Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Adaptation and Balance

I started the year off with a great half: Houston in January, running 1:07:29 and demolishing my previous PR by 1 min 10 sec. Afterwards, I did some short tune up races to get ready for Cherry Blossom, which worked very well and I was very pleased with my effort and another new PR of 50:57 for 10 miles.  More so, I also placed well(20th) in the championship race.  Pikes Peek 10K followed 3 weeks after, which was a so-so race(I tied to the exact second my current PR of 30:43-same course, although I placed well-8th overall).  No question my 2 best performances this year(and of my entire running career thus far) are Houston and Cherry Blossom.  I am proud of those races and I think they have put me on a new level in my running.

I have noticed a few changes in my running over the last year: my endurance and threshold are improving a lot.  My threshold is moving closer and closer to 5:00 pace(I raced Cherry Blossom at 5:05/mile, and Houston was 5:08 pace).  Last year I did a bit more VO2-Max stuff where as this year I have been doing more threshold.  The results make sense.  Nevertheless, after Pikes Peek, I felt like jumping in the Swarthmore 5K on May 12.  I wanted to see what I had in me and possibly take down my 5K PR off of not very much 5K type training.  I did a few workouts after Pikes Peek, but they were not very fast-again they were more so my threshold pace.  So I went into the race blindfolded, just seeing what would happen.

The gun went off and I sprinted to the front pack of the fast heat of the mens 5K.  Aerobically, I felt fine, and was aiming to run 70s, which I ended up doing very consistently, going through the first mile in 4:40.  Then, 6 1/2 laps in, I pulled the plug and dropped out.  My left soleus started to tighten up and I pulled up just in time to not injure myself.  It had been tight the last few weeks, I've noticed.  Anything faster than 5:00/mile has seemed to feel just too fast right now, not to mention running in spikes.  And it makes sense, I am not a 5K runner right now.  4:40 is too fast right now, and it isn't natural for my body at this point, so it was straining.  I cooled down for a few miles, and that helped loosen it up.  Yes it sucks when this happens, but I have Grandma's Half Marathon on June 21 and I did not want to take away from that.  I honestly I feel really good about things right now.  It's hard to really listen to your body, and I have gotten quite good at it.  Similarly, last fall at Philly, I felt my body straining, and pulled out of that race as well, which later on I realized what a smart decision it was.

Last week I only got in 55 miles, but the week before was a solid 81 mile week however.  I should be able to get in some decent mileage this week, but just endurance stuff, no hard workouts.  Next week, hopefully I should be fine to do some threshold training.  I will only race Grandmas if I can do some solid threshold workouts before then though, and if my body is feeling good.  If my body is not ready, I will not force it.  I will not race, simple as that.  The key is to let my body guide me towards what it is ready to do.  This is the key to adaptation and keeping balance as a runner.  I always go by the simple rule that Olympian Paul Cummings told me once: "You should feel good running, if you do not feel good, do not run."

1 comment:

  1. you have such a level head, chris. and you've become so good at listening to your body. that's how you've managed to stay injury free for so long and be able to get the consistent training that's led you to all these great performances. i hope your soleus holds up (i'm still working on getting mine back to 100% and it's getting there!) and that you're able to get out to duluth and drop a huge PR in the half.