Sunday, July 12, 2020

Training log - Week ending 7/12/2020

This week was 20 miles of running, 1500 yards of swimming, 5 "miles" of pool-running, and some easy walking on the treadmill -- training log is here


Kinda a frustrating week.  The roots of it lie in last Sunday afternoon when I tweaked my left leg (a hamstring/adductor/glute/sicatic thing) while doing reverse planks with leg lifts.  I jogged over to the track on Tuesday to do a workout, but the leg felt not ready, so I just ran easy.


Wednesday morning, the leg felt better, so I warmed up and then ran a controlled workout.  Only to feel the left leg give out and start spasming at the end of the very last interval.  So I did the walk of shame home and applied compression and ice, and then started some gentle mobility.


I had a PT appointment scheduled on Thursday anyway, which was quite convenient.  It's a whole cluster of things on my left inner/upper thigh - spasms in the hamstrings and adductors, tenderness at the ischial tuberosity (sit bone), stiffness in my lower back (with a lot of stiffness in the lower thoracic area) and a tight left glute.  Plus occasional pain shooting down my left leg to the inside of the foot (probably because my sciatic nerve is irritated by the swelling at the sitbone.


So...I'm off running for a few days.  As with nearly all injuries, careful mindful movement is better than complete rest.  So I started with lying on my back and moving my left leg in a pain-free range of motion, plus a lot of nerve flossing, and some tennis ball work on all the muscle knots in my adductor/hamstring/glute.


I also got in to the chiropractor on Friday morning to get my spine mobilized and some Graston on the inner thigh.  Then, as I was able, I started adding in more work - lotsa glute bridges and very cautious eccentric hamstring work throughout the day.  


With excellent timing the local pool opened up on Saturday, and so I was able to swim on Saturday and then pool-run on Sunday, both of which did a great deal to loosen things up.  I also added in some very slow walking on the treadmill - keeping my steps short not to irritate stuff.  The whole point of all this was just to add in some careful motion to keep tissue mobile and blood flowing.


I'm supposed to start some careful jogging as soon as I feel comfortable doing so.  Through Sunday of this week, the leg still felt a bit grabby and spastic and unstable, for lack of a better term.  And also very weak when trying to climb stairs.  As of tonight (Sunday night), it's feeling better.  Sore and stiff, but that's fine.  I don't need to wait until it's pain free, just until it feels reasonably strong and stable, which is does now.  If it still feels this way tomorrow morning, I'll do a test jog/medicine run before swimming.



Dailies 


Monday: Live streaming yoga, upperbody weights/core, and back unloading work plus foam rolling.


Tuesday: 2 miles very easy (9:45) to track, then 10 miles very easy (9:30), followed by streaming yoga.  Foam rolling at night.


Wednesday: 8 miles including 3x1200. 3x400 in 4:43, 4:40, 4:36, 90, 88, 87; 2:40 recovery after the 1200s; 90 second recovery for the 400s.  Left leg grabbed at end, so no cooldown.


Thursday: Core in the morning; foam rolling and very gentle streaming yoga in afternoon. 


Friday:  Upperbody weights, core, and very gentle streaming yoga in morning.  Foam rolling at night.


Saturday: 1500 yards of swimming and streaming yoga in the morning; 20 minute slow treadmill walk  and foam rolling in the afternoon.


Sunday: Streaming yoga, upper body strengthwork and core, and 5 "miles" pool-running. 30 minute slow treadmill walk and foam rolling in afternoon.


Sunday, July 5, 2020

Training log - Week ending 7/5/2020

This week was 60.5 miles of running -- training log is here


Back to a kinda normal rhythm: hard aerobic + mile pace stuff on Tuesday; tempo intervals + mile pace stuff on Friday, and a shorter long run on Sunday.  My focus is speed/mechanics right now - hence the 200s on both Tuesday and Friday.  At the same time, some high end aerobic and shorter tempo work is necessary to support that speed.  Hence the combo workouts.


My asthma improved slightly but continued to be iffy all week, so I saw the asthma doctor (virtually) and got another script for prednisone (banned in competition, but legal outside of it).  Luckily, I don't need much pred to kick these asthma flares usually - the official prescription is for 3-5 days at 20-40 mg, but I've found that two days at 10 mg can do the trick.  So I took that on Friday and Saturday, and by Sunday morning I was puffing almost normally on my peak flow inhaler (just under 500 when 500-525 is ideal).  Sunday was a hot and humid day, but I felt so very much better than earlier in the week.


So hopefully that did the trick.




Dailies 


Monday: Live streaming yoga, upperbody weights/core, and back unloading work plus foam rolling.


