Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Pain in the Butt

This week was my last week of my prepracticum, so it was awesome to get that out of the way. The reasonably tough training of the last few weeks started to sink in this week- I went into zombie-mode for a couple days, then came away from a longer run with a really bad left piriformis. I ended up taking a just-to-be-safe day off, and I think I'm all back to normal now.

The next couple weeks are going to be tough ones- in addition to needing to maintain the training load I've built up to over the last few weeks, I have a bunch of papers due this Thursday, then my job-training for the Census the week after (which runs 8am-6pm, Tuesday-Friday), then final exams the week after that. It'll nice to celebrate being done with school for the summer by opening up with a 3000 at Umass Lowell on the 15th.

I also got a chance to go to the Boston Marathon Expo this weekend with a teammate. We just happened to stumble in on a panel that included, at various times, Bob Larsen (Meb's coach), Bill Squires, Bill Rodgers, Greg Meyer, and Catherine Ndereba. It was AWESOME to hear Rodgers and Meyer reminisce about their training and to hear Squires talk about the way he used to structure workouts and why he did things the way he did. He had some interesting comments on group training and why he wasn't particularly impressed with American marathoning today. He said that while America has some very top-quality talent up front, the depth is pathetic compared to the late 70s, early 80s. As Squires observed, "There were guys running 2:12 and 2:13 who couldn't even get shoes, much less a contract! I had 2:12 and 2:13 guys paying club dues to be in the Greater Boston Track Club. They paid for the uniform and we had two group workouts a week: the speed work on Tuesday and the long fartlek on Sunday. Good things happen in a group; there were local-yokels who were working full time and running 2:15 marathons and weren't even on my varsity squad for xc. We gotta get more guys training in groups like that if we wanna see a hundred US runners go under 2:20 in one year."

All in all, it was electric listening to Squires hold court. It was also a little eerie in the sense that Bruce has inherited a lot of Squires' mannerisms (the good ones!) and points of view. It was funny to see either Keith or Kevin Hanson sitting on the floor of the crowded room, listening raptly to what Squires had to say.

Last thing before the log, I had some unanswered comments:

Ben- Do you need the late-season sharpening stuff yet? How far out is your state meet? Seems to me that it's pretty early in the season to be doing that kind of stuff. For the early and mid-season conditioning, I like to use short intervals at mile pace to start getting a little pace familiarity going, with longer intervals at about 3k type gear to really do the bulk of the conditioning word. Bruce calls these "Marshmallow Workouts." Ex- 4x200 (200j) at mile gear, 4x800 (400j) at 3k gear, 4x200 (200j) at mile gear. That's a solid 3mi worth of work, which is a good work volume for a high school guy.

JJ- Like all things, it takes time and patience. The longer you're an active runner doing training, the more lifetime fitness you'll have. The more lifetime fitness you have, the more consistent you'll be able to be. Just keep training hard and keep your chin up. Sorry I don't have anything sexier to tell you.

Finally, the log:

Monday- 5PM- 3up to Brookline with Eric after a long day, then had to modify the planned workout of 2.5, 1.5, 1 lap(s) of the Res. Instead, I did 2lap, 1lap, 1lap with about a 5min jog rest. Just not my day out there, today- temp was great, strides felt sluggish, wind noticeable but not too bad.

3000- 9:05
1500- 4:29
1500- 4:27

Solid workout, regardless, but it would have been nice to get the whole thing in. Jogged to the bottom of Summit with Eric (who had a good workout and did the whole thing to boot) and 6x15 seconds hill sprints up Summit with a jog down rest, then headed back to the TTC. Time for a down week. Tot 12

Tuesday- AM- Very slow on the River, 4mi, complete zombie mode. PM- River Loop again + 20min barefoot on the turf.

Wednesday- PM- 13mi steady, most of it with Rob, some of it with the guys- ran through Brookline on one of Rob's secret runs. This was the run where my left piriformis just about exploded, which destroyed my stride and tightened my whole left side up.

Thursday- OFF, trying not to push the piriformis or stay in zombie mode too long.

Friday- AM- An easy 3mi that only occurred because I had a class that's about ~1.5 away, I woke up very late, and had to turn in an assignment. Running was faster than taking the T, so my double was born. PM- 4 up, 8xHeartbreak with no watch, 4 down. Left piriformis blew up again, but not during the hills. It shut down exactly when it shut down on Wednesday- just about the 65min mark of the run. It responded well to stretching and didn't blow up as bad as it did on Wednesday.

Saturday- 12:30PM- 8mi easy with Krinjak, then off to the marathon expo. No secondary run today partly because I wanted to baby the piriformis a little and partly because when I was debating going out for the 2nd run, Ken, James, and Sean were leaving for McDonalds. That ended that debate.

Sunday- 11:30AM- 13mi with the first ~10mi very slow with Ken and James, then the last 3 faster, ending with a mile on the track in 5:21. Felt pretty good the whole way, piriformis didn't go at all; hopefully, I've beaten it.

Tot- 72 mi
8 runs
No strength, core, drills, or strides. Bad, bad, Craig.



  1. i would have liked to have been with you when you heard coach squires.

    i hope all else goes well for you. take care.

  2. I don't need the sharpening stuff yet, but my coaches have a good midseason plan - in fact we use that exact workout at times. I was just wondering since in the past our "sharpening" workouts have been the most long and strenuous of the season, which i'm pretty sure is wrong, as proved by my plateauing at the end of each xc and track season. Also, i'll be peaking for sectionals/state quals, since some crazy things would have to happen for me to make states this year. PRs are 2:08 in the 8 and 4:43 in the 16, though that 16 PR will likely drop this week. I'm just looking to peak for a sub 4:30 mile, which will be a tough goal in itself. And on another note, what would you suggest as a distance for my long run and 50-55 miles per week? I know i can make it to 12 without much problem, but that seem i little bit out of proportion with the total milage.

    Jeez i write long comments.

  3. I'd say anything around 10-12 is fine for a long run, but I wouldn't do it the day after a race.

    As for sharpening, I like doing a longer interval at an aggressive pace, then some shorter, quicker intervals for an overall low-volume but high intensity workout.

    I also wouldn't do much in the way of sharpening if you're racing twice a week right up til your last couple meets. If you're racing twice a week, see if you can get an 800 race in the dual meet if your goal race is the mile.

    Don't put so much importance on time- race the other guys in the race.

    Here are two sharpening workouts I like for the mile, if you're only racing once a week:

    1) 1000m at mile pace, 4min jog, 2x300 fast but relaxed with 4min jog.

    2) 3x800, first 400 @ mile pace, 2nd 400 4-5 seconds faster. Take a slow 800 jog after each one- this is a really, really, tough workout.

    again, don't both using these if you have to race twice a week.

  4. I'm only racing once a week, so i'm definitely looking forward to trying those workouts. that 3x800 sounds TOUGH.