Sunday, April 11, 2010

Good Luck, Allison!

My boss, Allison, is running the Boston Marathon a week from Monday. Since she's such a nice lady, I thought I should mention that.

Anyway, I had another very good week of training. The volume was solid, the quality was good, and I only had one particularly bad run, which I'm pretty sure was due to the fact that one day we randomly had a 91 degree high.

There isn't much to go over this week, but before I get to the log, Bruce and I figured out, roughly, what my racing schedule will look like this spring. It's a pretty compact series of races, which I'm glad of, since I'll be able to take a couple shots at some PRs, then move right into summer training without needing too much of a break.

Tentative, tentative race schedule:
May 15: 3000, NB Twilight Meet, Lowell.
May 22: 5000, NB Twilight Meet, Bentley.
June 5: 1500, "
June 12: 5000, "

Hopefully I can take down some of my PRs, especially my very weak ones at 3000 and 5000.


Monday- 3 up, 4mi tempo at the Brookline Res (19:27 through 6000, added on 93 seconds to ensure I went 4mi), then a couple minutes of jogging, then 8 strides with equal jog rest, then 3mi down, 11mi total. It was fairly warm out for this one and perhaps I was just feeling the increased volume particularly, because I felt like dogshit on this one the whole way. Absolutely no smoothness at all in my stride; I tried not to fight it and just run the correct effort. Ideally, this baby would have been closer 5:00 pace than 5:15, but whatever.

Tuesday- AM- 5mi easy PM- 9 very easy, first 56min with the Lady Terriers, then a barefoot 2k on the turf to finish off the run.

Wednesday- 6PM- 91 degrees out, tried to go long and bonked hardcore. Managed to get in a very healthy 12 (85min at ~6:40 pace) but good God, I forgot how much I hate running in heat like that. Student teaching didn't help; I'm glad I've only got 2 days left.

Thursday- 3:30pm-BC Res - Beacon - Comm Ave with James, Joey, and Eric. Added on a couple minutes indoors to make it 10, then did 5x150 in spikes indoors and cooled down 5min for 11mi. Spent most of the run at a good clip, maybe 6:20s or so. 9:30PM- 4mi easy on the Charles solo after work, felt pretty good.

Friday- 3:30PM- 3mi up with Eric in a downpour; rain tapered off toward the end of the warmup, so we decided to work out on the outdoor track. By the time we spiked up and strided out, it started pouring again, but we figured, ah, screw it, we're out here and already soaked. I did 2x(1000, 800, 600, 600) with the 1000s and 800s at ~5k type gear and the 600s at ~3k type gear. Kept a continuous 2:30 jog rest in between everything.

1000- 2:53
800- 2:18
600- 1:41
600- 1:40

1000- 2:53
800- 2:15
600- 1:37
600- 1:40

Very good workout, given that I recovered very quickly in between each hard bout. The 600s felt fast, but I think that was more because of the pouring rain and winds than anything. 3mi down with Eric indoors.

Saturday- AM- 10mi easy, 68:30, with Eric on the Charles, very windy coming home (40mph gusts- it was like we were walking!) PM- 5mi easy after work with Eric and his girlfriend, Emily, who is a merciless pace pusher but an all-around nice gal :) Last mi barefoot on the turf. 36:30 tot

Sunday- 1pm- A reasonably-paced 9mi to Jamaica Pond with an add-on at the outdoor track in 59:11, then some barefoot strides and a short cooldown for 10mi. Legs were dead after this run, I was probably a little dehydrated going into it. 8PM- 4mi on the Charles solo, felt much better for this run. Foodshopping afterward, then some homework, and now a failed attempt to be asleep by midnight.

Tot- 93 mi
11 Runs
0 core/strength

I know, I know, I gotta stop talking about core/strength work and start DOING it. Have a good week, everybody! If you're running Boston, good luck!


  1. I'm a high school junior andI've been reading your log for a while now. I'm really impressed by the control and consistency of your training. You seem to know what you are doing pretty well so i figured I'd shoot you a couple of questions...

    I have finished base training and am about 2 weeks into real intervals. I was doing my base at about 55 miles per week. How much would, if at all, would you suggest cutting down the milage now? How much at the taper for the big meets at the end of the season?

    What kind of times were you running in high school? and if you don't mind me asking, what did they set you up for in terms of recruiting? My coaches can't really help me much here since one was about as good as me in high school but never considered competitive college running, and one was being recruited by big schools from the time he shattered the state 8th grade 2 mile record.

  2. Hi, Ben- thanks for the kind words.

    I think it's a good idea to maintain mileage throughout the season- meaning if you peaked at 55 a week during your buildup, then you should be able to comfortably maintain ~50 a week or so, with one very easy day built in (maybe only 3-4 miles) the day before or after your bigger race of the week.

    As for "tapering," it's largely overrated unless you're running a marathon. You shouldn't be training so hard that your legs are dead all season, necessitating a large taper. Basically, as you get fitter and closer to your peak race, what you want to do is stay fresh and sharp- so lots of nice easy jogging in between your hard days, and hard days that maintain your edge instead of trying to create new fitness. I can offer more specific advice if that isn't clear enough.

    My high school PRs were 1:55.53 in the 800 (senior year) 4:20.22 in the 1600 (junior year), 8:51 in the 3000 (indoors, junior year) and 15:30 for a cross country 5k (best place of 9th at the NH state meet my junior year; sick my senior year and did not run). I did this off most weeks in the 45-55 range, with the occasional 60+ week, generally in the earlier parts of the season. I would usually hit 70 or so once or twice a year in the summer.

    Off those times, you're going to get a huge variation in response from coaches. Some coaches will tell you that you're welcome to walk on, some coaches will treat you like a stud, and some coaches will laugh in your face. I had a few D1 coaches tell me 4:20 as a junior wasn't good enough to warrant a visit and I had a few offer me a small amount of scholarship. Try not to get discouraged if coaches don't answer emails or calls right away; coaches are busy people!

    Best of luck

  3. Wondering your thoughts on another issue -

    How do you know when to bag a workout? When should you bag one, or is it better to gut it out instead?

  4. It really has to go on a case-by-case basis. There are workouts where you should slow things down but gut it out, workouts where you should get the right pace in but do less volume of it, workouts you should gut out the whole thing as written, workouts that you should skip entirely, everything in between those options. . . basically, you've got to learn to hear what your body is telling you.

    It can be a long process, but you've got to learn what YOU can handle on a given day.

    I think it was Mark Twain who said "Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment." This applies perfectly to learning to read your body- you're going to fuck up at first, but you'll get there with practice.

    good luck!

  5. Thanks! My coaches have always been in favor of a huge taper for sectionals so i might try to stay a little more consistent this year.
    For those later season sharpening workouts, do you have any suggestions? I'm not quite at the level you were at (yet), but i do run the same kind of mid-distance specialty. Anything you can give me is probably usable since my coaches allow me a lot input in my training.

  6. How does one become a more consistent runner in races? Example: Running xx time in the 5k one week for a bad race, and then 2-3 weeks later running considerably faster for a good one.