Sunday, February 21, 2021

Training log - Week ending 2/21/2021

This week was 64 miles of running, 1500 yards of swimming and 6 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here.  

We got hit by more winter weather the second half of this week. Not a lot of snow, just a "wintry mix" that iced everything up and then kept melting, seeping, and refreezing. If I hadn't had a treadmill, I would have searched for a cleared low traffic road and done loops there. But since I had a treadmill, I used it and conserved winter laundry. 

Before the weather hit, I fit in another set of Iwo Jima hill repeats. These felt really solid, so I think I'm done with them. 

The Iwo Jima hills are fantastic for improving one's running gait and developing some muscle, but they come at a cost - since the recovery duration matches or slightly exceeds the fast running duration, they're not an aerobic workout and you sacrifice a bit of fitness there. 

(of course, one could counter that by running the recoveries faster, but then you miss the entire point of the workout, and might as well just do a tempo on rolling terrain somewhere). 

As I've mentioned before, the incline motor on my treadmill has failed, and it's going to be another week at least before I can get it repaired due to various delays (some but not all Covid-related). Since I prefer to run at a slight angle, I inserted a piece of plywood under the front of my treadmill to elevate it slightly. 

Doing some very basic math (the width of the plywood was the rise and the length of the treadmill was the run) I guesstimated a 1% incline. However, as I thought about it more, I realized that the proper "run" to be measured was not the overall length of the treadmill, but rather the distance between the front feet (where the plywood was) and the back feet. That distance is shorter than the overall length of the treadmill, with the result that my calculated "plywood incline" is just under 2%. 

Of course, all of this is assuming that the treadmill is perfectly level without the plywood, which may or may not be true. So who knows. But in any event, the incline is a little steeper than I thought it was.

Monday: 5 "miles" of pool-running and upper body weights/core. Foam rolling at night. 

Tuesday: 12 miles, including 8 Iwo Jima hill repeats (~2:00 uphill, 90 second jog, ~25-30 second downhill stride, 70 seconds jog to bottom). Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming. Foam rolling in evening. 

Wednesday: 10.5 miles very easy outside (9:11), followed by drills, 2 flat strides and streaming yoga in the morning; foam rolling at night.
 

Thursday: Upper body weights/core and 5 miles very easy on treadmill (9:15) (subbing for a 50 minute pool-run, since pool was closed due to snow/ice). Foam rolling at night. 

Friday: 12 miles on the treadmill, including a workout of 6x1K in 4 minutes each with 75 seconds jogging recovery, full recovery, and then 6x45 seconds at 6:00 pace with 75 seconds jog. Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming. Foam rolling at night. 

Saturday: 10 miles very easy on the treadmill (9:10), followed by streaming yoga. Foam rolling in the afternoon. 

Sunday: 14 miles progressive on treadmill, split as first 4 miles averaging 9:12 pace, next 5 averaging 7:48, next 5 averaging 7:08, and then a half-mile cooldown. Followed with streaming yoga, some injury prevention work, and 500 yards recovery swimming. Foam rolling in afternoon.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Training log - Week ending 2/14/2021

This week was 59 miles of running, 1500 yards of swimming and 12 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here

I modified the alternation tempo this week, to 1 minute of faster tempo blended with 4 of slower tempo (so it was 4/1/4/1/4/1/4/1/4/1/4).  That seemed like the right structure - the workout was challenging but not a race effort.  Interestingly, I found myself looking forward to the faster segments and dreading the slower ones, which supports my impression that I'm weak aerobically (so I am more comfortable running slightly faster, which is more anaerobic).

I did Friday's workout on the treadmill because the treadmill works best for that workout - it won't allow me to cheat on the recoveries by easing up for a moment.  Sunday's long run was also on the treadmill but that was due to icy conditions outside.  In retrospect I could have waited a few hours and then run outside when it melted, but it was nice to get the run done.

Doing a long run on the treadmill is definitely more physically challenging than one outside.  I think it's because there is no variation in terrain (especially since my treadmill is stuck at a 1% incline right now) so you're just using the same muscles over and over again.   Which will make the treadmill a good resource for training the next time I target a very flat marathon.


Dailies 


Monday: 5 "miles" of pool-running and upper body weights/core.  Foam rolling at night.


Tuesday: 12 miles, including 7 Iwo Jima hill repeats (~2:00 uphill, 90 second jog, ~25 second downhill stride, 75 seconds jog to bottom).  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling in evening.


