Monday, July 29, 2013

The Good, Hard-Working Runs of Summer

As my racing teamate Matt and I ran along Haines Point in DC, we chatted along quite comfortably at 6:30 pace.

"I feel like we could run this pace forever," he said.

He would cover 19 miles for the day as I would cover just under 21.  The weather felt amazing compared to the brutal heat the week before.  My body felt good.  It felt strong.  Maybe it was a good thing the Twilighter 8K was cancelled, I thought.  It was certainly not an important race to me, as what I am focusing on now is that target half marathon PR.

I have noticed a few different things in my recent years of training/running.  My body is able to recover much quicker than it used to.  I can handle more mileage and intensity than I used to.  The trick is finding the right mix of workouts combined with long endurance type runs and the right amount of mileage.  That comes to the next difference.  I have noticed, that my overall paces are faster combined with higher volume.

In a nutshell, I am able to handle more intensity at high volume.  

My summer started with doing shorter intervals(300 meter repeats, 400 meter repeats), and jumping into the MidSummer Night's Mile race.  Georgetown Running Company's Joe Wiegner would run it, and I was looking to hopefully run the race close to his pace.  But Joe is a kicker, and he certainly has been concentrating on the mile much more than I have.  I learned I was not a miler in high school, and still never will be, but it is a good race for me to work on what I would describe as a very uncomfortable, short, gasping for breath type of running with little to no oxygen.  I hung with Joe for the first 800(we went out fast-at least for me-split was something like 2:10).  The third lap he gapped me, and though I am competitive with my former roomate, the race certainly was not long enough for me to give him an honest fight for the win.  But it was a good workout to get in, as I always like to get in some type of shorter race over the summer.

The next morning, I went out to Edwards Ferry and pounded 20 miles in 2:09:00.

The following week, I did my first semi-longer interval workout of 5 x 800 meters.  It was nothing special, I started 2:27 and worked down to 2:24.  I anticipated to save my legs for the Rockville Twilighter 8K that Saturday.  If only I had known it would be cancelled, I would have done more.  I only hit 82 miles that week, but I felt good going into the next.

These past several days have been awesome.  Today, I drove out to Harper's Ferry with Travis.  He was to do 17 for his long run this past weekend but pushed it to Monday instead.  Luckily we both had the day off from work.  I had planned on 14 today but figured to do a few extra miles and help pace him.  We ventured out on the towpath and enjoyed the magnificent scenery.  The cooler weather felt awesome, and although I had run 107 miles last week, I felt quite good.

Last week I did a very good workout.  I did a 1200m at a moderate effort followed by 5 x1600m on the track.  I also got in plenty of hill running in Poolesville.  It is one of my favorite places to train.

Monday: 10 Miles: 62:00(Edwards Ferry/Whites Ferry Loop)

Tuesday: 15 Miles: 1:40:00(Hilly route in Poolesville)

Wednesday: AM: 2 mile warm up, drills, 1 x 1200m: 3:45, 5 x 1600m: 4:55, 4:54, 4:57, 4:56, 4:57, all with 3 minute rests between, 1 mile cool down/
PM: 8 miles: 55:00(Swains Lock)

Thursday: AM: 3.5 miles recovery/
PM: 9 miles: 60:00(Pennyfield Lock)

Friday: 12 miles: 80:00(Rileys Lock/Seneca Road loop)

Saturday: 21 miles: 2:22:00(on towpath towards DC/VA with Matt)

Sunday: AM: 10 miles recovery: 82:00(with runners in my training group at Rock Creek)
PM: 10 miles: 69:00(Sycamore Landing/Seneca Road loop)

Total: 107 Miles

I'd lie if I didn't say training like this is hard as shit.  It is not just running for fitness.  I am trying to do something that is very, very difficult.  But the challenge is what keeps it going.  As Kennedy said, "We don't go to the moon because it is easy, we go to it because it is hard."

-Chris Sloane


  1. Good work Chris! Keep it up, you're on track for some more great races. I'm very excited for you and admire your determination.

  2. Whew, keep it up Chris. You the man.

  3. Thanks man, keep up your training as well!