Tuesday: 12 miles outside, including a track workout of 2x1200m, 3x800m, 4x200m.  Splits were 4:36, 4:36, 3:06, 3:04, 3:01 and then 41, 41, 40, 41.  Just under 3 minutes recovery after the 1200s, and ~2:40 recovery between the 800s.  Full recovery for the 200s.   Followed with leg strengthwork and live streaming yoga. Foam rolling at night.


Wednesday: 8 miles easy outside (9:26), live streaming yoga, 4 miles easy on the treadmill (8:56), and drills and 4 strides. Foam rolling at night. 


Thursday: Upper body weights/core and back unloading work/foam rolling in the morning; live streaming yoga in the afternoon. 


Friday: 12 miles outside, including a track workout of 2x3200m, 4x200m  Splits were 13:09 (6:35/6:34), 13:05 (6:37/6:28) and then 42, 41, 41, 41.  Five minute recovery between the 3200m repeats; full recovery for the 200s.  Followed with leg strengthwork and recovery yoga. Foam rolling at night.


Saturday: 10 miles very easy (9:22), followed by drills and four hill strides.  Live streaming yoga,  back unloading work, and foam rolling in the afternoon.


Sunday: 14.5 miles, split as the first 12 progressive (first three miles averaged 9:22 pace, the next four averaged 7:49, and the last five averaged 7:08) and then ~2.5 miles cooldown. Followed with leg strengthwork and streaming yoga. Foam rolling in afternoon.


Sunday, June 28, 2020

Training log - Week ending 6/28/2020

This week was 63 miles of running -- training log is here

I introduced more intensity this week, with a mile pace workout on Tuesday and a longer tempo workout on Friday.  It's been a very long time since I did a workout that was entirely mile pace (I usually just add some reps at mile pace or a bit faster to the end of an interval pace workout).

But...I have at least one road mile coming up.  Plus, my asthma's been flaring a bit at the same time that our heat/humidity have ramped up.  Mile pace workouts involve shorter durations and longer recoveries and so are much less stress on the lungs.

My asthma was iffy enough on Friday that I modified my planned 2x2 miles at tempo.  I suspect the underlying cause of the asthma flare is that I strained a muscle in my back (rhomboid) which makes it painful to take a very deep breath.  My asthma meds are inhaled, meaning I need to take a deep breath in order to get a full dose of the meds.  Unfortunate coincidence.

The result is that I'm puffing 450 on my peak flow meter (when I'm breathing well, I hit between 500 and 525).  So it's not a surprise that tempo work is a bit hard right now.  Hopefully the strained muscle will resolve in a few days.  If not, I have an appointment with the asthma doctor to see what other options there are for my breathing.

My plan over the next few weeks is to cut my mileage back down to 60-ish, while also shortening my progressive long run to 12 miles (plus a cooldown).  I can't do 3 hard workouts a week and recover adequately, but I can do 2.5 hard workouts if my mileage isn't terribly high.  Thus the slight reduction in my mileage and the conversion of the Sunday long run to a "half workout" as I increase the intensity of the weekdays workouts.

I'm also holding out hope that I will be able to train for and race a fall marathon.  Thus, I want to cut back on my long run so that I can get a stimulus when I start extending it again for a fall marathon training cycle.  If you do the same thing year round, in my experience, you eventually stop responding to it and no longer gain fitness from it.  So, now is the time to pull back so that I can reap a gain when it's time to build again.


Dailies 

Monday: Live streaming yoga, upperbody weights/core, and back unloading work plus foam rolling.

Tuesday: 12.5 miles outside, including a mile pace workout of 4x(2x200, 400) with equal distance recoveries.  Splits were 41, 42, 84/ 42, 42, 85/ 42, 42, 84/ and 41, 41, 84.   Followed with leg strengthwork and live streaming yoga. Foam rolling at night.

Wednesday: 7 miles easy outside (9:04), live streaming yoga, 7 miles easy on the treadmill (9:03), and drills and 4 strides. Foam rolling at night. 

Thursday: Upper body weights/core and back unloading work/foam rolling in the morning; live streaming yoga in the afternoon. 

Friday: 12.5 miles outside, including a workout of 2 miles, 1 mile at tempo, and then 4x0.25 miles a bit faster.  Splits were 12:55 (6:24/6:31) 6:27; and then 86, 94, 93, and 93 (stopped the first one too early).  Recoveries of 4:4x after the tempo segments, and 60 seconds between the quarter miles.

Followed with leg strengthwork and recovery yoga. Foam rolling at night.

Saturday: 10 miles very easy (9:21), followed by drills and two hill strides.  Live streaming yoga,  back unloading work, and foam rolling in the afternoon.

