Training, November 26 - December 2

Monday: Off - Resting the ankle.

Tuesday: 12 miles moderate-plus.  ART session in the afternoon.

Wednesday: 10 miles easy/moderate w/ 1/2 mile of barefoot running, drills, and 6x 100m strides on astroturf.  This is the first time I've added strides or drills back to my routine.  The increased impact forces and rapid loading associated with them has kept me from trying anything until now.  It seemed to go fairly well, didn't bother the ankle too much.  The drills were just one set of: heel-to-butts, ankle pops, side-to-sides, high-knee karaokes, A skips, and B skips (I have yet to add springing or bounding, because these two would be even harder on the ankle).  

Thursday: 4 mile warmup, 4 mile tempo in 20:38 (5:07, 5:07, 5:13, 5:09), 4 mile cooldown.  The warmups and cooldowns are a bit longer than due to the distance it takes me to get to the Lakefront path (and thus, uninterrupted space to run).  I was really surprised by how quickly I ran the tempo actually.  I was expecting to run like 5:30s or something.  So that was rather encouraging.  I'm not as unfit as I thought; though still, I realize it's going to be quite a long road back.

Friday: 9 miles easy.  Tweaked my knee a little bit during the tempo or something yesterday; a little painful, but not too worried about it.  GS post-run.

Saturday: 17 miles moderate - Averaged 6:20s or so for the run.  I was a bit tired and both my ankle and knee were bothering me a bit; nothing too bad though.

Sunday: Off - Resting both the ankle and the knee I tweaked; icing it a lot.  It should be fine, but I think the day off will do it well.

Summary: 60 miles, 1x GS

Some more good progress this week.  Most amount of days in a row I've run yet (5); first time trying strides or drills; first time doing a workout in 9 months; and longest run yet by two miles.  And my Achilles/ankle situation seemed to handle this all pretty well.  It's basically static for the time being.  It's still a touch stiff though rarely painful while actually running.  It is just really tender to the touch if you get it just right.  All this seems fine though (and logical); as I'm increasing the training load and thus stressing the area more, if it's not getting worse, I take it as a good thing.  My chiropractor (Dr. Roy Settergren) also thinks that the area is slowly beginning to  loosen up and feel better (to his touch).

I've commented on my "easy/moderate" notation before, but since I'm just restarting the training portion of this blog, I'll quickly summarize again.  (Also, this topic actually came up in the comments of last week's post, so there's some info there too.)  Basically, I consider anything 80% of marathon pace (MP) or faster to be "basic aerobic" work.  For me, this is about 6:30/mile pace (my MP being in the mid-5:20s).  Anything slower doesn't really have much direct aerobic benefit.  However, there are other benefits, such as maintaining a high global volume of work, capillarization, and recovery (you actually recover better with some neuromuscular stimulus, as opposed to complete rest, so when you're fit, doubling with an easy 5-10 miles is better than rest (with some exceptions of course, I'm assuming here that you get adequate sleep, etc.)).

So I consider basic aerobic work generally to be a "moderate" pace, which I label as such in the log.  However, anything faster than about 6:00 pace (or ~90% MP) that isn't some sort of structured workout, I call "moderate-plus."  Anything easier than about 6:30 pace, I consider "easy"—if you see "easy/moderate," that usually means I've slowly dipped down from maybe 7:00 pace or 7:30s at the start of the run to 6:20s or 6:30s by the end, so I've spent some time both outside and inside a basic aerobic pace range.  "Very easy" would be anything slower than 7:30s; when the major purpose of the run is recovery—you'll see a lot more of this once I start doubling.

None of this is really all that technical, I just wanted to give some context for my notation.  It's like when Bill Rodgers labeled runs in his logs all the time as "an OK pace."  Not a very precise definition, but I imagine he meant essentially a basic aerobic pace, or what I tend to call "moderate."