Sunday, January 11, 2009

Let the Good Times Roll

Hey guys- had another solid week of training and racing. I didn't quite hit what I wanted for mileage, but that's New England winters. . .you never know when the next ice storm is a-comin'.

Here's the log-

Monday- AM- 4 miles easy, icy roads.
PM- 10.5 easy, hilly course, partly with Pinkerton guys, strides.

Tuesday- AM- 10 miles hard hilly course, 58 minutes- started off a little over 18 minutes at 3 miles with some Keene teammates, got it down to about 5:30s. Felt like dogshit- it was freezing, hilly, and miserable.

PM- 2miles warmup, paced KK through a hill workout- 4x400 (73-75) 2 minutes rest, 1x800 2:49, 1x600 1:50. We do these on hilly loops by my high school- the 400s are about 7 seconds slower than a track, the 800s about 10, and the 600s somewhere in between. After the morning's hard work, I was dead tired for this one but I felt bad making KK work out in the ice alone.

Wednesday- 7 miles easy, ice storm. Bad roads. Also, I strained the ligaments in the top of my feet- they kill when I run downhill.

Thursday- 13 easy, hilly course, mildly progressive effort but no watch. Top of feet very, very sore.

Friday- 3+ easy. Longer than three, shorter than 4.

PM- 3+ warmup, 6x800 around the campus loop, 2:38, 2:30, 2:28, 2:29, 2:25, 2:22 with 400 jog rest. Brutal, brutal workout. It was single digits with the windchill, 20+mph winds, and I was by myself. This workout was much, much harder than last week's 3xmile. Running the equivalent effort indoors on a nice track I would be hitting 12 seconds faster at least for each 800. Had to wear bulky trainers because my feet were so swollen. 2 mile c/d.

Saturday- 12:00pm- Back at Keene, 5 miles easy with Geoff.

3:30pm: Colm, one of our freshmen, had no one to run with. 7 miles easy with him- 48:20 (he had a watch). Felt sluggish and slow.

Sunday- Dartmouth Relays! The biggest challenge of the meet was surviving the drive there through an unplowed highway and blizzard. Once we were there, 3 miles wu, 1-mile race for 2nd, 4:11.66, 3miles c/d. Then later, 2 miles w/u, 1xmile at perceived 3k effort (no splits) in 4:20.4 to anchor a DMR team. 3 miles c/d.

Total- 88


I was pretty happy about this race. I wasn't sure what to expect since the fastest work I've done in over a month has been a mile in 4:26 at the end of a workout. The race went out fast- a Canadian kid was out in 59 and 2:02; I got dragged through in 3rd place in 61 and 2:05. At 1000m, sensing the slowing pace, I got antsy and made a big move to chase after the leader and ran a 60.xx 400 from 1000m to 1400m. I paid for my impatience with a 32 last lap. However, I wasn't unhappy with the rig because at least I ran tough and went for it. In another few weeks, there will be more gas in the tank and I'll have the fitness to go 30, 30, 28 for my last three laps instead of 30, 30, 32. With no other split changes, that alone brings me down to 4:07. I think 4:05 is a tough but reasonable goal, but for me, time goals are secondary anyway. I just want to race my best when it matters.

The next few weeks will be interesting- I'll be switching to shorter stuff next week (800/400 or 600/1000 I think) to bust open my legs a little bit before taking my shot a 14:30 5k at the BU Terrier Invitational. I'd like to stick with the mile for now with the occasional foray into 3k territory, but I suspect Pete has other plans for me.

Also, big props to Ruben Sanca and Nate Jenkins, two local guys, who went 8:08 and 8:09 in the 3k today, just behind a very good 8:05 run from Ben True. Always good to see them do well.

Thanks for reading, everyone. As always, questions and comments are welcome.



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  2. Hey Craig, I just wanted to know what you thought about two 'cycles' in-season, both what you do, and what you recommend. First, what do you think the best Long Run pattern when racing in-season? Do you think the day after a race (sunday) is best, every week, every other week, only during non-racing weekends, etc? And secondly, what do you think about racing, or 'racing yourself into shape?'. Should races be only out of need [run fast, qualify, and shut it down?], or should it be a regular, weekly or bi-weekly thing as a way to constantly improve something [tactics, time, etc].

    Both those factors can change a training design dramatically, some people race every week and run a long run every weekend, and some people rarely race and do long runs sparingly. I'd like to hear what you do, as well as what you think the ideal situation could be.

    ~JK (John Kenworthy)

  3. C-Mac! Thanks for the shout out. You are putting in some serious work up at Keene. That 4:11 of your was pretty impressive especially on a track like that. I definately see you going under 4:05 this year. Terrier should be interesting. Nate will be trying to go under 14 and I will be in the same race with you guys. Keep up the good work. Stay healthy!

  4. Ruben- Always good to hear from you! I got sick of reading your and Nate's blogs and feeling like a little girl running 70 miles a week, so I figure it's time to start working out for real.


    I race pretty much weekly almost year round, and the races fall into two categories- serious races at my primary distances (which during indoors would be the mile/DMR and on occasion the 5k) and developmental races at under distances for speed work. For example, this weekend, I'm doing a 600/1000/4x400 triple at a smaller meet. It's a speed day for me, and should be fun to blow out the tubes and run something short and fast. The advantage is that you recover quickly from this kind of day. Also, Peter is big on having all of the distance kids run the 4x400- we'll enter 4 or 5 relay teams sometimes and even the 10k guys who can't break 60 will run on the relay. It's just a reinforcement of trying to run fast when you're tired. Generally the smaller meets are for speed days, and the larger meets I'll take a shot at a primary distance PR or something. Peter thinks (and I agree) that a once weekly race is good for a runner's development both physically and in terms of the way they race. I know that for me, I have become a much better RACER in college because I race more often. Makes sense, haha.

    As for long runs, I'm not sold that you need a huge long run every week. I think a moderately long run- 15% or so of your weekly mileage is fine and like everybody and their mom, I do mine on Sundays the day after I race. If I don't have a workout Monday, we'll usually crank down the pace the last 5 miles or so but otherwise it's just a normal run but longer. In-season long runs will be 13-17 for me, with most of them falling in the 13-14 range.

    Generally I stick to one race day, one long run, two workouts, and the three days just easy doubles. It's a very simple schedule and has served me well thus far.

  5. hey, i was curious if in your training cycle you do any Aerobic Thresholds/LT or tempo runs? I like your current training but that certainly would be a suggestion that i feel could help you develop more aerobically.

  6. If you look at my log there is plenty of high quality aerobic stuff, including a hard ten miler every two weeks or so.

    Peter and I are big believers that too many runners run their tempo runs too short and too fast. I think it's easy to fake your way through a "classic" session of 4-6 miles hard. A better session is a ten miler, starting a little faster than training pace and building the pace up more and more until the run ends very quickly.

    In good weather, in good conditions, I have run 54:30 for 10 miles doing this (starting with a 6:43 mile and progressing the pace from there). There are many ways to go about high-end aerobic fitness- the classic "LT" run is just one of them. My bread and butter runs during cross are ten milers in 56-57 minutes.

  7. thanks Craig, I love the blog. in general my training is very similar, I am a senior in hs and run about 75 miles a week with similar stuff to yours except with more true tempo runs and also less racing. Good Luck with your goal of 4:05 i hope you get there.