Wednesday:  10 miles very easy outside (9:28), followed by drills, 2 hill strides, 2 flat strides and streaming yoga in the morning; foam rolling at night.


Thursday: 5 "miles of pool-running and upper body weights/core.  Foam rolling at night.


Friday: 12 miles including an alternation tempo workout on the treadmill - I alternated six sets of 4 minutes at 6:55 pace with five sets of 1 minute at 6:36 pace, for 29 minutes of work.  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.


Saturday: 10.5 miles very easy outside (9:22), followed by drills, 2 hill strides and streaming yoga.  Foam rolling in the afternoon.


Sunday:  14 miles progressive on treadmill, split as first 5 averaging 9:10, next 5 averaging 7:52, next 4 averaging 7:10, and then a half-mile cooldown.  Followed with streaming yoga, some injury prevention work, and 500 yards recovery swimming/2 "miles" pool-running.  Foam rolling in afternoon.




Sunday, February 7, 2021

Training log - Week ending 2/7/2021

 This week was 68 miles of running, 1500 yards of swimming and 5 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here

Due to multiple snowfalls, many of my runs were on the treadmill this week.  Wow, is it nice to have that option.  Unfortunately the incline motor on my treadmill is not working, and the repair parts are back ordered.  In the meantime, since I like to run on the treadmill at a 1% incline as a default anyway, I've propped up the front of the treadmill with a piece of plywood.  It makes my runs slightly slower for the same effort, but also encourages me to push off with my glutes rather than run in a quad-dominant fashion.  I will totally take the trade-off, especially since the body responds to effort, not pace.


After taking my down week, I've shifted to focusing on basic strength - both leg strength and aerobic strength.  I listened recently to a great podcast with Nate Jenkins where he described the importance of building one's aerobic house.  So that's what I'm doing the next few weeks, relying on a shorter relaxed progression long run, Iwo Jima hills, and an alternation tempo.


This week's alternation tempo highlighted just how weak I am aerobically right now.  The point of the workout is to push a little over your lactate threshold and then duck back under and recover while still holding a fairly strong pace.  Right now, I can't do that at all (as highlighted by Tuesday's workout).  I was expecting that workout to be easy, since I'd be averaging around 6:45 pace.  I was shocked when I struggled and could not recover at all.  A straight 6:45 tempo would have been much easier.


When I think about it this is not all that surprising.  I had noted during my recent track workouts that I needed to run my recoveries much slower, even though I was running my intervals at the correct effort.  I'm not aerobically fit, and thus relying too much on my anaerobic system to support.  Which is no good for a marathoner.


So I need to rebuild that.  A controlled progression run that does not get too fast will help me.  Alternation workouts at the right effort (i.e. easier than this week's failed attempt) will do a lot.  As will discipline in keeping my easy runs truly easy (Jenkins makes a great point in his podcast about how it's always the people who run their easy runs too fast who can't seem to run to their potential in the marathon.  By running their easy runs too fast, they use their anaerobic system to supplement their aerobic system during those runs.  Their aerobic system never gets fully developed as a result, and fails them when they need it in the marathon)


And I'll also do Iwo Jima hills this week, just to balance all the aerobic work with some power and turnover.  



Dailies 


Monday: 9 miles very easy on the treadmill (9:22), followed by upper body weights/core, and an extra treadmill mile (8:57) after lubricating the belt.   Foam rolling at night.


Tuesday: 12 miles including a treadmill workout - I attempted an alternation workout of 4 sets of 4 minutes at 6:55 pace/4 minutes at 6:36 pace, for 32 minutes of work. Bailed at 26 minutes, which included inserting a 2 minute jog during one of the 6:55 paced segments.  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.


Wednesday:  10 miles very easy on treadmill (9:04) and streaming yoga in the morning; foam rolling at night.


Thursday: 5 "miles of pool-running and upper body weights/core.  Foam rolling at night.


Friday: 12 miles, including 6 Iwo Jima hill repeats (~2:00 uphill, 90 second jog, ~25 second downhill stride, 75 seconds jog to bottom).  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling in evening.


Saturday: 10.5 miles very easy outside (9:05), followed by drills, 2 hill strides, 2 flat strides, and streaming yoga.  Foam rolling in the afternoon.


