the numbers of the workout, but I knew that I had been running fast and set a goal of running 2:45 for the last one. This is my 5km PB pace, but I knew that I could hit it and stay fully with in myself. I hit my spur of the moment time goal and jogged over to the grass track for my 600m snowballs. I ran my last four reps with Joe and Kevin, and learned that all of the miles have dulled my fast twitch muscles. Pete let us off the leash on the last rep, and I was blown away the last 200m.
Initially Pete had me scheduled for another workout on Friday, but since my workout on Wednesday was a very quality workout, we decided to not do it. I think that this was a good choice, as I have been feeling very tired and need time to recover, so instead I just did miles.
Looking back at the week, Wednesday is going to be one of my last big workouts, not only before Gate, but also the World Half Champs. After Gate, I will begin a small peak into the World Champs. It was a very good workout and I was happy with the times that I ran. Also, I think that it was a better than my workouts right before the USA Half Champs. I know that I am in fantastic shape and will be aiming at a top 15 finish at the end of the month, but first I get to go mix it up with the best of the US.
2:56, 2:48, 2:55, 2:47, 2:52/2:56, 2:46, 2:54, 2:45 1:39, 1:38, 1:40, 1:37