Had a very bad couple of weeks for training. Work has been pretty hectic. To put it in perspective, my company is giving me this week. Now, I'm going to try and get some exercise.
Monday: 1:45h run in the AM (13 mi). Ran across the key bridge, through georgetown and up to the national mall then back by arlington cemetary and through rosslyn before up wilson and back home. Was kind of tired, but overall, I felt great.
30 minute bike then weights in the pm, did some squats in addition to my normal core/arms and legs routine
Tuesday: 1h run on the treadmill. There's a windchill of 5F so I wussed out and went to the gym. Ran really easy. Just over 7 mi. Evening - weights, upper body
Wednesday: 6 miles, 44 minute; last 1.5 mile at 6:00 min/mile pace
Re-upped with my coach. I don't really have time to do a good job keeping myself on a training plan and I was really happy with the plan he put me on last year. (My training plan is on the right.)
John talked me into running a spring marathon. I'll probably do one in Frederick, MD in May. I'll shoot for 3:00-3:05 for that one. It's flat and probably a good goal.
Doing a spring marathon is probably a good idea because the Cherry Blossom wasn't really a goal that got me feeling like I needed to be heading out the door every day for training. That's probably obvious from my last few weeks...
Sunday: 5 miles (8 min/mile pace)
Monday: 4 miles (8:15 min/mile)
Tuesday: 4 miles (8:15 min/mile) in the am; 3.25 miles in the pm (8:00 min/mile) - probably too fast in the latter session.
Thursday: 7.25 miles (8:13 min/mile)
Friday: Short spin on the bike and weights
Saturday: 14 miles (8:20 min/mile) Felt pretty good.
Week Goals: I think 37 miles is a reasonable target for me this week. It'll take some good time management (and probably a couple of big days on the Sun. and Sat.). I've pretty much already decided that next week will have to be a recovery week due to an overwhelming amount of work.
I'm really, really resisting the urge to pick up the pace during my runs. Mentally, I feel like I'm going slow. Looking around the gym, it's hard not to notice how everyone's treadmill is moving faster than mine. Physically, I feel like I can run faster without really increasing my exertion.
That said, I really committed to a period of LSD work prior to my specific prep period, so I'm going to stick it out.
I made the decision on Sunday to shift this weekend to a recovery week and target 15 miles of volume. 3 weeks on/1 week off is the right way to do it, and so that's the plan for now.
Sunday:12 miles - off
Monday: 5 miles - 3 miles (7:53 min/mile pace)
Wednesday: 5 miles - 3 miles (8:00 min/mile pace) - I'm glad I took a recovery week. Also, I'm sleeping more this week. >7h so far every night.
Saturday:Whatever running is left (currently 10 miles) and probably a strength session. Ran 4 miles in the morning.
Week Review: 10 miles for the week... not very much running
Week Goals: This is a final week with a 30 mile easy-effort target. I'm expecting a busy week at work so I'm going to try and get most of my volume in on the weekend. Also, I'll try and get a couple of strength sessions on these days as well.
So far running at a low intensity has been going really well. I want to do a HR run test at the beginning of next week as a baseline for the rest of my season. (i.e. what pace do I run at 155 bpm) Right now I feel that there is a change to my perceived effort for a given pace, but I'd like to try and quantify that.
Finally, I'm strongly considering doing another round of base training at 37 mpw before launching into a more specific training period in the week of Feb 11th. I'll have to do more threshold running in February and March in order to get fast enough to break the 60-min barrier. Nevertheless, I really want to do my fair share of slow, low HR running so that I can catch whatever aerobic adaptations are available for me. Running 8:30 miles isn't glamorous but I'm pretty darn convinced it's what I should be doing right now. (Not to sound like a slacker, but I also want to keep my training easy for long as possible!!)
This would put the go-forward calender for January through March as follows:
1/7: 30 mpw - All easy running (~8:30 min/mile), Base 1 Weights
1/14: 37 mpw - 1 track session, all else easy (~8:30 min/mile); Base 2 Weights
1/21: 37 mpw - 1 track session, all else easy (~8:30 min/mile); Base 2 Weights
1/28: 37 mpw - 1 track session, all else easy (~8:30 min/mile); Base 2 Weights
2/4: 15 mpw - Recovery from running and lifting
2/11: 45 mpw - Running TBD; 3 lifting sessions per week for maintenance
2/18: 50 mpw - Running TBD; 3 lifting sessions per week for maintenance
2/25: 54 mpw - Running TBD; 3 lifting sessions per week for maintenance
3/4: 15 mpw - Recovery from running and lifting
3/11: 52 mpw - Running TBD; 3 lifting sessions per week for maintenance
3/18: 50 mpw - Running TBD; 3 lifting sessions per week for maintenance
3/25: 15 mpw - (race week)
I think this is an executable plan and it should also put me in a fairly good position for my marathon training in the summer and fall.