Sunday: 14 miles, split as the first 12 progressive (first four miles averaged 9:21 pace, the next four averaged 7:53, and the last four averaged 7:07) and then 2 miles cooldown.

Followed with leg strengthwork and streaming yoga. Foam rolling in afternoon.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Training log - Week ending 6/21/2020

This week was 65 miles of running -- training log is here

A lot of juggling and playing with stuff this week.  I started off by getting annoyed with my footpod, which I've been using to measure pace and distance on the treadmill.  

For a while now, my footpod and my treadmill have been giving completely different paces - the treadmill will say 8:57 pace, while the foot pod will say 9:14 or so.  And my perceived effort on the treadmill has been much closer to the treadmill's pace than the foot pod's pace.

So...on Tuesday, after doing supposedly 12:30 minute tempos at the same pace (according to the footpod) that I could hold comfortably outside for 40+ minutes, I decided to see just how fast the treadmill was going.  I did this by first measuring the length of the belt (11 feet exactly), and then timing how long twenty revolutions of the belt took at various speeds on the treadmill.  (for each speed, I timed 20 revolutions three times so that I could average the times for better accuracy.  As it turned out, each of the three timed intervals were within 1/100s of a second, so averaging really was just taking the number I timed).

As it turned out, the treadmill is actually going about 0.1 MPH faster than it states - i.e. it runs at 8.8 MPH when I type in 8.7.  Thus, while the foot pod claimed I was running significantly slower than the posted speed, the belt was actually going slightly faster than the posted speed.  About a 25-30 second difference between the pace of the belt and the footpod's reported pace. 

There are those who will state that the treadmill/footpod discrepancy is actually due to a quirk of treadmills where the belt slows down when one's foot is on it and speeds up between steps; hence the footpod is truly measuring the speed of the belt when one's foot is on it, and is thus accurate.  While I don't doubt that may hold true for some, my understanding is that this distortion is usually observed with heavier runners and weaker treadmill motors.  I weight less than 110 pounds and am running on a 4 CHP (continuous horse power) commercial grade treadmill (treadmills generally range between 1.5 and 4 CHP).  So I find it hard to believe that I'd be distorting the treadmill belt to the tune of 25-30 seconds per mile.  Plus,...the whole perceived effort thing.... 6:50 pace was NOT feeling like 6:50 pace on the treadmill.

So....I played some with calibrating the foot pod, and figured out that a calibration factor of 1.03 got the foot pod in line with my perceived effort on the treadmill.  However, when I took the footpod to the running track later in the week to calibrate it for outside running, I found that a calibration factor of 1.00 was best.

Which seems odd, but from reviewing online discussion of this footpod this is not uncommon.  Plenty of reports of the footpod being accurate at 1.00 outside, but needing to be calibrated to 1.03 or 1.04 on the treadmill (and no, I'm not going to say which brand footpod it is - I don't do product reviews).  So at least it's not just me.  Or alternately, we all have the same treadmill hang-up/incompetence.

Ultimately, I don't care about getting exact paces or distances on the treadmill - I've been doing my treadmill workouts by effort over time, and the body responds to effort, not pace.  But...it'd still be nice to have something reasonably accurate - I suspect this error has meant that I've been running a mile or two more per week than I knew.

As it turned out, I started shifting away from treadmill workouts at the end of the week anyway.  Our local track is open again, things are starting to open up a bit, and it's looking like smaller races may start happening in July.  I was thinking I needed to start shifting from strength to speed with some 200s, so when the treadmill decided to shut down on me in the middle of my Friday workout, I just headed out to the track (conveniently very close) and pivoted to 200s.

The 200s felt a bit awkward, which was not surprising at all - I have done no running faster than 6 minute pace in months, and the faster running that I have been doing has been on a treadmill at an incline, which encourages power, not stride length.  But....it will come back based on my past experience.

I'm going to spend a little bit of time focused on short fast stuff (really, just a week or two), and then transition to more traditional training in hopes of a return to near-normalcy.  If it turns out I'm wrong, and there will be no races in July, August, September, then I'll just take a week long break after a few weeks of "regular training," call this a completed cycle, and return to hills.

Dailies 

Monday: Live streaming yoga, upperbody weights/core, and back unloading work plus foam rolling.

Tuesday: 12.5 miles on the treadmill, including a mixed workout of 2 short hill repeats (60 seconds at a 4.5 incline), 12:30 minutes at tempo (6:48? or maybe faster?), 2 more short hill repeats, 12:30 minutes at tempo (6:42? or maybe faster?), and 2 more short hill repeats; 2:30 recovery after each hill or tempo segment. Followed with injury prevention work and live streaming yoga. Foam rolling at night.
 
