This schedule is designed around four main goals. In no order to return general aerobic fitness, to improve lactic threshold, to improve muscular power and efficiency, and to touch on every major training speed and effort in each two week cycle. The workouts I selected were selected based on two main criteria. First did they accomplish the training goal and second they had to work with the training resources and limitations I have currently. Ie, I need to be able to do them without a track, in a New England winter, and in the dark as 11 out of 13 of my runs each week from early November until March are generally run in the dark.
I like repeating a similar or even identical micro cycle a few times through a phase of training. Partially because I can gauge how my body is progressing but also I'm just a very habital person who if I didn't give a damn about performance would probably do the same double every day over the same routes at the same effort. I like what I'm doing to be a bit mindless so I can focus entirely on doing it well. Or at least that is the excuse I give myself.
Without further B.S. here is the schedule
For both week one and two I do an easy morning run, almost always 4 miles because of time constraints, Monday through Saturday. On Saturday the run maybe done as the afternoon session and it maybe longer.
Monday in the afternoon I'll do 10 miles at a steady effort- generally between 6:00 and 7:00 per mile, depending on conditions and how I'm feeling. This is a fairly hilly run as there are a lot of hills around here. After the run I'll do either Squats, dead lifts or box jumps. The run is for recovery and general aerobic fitness, the exercises are for range of motion in my hips, power in my ankles and glutes and to increase strength as a means of increasing efficiency.
Tuesday in the afternoon I'll do a Mona Fartlek (http://nateruns.blogspot.com/2015/01/monaghetti-fartlek.html) This is most importantly a bounce threshold or alternation session. I would actually prefer to do Aussie quarters, (http://nateruns.blogspot.com/2014/12/workout-wednesday-australian-quarters.html) right now to be able to focus on specific paces but with no indoor track option that isn't happening. The secondary focus of this session is to touch on a bunch of quicker paces 5k down to perhaps mile. After this session I'll do either squats, deadlifts, or box jumps.
Wednesday in the afternoon I'll do a medium long run. Right now that is only 12 miles I'll build it up to 16, I should go up to 18 but frankly 18 miles after work in the dark is a tall order particularly when sandwiched between two workout days. Physiologically this workout is for basic aerobic fitness and there is a time on the feet efficiency training effect for the leg muscles but for me it is much more plainly about building up my ability to run longer without coordination problems. Finally you guessed it I plan on doing either squats, deadlifts or box jumps after the run.
Thursday in the afternoon, short hill sprints- max effort very short, 10 seconds give or take. I'd prefer to keep with the 100's and the like but without a track that isn't an option and I don't have much for flat areas with good footing so short hills it is. To be honest as a general rule I like short hills better anyway but right now I want to focus on my form on the flat so I'm sorry to lose that. These are obviously a muscular exercise though they do also help increase the stroke volume of the heart. I will start the winter only doing about 10 of these but I'll increase that by 2 or 3 sprints each time. In the past I have done 30 or more sprints though I doubt I'll get to that many. It will be key for me to keep good form on these which is a struggle for me on hills but I have been improving so hopefully it will be good practice. squats, deadlifts or box jumps after
Friday 10 miles, same as Monday.
Saturday 4x2 miles at Half marathon pace. with 3min recoveries with drills. This is for lactate threshold and muscular endurance at speed. The drills help with the latter and with improving form.
Sunday Long run- I'm around 13/14 miles now will try to push out to 20 to 22. Long run is for basic aerobic fitness, efficiency and muscular endurance. I may do squats, deadlifts or box jumps after this.
Monday same as last week
Tuesday 3 mile tempo, half marathon to marathon pace, 10x30 second hill repeats at a good effort, but not max, focus on form putting weight of stride on glutes and quads. Try not to hunch at shoulders. This is for lactate threshold and muscular power and efficiency.
Wednesday same as last week
Thursday 6 x mile at 10k pace with 2 to 3 mins recovery with drills- bit of threshold, lot of muscular efficiency and muscular endurance.
Friday same as last week
Saturday 20 to 30 x 20 second sprints fartlek style, meaning I'll just put them in on a run where the footing looks good. Full recovery. This is for muscular efficiency and endurance. Though it is also good for stroke volume but not as good as the hills.
Sunday fundamental tempo run in the 5:25 to 5:50 per mile range over rolling hills. Hopefully as the coordination improves I'll be able to increase the volume on these. This is my single favorite type of workout. I have since beginning the form work I have been able to to up to 22 miles like this but only on soft surfaces. So on the road I've been stuck in the 12 to 15 mile range on a good day. I'm going to start in the 9 mile range and try to build up. I may play with stopping for drills and continuing on in an attempt to 'teach' the body to hold the form that doesn't lead to coordination issues. This is for aerobic fitness. Sessions like this can lead to huge jumps in general aerobic fitness as well as your threshold. I actually don't know exactly why perhaps it is simply that it is an under trained area or it is that threshold is impacted well by not going over it but by testing it from below. I can tell you that these workouts changed my life as such for me I simply believe in them as an article of faith. Also as I mentioned I love doing them. Running for a long time at a quick pace is to me the single most enjoyable training experience.
Odds and Ends
In weeks that I race I'll just drop the hard effort from the weekend. If I race on a Sunday I'll skip the long run as well. I'm planning a few races over the winter. A 5k on the 1st. A 5 mile, a 10 mile and a track 5k in February and a half marathon in March. Hopefully by that point the winter is coming to an end and I'm getting fit and I'll be able to move onto a new training program with more specific goals.