Sunday: 5 miles EZ pace- Only 5 miles and no strength sessions today (I was supposed to do 10.) I'm going to spread the missing 5 miles over the remainder of the week. Felt a little stitch in my L hamstring but overall nothing out of the ordinary. (43:00 min/ (8:36 min/mile)
Monday: 7 miles EZ pace - Ran in the evening today. Felt so, so. Actually, my legs felt like crap. Probably because I'm pretty stressed at work. My left hamstring had a stitch for the entire run. Nevertheless, it was nice to spend some time moving. I spent quite a bit of time stretching after the run. (59:00, 8:21 min/mile)
Tuesday: 3 miles EZ pace & strength session - 3 mile easy run in the evening. 8:30 pace. Strength session afterwards.
Wednesday: 7 miles EZ pace - Didn't train today. Was super-busy at work. I'll make up the miles later.
Thursday: strength session -
Friday: off -
Saturday: 7 miles EZpace & strength session - ran 14 miles today to make up the difference for the remainder of the week and also got in a strength session.
Week Review: 30 miles running and two strength sessions. Work was super crazy. I'm feeling pretty good with the running right now. I hope I can build on it in the coming weeks.
Week Goals: Mileage target for this week is 30 miles. I'd also like to get in a few strength sessions.
Sunday: 10 miles EZ pace - Ten easy miles. I felt really good on the run today - probably because I've got fresh legs following a couple of days without running. I followed the run with the strength session that I was supposed to do last night. I've been a little worried that I've been running too slow, but I went back through my training logs and I was running slower this time last year. Of course, I was also doing a lot of swimming and biking then, but hopefully in a couple of months the faster paces will start to feel easy again. (Total run 1:28:00, 8:48 min/mile avg pace)
Monday: 7 miles EZ pace & strength session; fly back from parents house - I felt really, really good on the run this morning. (59:11 total, 8:27 min/mile avg)
Tuesday: 4 miles EZ pace - Done in the morning before work. Left calf was sore. Fortunately, I've got about 70% of this week's running completed already so the legs will be able to recover. (33:50, ~8:28 min/mile pace).
I did Wednesday's strength session tonight at the gym. I wanted to note the type of "strength training" I do. Really, my big goal is to avoid injury. Therefore, I focus a lot on core strength and other areas of personal structural weakness. I do higher reps at weights lighter than what the sorority girls at the gym use.
The following are my base 1 exercises. Two sets of ten to twenty reps normally takes me between 30-45 minutes. I try to do 90% of the exercises during each session (while ALWAYS doing the ones in bold since I see those as most crucial to injury prevention.)
Back stabilization w/alternate arms and knees at 90 degrees (5 lbs dumbells)
Partial sit-up (straight and with rotation to each side)
All 4s Opposite arm and leg
Shoulder internal rotation (10 lb dumbells)
Shoulder external rotation side lying (5 lb dumbells)
Reverse Fly's (10 lb dumbell)
Hip Adduction (sometimes on a machine - others w/3 lb ankle weights)
Hip Abduction (sometimes on a machine - others w/ 3 lb ankle weights)
Bicep Curl (10 lb dumbell)
Flys (10 lb dumbell)
Seated Toe raises (w/~135 lbs)
Standing Toe raises (w/~220 lbs)
If I have time and feel overly ambitious:
Torture rack (Roman Chair) - I always do this last since it destroys my lower back
In reality, none of these exercises are very difficult and I rarely leave the gym feeling sore... that will come in a couple of months.
Last year, I learned that a little bit of attention to my own structural well-being provided tremendous returns with regards to injury prevention. I am hoping that trend continues in 2007.
Wednesday: strength session - done on Tuesday Eve.
Thursday: 4 miles EZ pace - Felt alright this morning on the run. My right hamstring was a little tight at the beginning. (33:40, 8:25 min/mile avg) Also, as it turns out, there is a 25y pool at the golds gym next to the hotel, albeit one with a 3.5 foot shallow end. I'll probably start brining my suit, goggles and swim cap with me on trips and incorporating some x-training sessions into my schedule.
Friday: strength session - Done on Saturday
Saturday: 5 miles EZ pace - Felt really good on the run. Kept things nice and smooth. (8:34 min/mile pace)
Week Review: I hit the run target for the week and completed 2 out of 3 strength sessions. (I had to travel on monday and that messed up the workout.) No significant injury news to report. In fact, my legs are feeling really good after Saturday's run. I feel like all of the light weights are also starting to help activate my core muscles again. Slowly working my way back into things seems to be the way to go.
It's my first week back on the grind for a 10-mile run in April. My goals for the next month:
Get some strength and flexibility back
Log the long, slow distance miles
Week Goals: This week, I'm only shooting for 30 miles. Hopefully, I'll be able to get in a long (70-80 mile) ride with my brother and sister one day this week, too.
