Sunday, March 26, 2017

Training for March 18 to 26, 2017 and a summary of my base phase

I didn't run this week.  I had scheduled a week off because I have had a very long base phase.  I spent last fall from a bit before labor day until just before Thanksgiving building up VERY slowly.  I was banged up, out of balance and really struggling so even though the volume of work was very low I was working fairly hard to do it.  Finally I got myself together over the course of November and started doing what I would call training and have been at it steadily ever since.  I would not normally schedule a single phase to be this long, 17 weeks not including another 12 or so weeks of build up, but I was just so out of shape after a 4 month layoff and another two plus months of very light running that I really needed to put in a lot of work just to get into some sort of general fitness.

  As such I took this week off. All I did was go to yoga on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday and I got a massage on Friday. I did my normal stretching, basic exercises and mobility stuff but nothing that you would call real exercise.

  Looking back to the fall I was far out of shape.  I did run a 15:22 at the very fast Great Bay 5k, but the 16:11 I ran at the only moderately difficult Great Island 5k was more telling as to just how far off of decent shape I was.

  My first week resembling real training was November 20 to the 26th where I ran 72 miles the following week I was up to 84.  On December 10th I ran 32:10 on the very fair USATF Club Nationals course.  I would guess based on the winning time that it was within a minute of what you would expect to do on the track in ideal conditions.   So I was pretty out of shape.  At this point I was only doing half Mona fartleks and only covering about 1.8 miles while doing them, 5:30 mile pace or so.

  By the end of the month I had done a full Mona and covered 3.7 miles, about 5:24 pace, so I was coming along but I was still a long way from what I would consider 'normal fitness' which is covering around 3.9 miles for a mona.   I was getting in at least two decent efforts every week and running between 70 and 100 miles a week.  Nothing flashy but consistent.

  For the month I had 8 workouts, two races and a long run of 14 miles.  Certainly nothing to write home about but I was fitter at the end of the month then at the start of the month and I was healthy.

  In January I had 10 workouts, two races and a long run of 17 miles.  The first race was a 15:25 5k in much tougher conditions then what I ran 15:22 at back at Great Bay and the second was a very nice step forward with a 9:15 track 2 mile.  Not a great race but for where I was at it was good.  The thing I was starting to notice both in workouts and in that two mile was that I wasn't feeling the same resistance at speed that I had been struggling with the last couple years.  You can even see it in video of me racing. (fast forward to 4:10)

 I felt like I was running in sand when I try to get down much under 4:50 per mile pace and looked like I was almost dragging something.  In the 2 mile I felt like I had very little aerobic fitness and like I was running quicker than I had trained to but mechanically I felt smooth and easy.  This really got me, and still has me, very excited about the potential for running well this year as I get my aerobic fitness back and start to do some more race specific workouts.

If for comparison you look at how I'm moving now the improvement is pretty noticeable.

  In February I got in 8 workouts and two more races, my long run was 22 miles and additionally I got in three 16 milers.   I also had a 100 mile week, admittedly during vacation week.  The races were a 24:50 5 mile, which is back into what I would consider my normal competitive range.  Yes the out of shape side of the normal competitive range but after running a couple of 32 something 10k's and a 16:11 5k in the fall I admit I was worried about ever getting back into real shape again.  I am after all not getting any younger.  My 5 mile split at USATF had been a 25:40 and I feel like the courses were fairly even so to see a ~50 second improvement, 10 seconds per mile, over a 2 month period was very gratifying.  My second race was a 14:41 track 5k which much like the two mile really has me excited.  First mechanically I felt smooth and I didn't feel like it was hard to run that pace.  Second I was running off of fartleks and road work, no specific track workouts.  The fastest 5k I have ever run without specific work is 14:20.  So I'm not that far off.

 Generally I expect to drop 20 to 25 seconds on my 5k with a 6 to 10 week specific cycle which would have me in the 14:10 to 14:15 range this spring.  After how far I had fallen last fall I will be over the moon happy if I can run in that range this spring.  Lastly I improved my mona fartlek to 3.83 miles, an improvement of 9 seconds per mile to 5:13.3 pace.

