Training, January 2 - 8 and Daniel Burnham Open Race Report

Monday: AM - 8 miles moderate on hilly single track
  • Still in Springfield, ran on pretty solid trails a mile from my door.  I'd planned on a moderate-paced long run, but wasn't feeling up to it (and was short on time).
Tuesday: PM - 3 mile warmup, light drills/strides, 4 mile tempo in 20:51 (5:14, 5:13, 5:08, 5:14), 1 mile easy, 10 x (30 seconds hard, 30 seconds moderate), 2+ mile cooldown (12 miles total); GS1
  • I originally just had an Aussie Quarters session scheduled for tonight (or tomorrow, rather, but it got moved up when I didn't go long yesterday).  However, I didn't get as much of an anaerobic threshold stimulus as I wanted last week with the cruise intervals session that I had to cut at 4 reps.  So I decided to try a little combo workout.  The tempo was your standard AnT tempo (you usually see 20:00-30:00—I have a hard time going more than about 4 miles in training).  The alternating hard/moderate reps segment that followed was in the same vein as Aussie Quarters, or even the classic Oregon 30/40 200s workout (though my paces were obviously not that fast).  During those 10 repeats, I hit a mile segment in 5:21, so that was roughly the pace I was averaging (maybe something like 4:50 and 6:00 pace for the hard and moderate efforts respectively).  The workout went about as well as I could have hoped, and I liked it.  I might do it another time or two in the coming weeks.  The other thing I like about this workout for where I'm at right now, is that the unbroken 4-mile effort requires some mental focus, which will help me for the shorter (12k) US Cross Champs on Feb. 11.  The 10 x (30s hard, 30s moderate) while tired will also help for that race.
Wednesday: PM - 10 miles easy w/ Jim O'Brien; GS2

Thursday: PM - 3 mile warmup with 40s surge, light drills/strides, 10 mile progression run - 5:44, 5:44, 5:39, 5:38, 5:35, 5:34, 5:24, 5:20, 5:22, 5:17 - 55:21 total (5:32 pace) - 1 mile cooldown (14 miles total)
  • The original plan was a slightly more structured progression run: 6 miles at 90% MP, 3 miles at MP, 1 mile hard (basically whatever I had left).  However, I started a bit on the quick side and really don't like to slow down, so I didn't.  Come mile 7, I did try to "flip a switch" to MP, but the reality is I was nearly already there, particularly as the second half of the run was into the wind.  The quick start and headwind made running 5:20s rather difficult, so I didn't really have much more left for the last mile.  A fine progression run, just not exactly what I had originally planned.  My legs/quads also felt a bit heavy and fatigued from Tuesday's workout. 
Friday: PM - 20 mile progression run - 1:58:27 (5:55 pace) - took splits for the second half, which were 5:57, 5:55, 5:55, 5:53, 5:51, 5:48, 5:47, 5:44, 5:36, 5:14
  • This run was more or less shifted from Monday's planned moderate-paced long run.  I really only planned on running a solid basic aerobic pace (6:15-6:30 pace) for this, as I expected my legs to be pretty tired from the workout last night.  One benefit to doing a long run on tired legs like this is that your muscle fibers reach exhaustion more quickly than if you're fresh, thus enhancing the recruitment of additional fibers that aren't usually asked to do much aerobic work.  It's sort of a delicate balance though, and rarely do I work out two days in a row like this—the timing just worked out really well here.  After dropping to 6 flat pace by about 4 miles in, I was a little worried about my ability to maintain that for the whole run, but I relaxed a little before the turnaround and was actually able to run a pretty solid second half.  I was particularly happy with my ability to run a 5:14 last mile on very tired legs.  It's always good to run fast at the end of a long run for a myriad of reasons.  
Saturday: AM - 6 miles very easy - cruised around Lincoln Park, gorgeous morning 

Sunday: AM - Daniel Burnham Open (4k XC) - 1st place, 12:28 - 3+ mile warmup w/ drills/strides, 4k race, 2 mile cooldown (8 miles total)
  • Ran this cool little cross country criterium race in the park up at Montrose.  A low-key and free meet, put on by some local runners for the last few years, this was a fun way to open the year.  My legs were pretty tired going into it from the workouts on Thursday and Friday, but I was pretty happy with the outcome.  The 1k loop hit the one hill in the city, and the ground was sort of sloppy/rutted and muddy.  So despite the nice weather, it wasn't a race track.  I hit about 3:00 for the first K and around 3:08/3:09 for the other three.  I was pretty much clear after the first loop and just worked on maintaining pace.  The meet was scored three deep and my team of Trent Hoer, Dave Strubbe, and myself won the team competition.  
Summary: 78 miles, 2x GS

Good week, quite a bit of quality, really.  I really want to push the mileage up a little more with morning runs, but I'm having a hell of a time getting them in.  I really value and understand the importance of recovery, so sleep will almost always come first (and I need a lot of it).  After the workouts on both Tuesday and Thursday this week, I slept 10 hours and still had a pretty high resting heart rate when I awoke, feeling tired.  If I could sleep 10 hours a night all the time (and even more when I need it) I could be doubling every day, but that's not the reality right now.  So I'll continue to try to squeeze in some doubles here and there, but I don't think there will be too much of that for this buildup.  Still hope to push more to the 90-100 mpw range for a few weeks here.

“This is Alberto Salazar I'm going for, but I don't know who I am today, so here goes.”
Pete Pfitzinger, a master at running his best at the Olympic Trials, describing his charge past Salazar at the end of the '84 Trials race (seemed appropriate with the Trials coming up this week in Houston)