Monday, April 7, 2014

Out of Winter (Training update, etc.)

Winter has at last retreated, leaving behind a quagmire of mud on the trails.  I've been running the lower trails (Eastman Brook) this week, getting my trail legs back gently, but I didn't venture onto the higher terrain until today's mountain bike ride, my first since January.  The snow's gone but the trails have the consistency of peanut butter.  I'll take it!

Classes, finalizing my research plan, TA-ing lab sections, and part-time teaching at the high school have put me at probably 60 hours per week.  I've managed about 10 hours per week of training-- any more just wouldn't fit, with the rest of life (husband-ing, home-owning, etc) filling up the remainder.  Confined to roads, this has meant exactly 70 miles per week (with a few recovery weeks) and 1-1.5 hours of bike trainer.  As my schedule loosens up a bit from May through August, I hope to increase the biking to 3+ hours on-trail, but I'll probably refrain from pumping up the running volume-- good long runs and intense hillclimbs (mostly on the treadmill this winter) make 70 feel like a good limit, even if I do have more time to train.  High volume has never worked well for me so I'm focusing on thrashing myself twice a week with a third quality day devoted to keeping some turnover (400's on the track, etc).  Recent long runs and hillclimbs:

16-Feb171:59:11"North Valley/Sand Hill 17" (mapmyrun), w/ M+A. 1380' climbing, roads very slippery w/ snow, esp. the dirt rds, made this run way harder; still managed 7:02 pace, solid effort throughout, hard last mile.
19-Feb101:24:00sqts: 3x 10 @ 135 lbs; pllps: 2x 10; pshps: 1x 20treadmill hillclimb: 4x 1 mile w 2:30 jog rest: 7.3 mph/8:13 @ 9%, 7.0 mph/8:34 @ 10%, 6.7 mph/9:00 @ 11%, 6.4 mph/9:22 @ 12%. HR 170-180+ @ end of last 3 intervals. 2217'.
21-Feb121:19:00treadmill progression run-- 8 miles ~48 min. Miles: 6:27, 6:15, 6:04, 6:00, 5:52, 5:46, 5:42; last mile: half mile @ 5:38's, half mile @ 5:00's. Felt limited by tons of heat buildup, otherwise felt strong.
23-Feb15.51:51:11tabUp into Shutes via Sand Hill Rd (icy!), down thru Pelham via Schoolhouse/N Valley Rd, thru Amherst. 7:06 avg w/ some slow icy stretches and 1197'. 
26-Feb10.51:24:50sqts: 3x 10 @ 140 lbs; pllps: 2x 10; pshps: 1x 20treadmill hillclimb: 3x 2 miles @ 8%, 9%,10%, w/ 2:30 jog rest: 16:23 (8:11's), 16:50 (8:25's), 17:10 (8:35's). 2851' total climb--biggest yet, and getting faster/easier. Felt good, AeT-AT effort; last 2 min hard.
2-Mar16.51:56:1516.7, 1341', afternoon long run w/ Matteo. Sand Hill Rd loop, 6:58's, feeling very good.
5-Mar10.51:29:00treadmill hillclimb: 5x 1 mile w/ .25 jog rest: 11% (8:57), 12% (9:31), 13% (9:41), 12% (9:40), 11% (8:49). 3115' (biggest yet!). Feeling strong.
9-Mar192:13:1419.2, 1534', 6:57's. To Matt's, top of Shutes and back via Sand Hill/Pratt Corner rds. Legs still tired but felt strong once in the groove.
12-Mar91:09:203x achilles, tabtreadmill hillclimb/tempo-- 6 miles, 45:14. Miles--0% (6:00), 5%, (~7:30) 10% (~8:40), repeat. 1584'. Feeling very tired-- in fact, the only day I haven't felt thrashed since last Wednesday was Sunday (long run).
15-Mar161:51:04Saturday long run w/ M+A, Sand Hill Pratt corner, 16.0, 1333', 6:56's.
18-Mar121:36:00s.l. squats: 1 x 15 @ 11 lbs; squats: 2x 10 @ 140 lbstreadmill hillclimb: 3x 2 miles w/ 2:30 jog rest-- 9% (16:41), 10% (17:09, 11% (17:15). 3168'. Felt very strong; first two felt relatively easy, last one felt hard.
23-Mar182:06:0010 pullupsparked at Rez, CoOp out and back all on dirt. Wonderful route, should do this more often. 18.0 miles, 1445', 2 big climbs. 7:00 avg. Slower start (w/ Stoneman who was hurting, then turned back), but ran a good effort most of the way; picked up Ethan for miles 3-15. 
26-Mar111:25:18treadmill hillclimb: 7 mile continues tempo: 0% (6:00), 5% (7:15), 6% (7:30), 7% (7:45), 8% (8:00), 9% (8:30), 10% (8:57). 2376', 54:09. Longest (duration) continuous uphill tempo; very hard by the end; legs ached all day afterwards.
2-Apr10.51:28:44treadmill hillclimb intervals, same as 3/5 but a bit faster; 5x 1 mile w/ .25 jog rest: 11% (8:49), 12% (9:10), 13% (9:38), 12% (9:38), 11% (8:53). Total- 46:08, 3115'. Hard.
6-Apr19.52:12:43CoOp 19.5, counterclockwise, w/ RFT back down from Rez. w/ Matt. Solid pace from the start (41:50 6 miles to gutter, slight net uphill); aggressive climbing to the top of Shutes. 6:48's; probl 6:45's w/out trail section.

As I'm turning 32 this year, and getting amped for mountain racing, I'm slowly letting go of my need for speed and road-specific ability.  I've been hesitant to let it go....but I'll never race those events again.  The idea of XC still lingers, so I'll probably maintain enough turnover to keep that as an option.  But I can already feel the hallmarks of the mature distance runner, one in his 30's-- increased strength, endurance, and focus, but gone are the neuromuscular connections that permit smooth 5:10-pace road or track running.  Like Rocky IV, or a bottle-conditioned imperial IPA.  But never again to be the fresh-faced fighter or the fresh-hopped young ale...


  1. You need to speak with Bernard Lagat about speed....

  2. I'm glad he's fast and in his late 30's... maybe I'd stay on the roads if I got paid, too!