  March was actually another good month.  I was getting tired and New Bedford was an unmitigated disaster but the general trajectory was still good.   I got in two solid weeks to start the month both in terms of mileage and workouts and with this rest I feel ready to go.  I would really like the snow to melt so I can get on the track for some specific workouts but I keep trying to remind myself I don't have control over that and that I no longer have the time to either shovel a track or to drive into the city to get on an indoor track so I must do the best I can with the resources I have.

  Moving forward I want to race two or three times in April, right now I'm planning on a Fresh Pond 5 mile on April 9th as a bit of throw back fun with Ruben.  A sort of "make fresh pond fast again" day.  Then I will likely do the James Joyce Ramble 10k.  I know some people hate this race but I like it.  I don't like the hill up to the finish but other wise I like the course.  It is generally competitive and they pay good prize money.

  In May I'd like to get serious about racing well and hopefully with some rust buster races and some specific track work in April I'll be ready to do so.  I plan on keeping at it up to the USATF-NE 5 mile champs in mid June at which point I'll take a week or two rest before changing speeds.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Training Blog March 13 to 19, 2017

Monday PM 8.3 miles in 54:11 solo

Tuesday AM 3 miles on treadmill, 21mins
               PM 4 hours of snow removal

Wednesday AM 2 hours snow removal
                    PM 11x30 second fartlek in the middle 3 miles of an 8.3 mile run, meant to do 10 but messed up my count, 52:20 for the whole run, the 3 miles with the fartlek were 5:46, 5:43, 541

Thursday PM 8.3 solo, 55:07

Friday PM 6.3 miles solo, 42:14

Saturday PM 4.2 mile solo, 28:10

Sunday AM 2.5 warm up, some more jogging, drills and strides after that.  Race New Bedford half marathon.  1:10:37, 18th place.  Well that is about as shitty a race as I have had as an adult.  Not really sure what went so wrong.  I had some coordination stuff and stopped for drills at 8.5 miles but didn't feel that bad.  The wind was the worst I think I have ever raced in. So that explains some of the time but not the place.  The wind was just as bad for everyone else. I was out too hard but nothing crazy and like I said I settled in and felt pretty decent. I don't really have an answer.  Up to about 8 miles I was actually thinking I was going to run pretty well.  I was out a bit too hard but I didn't think it was that bad.  Sometimes you're the windshield sometimes your the bug.  I was certainly the bug today.  I have a week basically off scheduled this week so my plan is to just move forward and hopefully this becomes a bad memory.

Summary  I'll do what I can to figure out what went so wrong in the half but frankly I'm note going to sweat it too much.  I know my fitness is generally coming along nicely and I'm happy with the progression of the workouts and if they keep progressing the workouts can't help but follow.  Now if the sun can come out and melt this snow while I'm resting this week so I can do some track workouts when I get back to work I'll be really thankful.  Hope you are well.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Training Blog March 6 to 12, 2017

Monday AM road 4 with Uta and Melissa, 30:51
               PM road 10 solo, feeling pretty heavy after yesterdays workout, 1:07:24

Tuesday AM road 4 with Uta, 30:02
               PM at North Andover track, 5k warm up, drills, strides, 16x200 with slow 200 jog recovery, average 31.6, jogs in about 1:08 average. This is muscular endurance, more like lifting then traditional reps, ie the last one feels basically the same as the first aerobically. 3 mile cool down

Wednesday PM road 16.1 solo, 1:45:31. thought I was going to have to stop for drills around 11 mile but then things came around and I was ok.

