Saturday, August 29, 2009

Reflections on summer speed training

The skinny:
-15 week training cycle averaging 34.4 miles per week.
-81% of my workouts were run faster than 8:00 pace with most of the remaining 19% between 8:00-8:15. I think my slowest run was around 8:30. To put that in perspective, my marathon PR, set in my last training cycle was 3:43:22 (8:31 pace).
When the goal race is a 5K or even a 10K, that type of mileage will do. For a marathon or even a half, that's not nearly enough. Training at this type of intensity year round is a very bad idea and puts me at risk for an injury or relapse. My rationale is that since it is very difficult to run high mileage in the Alabama heat and humidity unless you are either running at 5 AM or after 8 PM, now is the time to work on speed. The results? Well, it ended on a bit of a sour note with back to back weeks of 2.26 and 2.19 but overall not too bad. Few runners can achieve everything they set out to do in a training cycle and they don't have to deal with chemical imbalances and roller coaster energy levels so I should be pleased with what I have done this summer.
Here are some of the highlights:
-I developed a bit of a manic obsession with running a 400 in 59.9 or under. I broke 62 seconds 3 times but fell short by 1.23 seconds or less than 5 seconds per mile. It was frustrating to continually come so close but if you had told me one year ago that I could even run under 65, I would have been very pleased. Also, these were solo time trials. With close competition, I believe that I could have done it. The window of opportunity is the shortest at this distance but I still think that it will not close for another 2-3 years when I am 32.
-Tied my best of the decade with a 2:24 800. This is my strongest track PR (2:13) and a fast time is less important because a PR is out of reach this year but I did chop 6 seconds off last year's time.
-Cut off 8 seconds from last year's Mile with a time of 5:22, which is my fastest since '99 and just 7 seconds from my lifetime goal and 13 away from a PR.
-5K in 19:27. That's only 14 seconds, less than 5 per mile, away from an all time PR. I want that one badly and will take another shot at it in the Fall.
-5 Mile in an all time PR of 33:36. I didn't race that distance in HS so it doesn't mean quite as much but any PR is a great feeling.
Any regrets about this cycle?
Yes. Especially toward the end, I went too far with the time trials. One a month is okay but for a while, I was doing one every Friday. A couple of times, I wasn't feeling quite 100% and still took a shot at 59.9. Certainly, I would have been better off doing a regular workout.
Plans for the remainder of the year:
First, I need to get the mileage up. I will strive for a minimum of 45 MPW. I'll still run speed workouts but they will not be as frequent as during this cycle. No more 400s or 800s. I do want to take another shot a the 5:15-5:20 Mile. My 2 Mile PR of 11:31 is my weakest on the track and I think I have a chance at that one before the year is out. As for my racing plans, I will most likely run the 14.2 in Tupelo next weekend as a fun run. After that, I want a new 10K PR (42:43) and have picked out a race in Monty on 9/19 that should be a flat course. I may race a 5K in October but after that I will be in half marathon mode. I'm considering 2 Novemeber races (Chicamauga or Huntsville). If I PR there, I may call it a season. Otherwise, I will consider 2 December races a little further from home (Baton Rouge or Point Clear, near Mobile).
Looking ahead to 2010, I'm leaning towards running the full at Mercedes on my home course and if I can break 3:30 there, my first BQ attempt will be in the fall. All of this is Lord willing.
On the medical front:
Being released from the chromium dependency could be a major victory. I had better see significant progress on my next medical report. If not, I may need a break from running

1 comment:

Preston said...

I think you could go 3:30 at Mercedes!