Wednesday: 7 miles easy outside (9:13), live streaming yoga, 7 miles easy on the treadmill (8:56 with the fixed footpod), and drills and 4 hill strides. Foam rolling at night. 

Thursday: Upper body weights/core and back unloading work/foam rolling in the morning; live streaming yoga in the afternoon. 

Friday: 12.5 miles, split between the treadmill and outside. I started with an imitation Iwo Jima workout - 2 repeats of the following: 
-2:00 at a strong effort on a 3.0 incline (the Iwo Jima hill averages a 3% incline) 
-1:30 easy effort on a 1.0 incline 
-0:30 fast on a 1.0 incline 
-1:00 easy effort on a 1.0 incline. 
Then swapped to outside for 2x (6x200) with 200m recoveries between reps and 600m recovery between sets.  Structured each set as first pair a bit harder than 5K effort, second pair a bit harder, third pair harder yet.  Splits were 44/44/43/43/40/40 and 43/44/41/42/39/40.

Followed with leg strengthwork and recovery yoga. Foam rolling at night.
 
Saturday: 10.5 miles very easy (9:16), plus another 800m on the track calibrating my foot pod.  Then did drills, four hill strides and live streaming yoga. Finished up with some back unloading work and foam rolling. 

Sunday: 14 miles, including a workout of 2 miles at tempo effort (12:49 - split as 6:27/6:22) and then 2x~half mile in 3:06 and 3:05.  5:30 recovery after the tempo miles, and 2:3x recovery after the half mile reps.  Followed with leg strengthwork and streaming yoga, and then another shakeout mile testing a new pair of shoes. Foam rolling in afternoon.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Training log - Week ending 6/14/2020

This week was 65 miles of running -- training log is here.
More of the same.  Tuesday was a humid morning, and I picked too aggressive a pace for the first tempo segment, forcing me to take a break halfway through to cooldown before continuing the workout at a more restrained pace.

Despite what one might assume, running on the treadmill doesn't let me escape the heat/humidity, since we run our air conditioning very sparingly during the day.  I have two small battery powered fans attached to the treadmill, but they don't do much.  This is not all bad, since it means I still get the heat acclimation effects, plus the ability to have my water bottle at hand at all times.  But it does mean that I have to adjust my workout for the conditions, which is harder when running on the treadmill, since I'm programming in a speed.  The solution is going to be to start every tempo conservatively, and then up the speed (similar how I do it on the track, come to think of it....).

The humidity did drop for the rest of the week, along with the temperatures, making for nice workouts on Friday and Sunday.

Looking ahead, there are some semi-local (meaning 90 minutes to 2 hours away) road miles that are still calendared for mid and late July.  If those are still on as of the end of June, I'll transition away from my focus on hills and strength towards some speed stuff starting in July.

Dailies


Monday:  Live streaming yoga, upperbody weights/core, and back unloading work plus foam rolling.  

Tuesday: 12.5 miles on the treadmill, including a mixed workout of 2 short hill repeats (70 seconds at a 4.5 incline), 10 minutes at tempo (6:35), 2 more short hill repeats. Then a water break.  Jumped back on for 2 more short hill repeats and 10 minutes at tempo (6:49), and 2 more short hill repeats; 2:30 recovery after each hill or tempo segment.  Followed with injury prevention work and live streaming yoga. Foam rolling at night

Wednesday: 7 miles easy outside (9:14), drills and 4 strides, live streaming yoga, 7 miles easy on the treadmill (9:06).  Foam rolling at night.  

Thursday: Upper body weights/core and back unloading work/foam rolling in the morning; live streaming yoga in the afternoon.

Friday:  12.5 miles on the treadmill, including an imitation Iwo Jima workout - 8 repeats of the following:

-2:00 at a strong effort on a 3.0 incline (the Iwo Jima hill averages a 3% incline)

-1:30 easy effort on a 1.0 incline

-0:30 fast on a 1.0 incline

-1:00 easy effort on a 1.0 incline.

Followed with leg strengthwork and recovery yoga.  Foam rolling at night.

Saturday: 10.5 miles very easy (9:02), drills, two hill strides, and two normal strides, and then live streaming yoga.   Finished up with some back unloading work and foam rolling.

Sunday: 15.5 miles, including 16 miles progression (split as first 4 averaging 8:57, next 4 averaging 7:40, next 6 averaging 6:50) and a 1.5 mile cooldown.  Followed with leg strengthwork and streaming yoga. Foam rolling in afternoon.