Thursday PM 3 mile warm up with Uta, drop her off, half mile jog to start area, drills, strides.  So my watch has a recovery adviser that is based on heart rate and the pace you ran.  When you save a run it tells you how many hours you are supposed to recover before your next workout.  I don't put much stock in it.  I do get a kick out of it when I finish a warm up.  Normally it tells me to take 5 to  15 hours recovery.  Now today I was feeling pretty tired.  I mean I failed to get up for the morning run.  So after the warm up the watch said I needed 50 hours recovery so I'm assuming my HR was a good bit higher than normal.  So I set off on my normal 3 mile tempo loop, 5:05 at the mile was a bit slow but not bad, the next mile was 5:15 which wasn't good and I wasn't feeling good.  I decided to keep the effort tempo on the last mile and let the pace be what it would be... 5:28!  Ugly!  When I stopped I felt finished.  I opted to skip the hill repeats and just do a 3 mile cool down.

Friday AM road 4 with Uta, 30:10
            PM circuit with Anna, nothing too bad.

Saturday AM 4 mile with Uta, 30:12, really freaking cold, -12 wind chill
                PM road 10 solo, 1:06:12, still freaking cold, 0 degree wind chill

Sunday AM 20.1 with Ruben in Chelmsford, mostly on rail trail. some snow on ground but not bad.  I did drill for coordination at 14.75 but was ok otherwise.  Cold again, 7 degrees, much less windy though so it felt ok. 2:06:02 total time.  couple light drills after we finished.

Summary 95 miles for week, 2 workouts, neither was very impressive.  I'm pretty tired.  I always struggle a bit in March.  I have a scheduled rest week after New Bedford Next weekend but I think I'll taper this week as well and hopefully feel some bounce again in a couple weeks.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Training Blog February 27 to March 5, 2017

Monday AM road 4 with Uta, 30:54
               PM road 10.1 solo, 1:06:33

Tuesday AM road 4 with Uta, 29:54, bit of a knot in my right shin.
               PM 3.1 warm up, drills and strides, Moneghetti Fartlek around my normal Glendale route, covered 3.83 miles in the 20mins that is 8/100ths more than the last time out and more important it got me back into the finish area I have tended to view as being fit in the past.  If I can get to a road called Woodhill ln, which is where gmap-pedometer says 4 miles is I have considered my self running well.  Tonight I made it just a stride past the far side of Woodhill.  6/100ths shy of my best ever on this loop. 3.5 cool down, 25mins. 6x6 squats 105lbs up to 155lbs after.

Mona gives this Fartlek a good job!  

Wednesday PM road 16, 1:45:06, ran in the light and in shorts and a t-shirt, crazy for this time of year.

Thursday AM 4.1 miles on road with Uta, first 1.4 with Melissa too, 30:54

Friday PM road 10.1 with Uta, 1:07:07, 6x6 dead lifts after 135lbs up to 185lbs. 

Saturday AM road 6.2 with Uta, 45:04, cold 10 degrees wind chill around 0.
                 PM road 10.1 solo, 1:03:53, cold 15 degrees wind chill much colder.

Sunday Noon 3.5 warm up, 25:20, drills and strides, 4x2 miles with 3:00 recovery with drills in each recovery.  10:23.9 (5:03.2/5:20.7), 10:28.3 (5:05.2/5:23.1), 10:33.5 (5:09.2/5:24.1), 10:27(5:07.5/5:19.5).  This is on a lollypop shaped out and back and the 2nd mile was pretty much all into the wind not only were they much slower but I was working much harder.   This looks a bit worse then when I did this session a couple months back but using the garmin to measure made the loop 15 seconds longer than how it was measured on gmap which is what I used when I was doing this last.  Also that wind killed me. 2.7 cool down in 21:00

Summary 92 miles for the week, two good workouts.  Super happy with the mona this week.  8/100ths better than two weeks ago and only 6/100ths off my best on that loop is a great step in the right direction.  Thursday and Friday were kinda crap as I was super tired and felt like I was getting sick but I took it easy, skipped a workout, took a ton of supplements- C, echinacea, congaplex, elderberry and as of right now, knock on wood, I'm not sick.  This has been my basic theme as I'm coming back.  I'm being very cautious. Focusing on being consistent, even if I'm consistently less than spectacular.  I'm making no major setbacks my mantra. Deal with the fact that I'm not training how I want but really key up on just having a decent week every week.  No injuries, no illnesses.  If I can get though the winter like that I'll be one happy guy.