Sunday:  14 miles progressive on treadmill, split as first 5 averaging 9:14, next 5 averaging 7:49, next 4 averaging 7:14, and then a half-mile cooldown.  Followed with streaming yoga, some injury prevention work, and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling in afternoon.




Sunday, January 31, 2021

Training log - Week ending 1/31/2021

This week was 28 miles of running, 500 yards of swimming and 21 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here

Myrtle Beach Marathon was postponed this week.  To May 1, which effectively means it's cancelled, since I'm not racing a marathon in South Carolina in May.  There are other options still available for the same weekend, but I've decided to pause my training and take a break instead. 


Over the last 2 weeks, my training has not gone the way I would like.  I have been tired (which is fine) and I haven't been progressing.  Plus I was starting to feel a bit mentally sour this week.  I wasn't over-trained yet, but my sense was that I was on the edge.  Wednesday's workout, in particular, felt like a slog.


If you're in a hole, it's time to stop digging.  Especially when the whole point for digging the hole is gone.  So, it made the most sense to shut stuff down for a few days, reverting to pool-running and junk food.  When I looked at my schedule, I haven't had a pool-running/junk food break in over a year (since I haven't had a goal race in over a year).  So I was very much overdue.


Over the next two or so weeks I'll lower my mileage some and revert back to hills and tempos.  I'm entered in the Athens (Ohio) Marathon in mid-April.  If that is still on in a few weeks, I'll try another short marathon cycle. 


Dailies 


Monday: 5 "miles" of pool-running and streaming yoga. Foam rolling at night.


Tuesday: 10 miles easy on the treadmill (9:00), followed by upper body weights/core.   Foam rolling at night.

;

Wednesday: 12 miles outside, including a track workout of 3x2 miles in 13:17 (6:35/6:42), 13:16 (6:42/6:34), and 13:12 (6:40/6:32) with 5 minutes jog between each.  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.


Thursday:  5 "miles" of pool-running and streaming yoga in the morning; foam rolling at night.


Friday: 5 "miles" of pool-running and streaming yoga in the morning; foam rolling at night.


Saturday: 6 "miles" of pool-running and upper body weights/core in the morning; foam rolling at night.


Sunday:  6 miles very easy on the treadmill (9:09) and streaming yoga in the morning.  Foam rolling in afternoon.


Monday, January 25, 2021

Training log - Week ending 1/24/2021

This week was 69 miles of running, 1500 yards of swimming and 10 "miles" of pool-running -- training log is here

My mileage was a bit artificially inflated this week.  Since my team is not holding workouts right now, I have a lot of flexibility to schedule workouts, so I've settled on a 15 day "training week" with a workout every 3 days.  It gives me a little more recovery than the standard 2-3 workouts in 7 days.


This week was kinda meh.  I'm doing good workouts for where I am fitness-wise.  I just don't like where I am fitness-wise.  And I feel a bit stuck in a plateau right now.  


Of course, that raises the question of how to respond to being stuck- back off or stay the course?


Since I don't have any of my traditional warning signs of overtraining (insomnia, bloating), I'm going to stay the course for another week or two, and then re-evaluate.


Dailies 


Monday: 12 miles on the track, including a workout of 2x1200, 2x800, 2x400, 4x200 in 4:41, 4:40, 3:07, 3:06, 90, 89, 43, 44, 43, 44.  400m recovery after the 1200s and 800s in 2:38-3:04; 200m recovery after the 400s and 200s in 90 seconds.  Followed with leg strengthwork and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.


Tuesday: 5 "miles" pool-running and streaming yoga in the morning; foam rolling at night.


Wednesday: 8 miles very easy (9:07), drills and 2 hill strides, upper body weights/core, then 4 treadmill miles very easy (8:49).   Foam rolling at night.


Thursday: 12 miles on the treadmill, including a tempo workout of 4 miles in 26:10 (6:38/6:31/6:31/6:30).  Followed with leg strengthwork, streaming yoga, and then 500 yards of recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.


Friday:  5 "miles" of pool-running and streaming yoga in the morning.  Foam rolling at night.


Saturday: 9 miles very easy (9:04), drills and four hill strides; upper body weights/core, and 3 miles very easy on treadmill (9:08).  Foam rolling at night.


Sunday:  21 miles progressive, split as first 7 averaging 9:13, next 7 averaging 7:53, and the final 7 averaging 7:08.  Followed with light injury prevention work and 500 yards recovery swimming. Foam rolling in afternoon.