Sunday: 5 miles - Done. Felt really good. Ran with my sister and kept the pace down. (44:30 total time; 8:54 min/mile avg.)
Monday: 10 mile Xmas run - Done. Weather was really lousy: 43 F and a steady rain, but these are the training sessions that toughen a guy up. The first 6 miles or so were hard but I got in a rhythm after an hour and started to feel better. Also, I need to get in the gym soon or I'm going to have some leg injury issues! (1:24:17 total time, 8:26 min/mile avg; Mile 9 was sub 7, everything else was easy-mod pace)
Tuesday: Strength/core (need to work shoulders, hip, calf and hamstring muscles) - Done. (~30 min)
Wednesday: 7 mile run - Done. Calves felt really tight at the beginning but loosened up a bit. I ended up running too fast towards towards the end. (56:16 total time, 8:03 min/mile avg; last two miles were 7:35 & 7:39)
Thursday: 3 mile run and strength/core (same muscle groups as above) - AM: 3 mile run was in 27:31 w/Caroline in the morning. It's cold here (39F) and my calves are sore. PM: 5 mile run indoors at the gym (45 min) & core strength and calf muscles. I wanted to run again today so that I could get in a bike ride tomorrow afternoon. Also, I've already hit my 30 mile target for this week. It was pretty easy to do considering I have plenty of free time right now.
Friday: 5 mile run - Took the day off since I did this run on Thursday.
Saturday: Strength/core (see above) - I went for a 52 mile bike ride with my brother and sister (see photo of the group below.) My idea of a 70-80 mile ride was shot down by wiser parties. I wore my X-mas present to myself, a really neat FC Barcelona cycling jersey. The ride was an out-and-back on the Little Miami River Trail near my parents house and the weather was great for Dec 30th. Since this is base training time, we kept he pace light and I stayed in the bottom of my aerobic zone for 95% of the ride. I felt great for the entire trip, including the other 5% when I pushed the pace a bit. Strength & core work will be done later tonight.
Week Review: This week went pretty well and total training time was around 9 hours. I kept fighting the urge to train (run) more and try to get in 40+ miles. Since my overarching athletic goal for this year is to peak in late October for a marathon, I should just be keeping it easy and getting back into a rhythm. My plans for the next two weeks are to stick to the 30-mile target and to continue with the strength work. Also, I've been weighing-in between 161 and 163 this week so I need to start moving that number downward. I'd like to be at 155 by April 1.
I decided to bring the blog back. I salvaged some of the old content - which was a fairly frank chronicle of my athletic life - and will be adding bits and pieces as backfill. This time around the blog will be a bit different. I want it to be more of a training log and less of a "perspectives" blog. I'm not allowing comments and I don't think the blog is searchable or will show up in RSS readers (which are a couple of things important to me.) Hopefully, it will just be about me running lots of pain-free miles :)
Before I go into "training log" mode, I thought I'd lay out some 2007 goals.
As a retrospective, in Oct 2005, I came up with 4 goals for the 2006 tri-season:
Finish every race I register for.
IM swim under 1:10
Sub 12-hour IMFL
LA Tri under 2:15
A couple of things really stand out to me about those goals:
First, I came through on 3/4ths of them. It's pretty wild for me to go back and look at that list because I completely forgot about each and everyone of these goals. Therefore, when I was out competing I was never trying to cross an achievement off my list. I'm sure there is a lesson in this: set goals and then start working, with hardwork and discipline the goals will fulfill themselves. BTW, I didn't compete in the LA Tri because I made the decision to race the Superfrog half-IM the weekend following LA (which was the right choice from a race prep stand-point).
Second, it turns out that I set these goals very low. I probably didn't realize it at the time, and I'm sure that I thought they were lofty when I made that post, but in hindsight they were not very challenging. This really sends me a message on perspective.
Anyways, a few 2007 goals:
On April 1st, I'm running a 10-mile road race and I want to finish in under 60-minutes. I think that's a realistically challenging goal for me and I'm pretty excited to have something to work towards again.
Sub 2:50 marathon in the fall in either the Marine Corps or Chicago (probably the latter)
Increase structural strength, become more flexible, and avoid injury. These are three separate goals, the first two are lifestyle issues. When I stopped lifting my back started hurting. I have bad posture (I hunch) and I really benefit from core strength workouts so I'd like to be consistent with these throughout the year. Also, avoiding a running injury would be nice and is an end result of getting some strength and training smart.
Well, next week, I'll check my ego at the door and start logging the long slow miles, hopefully 25-30 of them. These miles aren't glamorous but really form the base of a season. Also, I'd like to do a couple of core strength sessions and start making my way to the gym again.