Monday, February 2, 2015

The Endurance Segment

As much as I would have liked to do the Houston race, I now can see the benefits of investing into training my endurance the last several weeks.  This is the stuff that I am the best at.  I have been able to run fast track workouts, but deeper within me is an endurance monster.  This type of work is something I have needed to do for a while, and now is the right time to do it.  The focus has been developing my aerobic system, and as you scroll through each week below, you'll see that the runs on the weekends have been my main focus.  The important thing is that the effort has remained consistent, and aerobic, even as my pace improves-the key is the effort has felt the same on all these runs.  During the week, I've been getting in a lot of easy volume but mixed in are drills, 8 x 200m strides which really aren't that fast(they're not sprints), hill repeats, and fartlek runs.  I have alternated the fartlek runs and hills repeats every other week.  I have not hit the track yet.  My recovery on the weekends is surprising me, although I suppose it in fact isn't surprising because I am doing very little anaerobic work.  But also the fact that I've worked up to hitting 110 miles last week while running pretty fast on some of these runs, especially the weekend runs at those paces.  I've never run so well aerobically.  But it also feels so natural to me.  I'll finish this phase in 1-3 weeks from now, depending on how things go.  This past Saturday, I did a hilly 12 miles at 5:40 pace, at Beach Drive.  It's a great workout since there are hills.  On Sunday, I talked to Conrad and Greg Mariano about perhaps synching our runs together somewhat.  They were to do a warm-up run down the CCT before they started their workout.   I was to run steady the whole way for 20.  I started my run some minutes after them, already cruising down the CCT at sub 6:00 pace, and caught up to them right at the end of the CCT when they were about to start their workout.  They were doing a cutdown workout of some sort, 4 miles on 1 mile off or something like that.  I was looking to maintain in the 5:40s for most of the run, while they were looking to progress the  pace each section they were "on", which I certainly wasn't going to do.  I needed to make sure I did my workout.  That's the discipline.  Nevertheless I could use some company at least for the early part of their first tempo, even if it didn't completely work out eventually.  As they started running hard at the end of the CCT it synched well with the pace I was running, but eventually they were moving towards the 5:20s, which I obviously wasn't going to do.  I let them go ahead, and stayed within myself, in the aerobic zone.  I keyed off of them as they pulled ahead more at Haines Point for the next few miles.  Towards the end of Haines, they went into the recovery part of their run, and I came back up on them.  They were doing 2 loops around Haines Point so I decided to do that as part of my route too.  It was actually really nice-no wind surprisingly.  I gave them a nod and pressed ahead to continue my own run, waiting to be chased.  But what I didn't realize is that their route turned on Buckeye Drive for their next loop while I continued up to loop around the longer way (on Basin Drive), and so I ran alone much rest of the way.  I kept my pace strong, without much struggle so it seemed.  After 2 loops, I came back towards Georgetown and ran up the CCT, and was nearing 18 miles in.  As I came back from the CCT, I caught up to Conrad and Mariano again as they were finishing their run(17 for them I believe).  I suddenly realized how fast I had been running since I had run about a mile longer, not to mention I had started my run a few minutes later.  As I got back to Fletchers, I did a quick out and back to add on the Towpath to finish up the 20 miler in 1:55:00(averaging 5:45 pace), feeling relatively comfortable.  Later that evening my coach told me, "Don't get too excited, this is going to become normal for you now."  He's right.  This really isn't that big of a deal, and I am made for this.  I am starting to realize and feeling that 5:40 pace is really not that hard/fast anymore.  When your body adapts, that's the training effect.

"You want to get to a point where you see no more improvements, then we'll switch over to the next phase," my coach said.  The next phase will be a bit more faster and I will get on the track again, but with a bit less mileage.  I do have a spring schedule, which will focus on Cherry Blossom(and also a tune-up race of some sort in March-perhaps the Van Metre 5 Miler), Pikes Peek, and a track 5K in May.  This racing schedule I have done before, and I am super pumped about the season, but the real thing at work here is developing myself into an endurance monster.  I believe it will show when it is meant to.  All this hard work.  The stuff that isn't seen.  The days I get up to run hard when I want to sleep in more.  Running only once in a day is rare for me now.  The extra weight training, cross training, stretching, self massage.  The resistance to stay out late.  To have the guts to go in, dig in, and find out what I have deep inside of me.  It's very hard to screw up when you're ready to run well.  I've experienced that.  The 1:07 half I ran last year was just the tip of the iceberg.  There is something much stronger that I have stored deep inside, and I will unleash it one day, at the right time.  It is only a matter of time now.  

"In the future, the marathon will become your best distance, your body is made for it without question," my coach said.

Training for the last month:   


Monday- AM: 6 miles w/ drills: skipping, high knees, butt kicks, step-step-bounds
+ Strength Training

Tuesday- AM: 10 miles
PM: 5 miles

Wednesday- AM: 12.5 miles with 4 x 5:00 fartleks
PM: 4.5 miles

Thursday- AM: 16 miles
PM: 6 miles

Friday- PM: 10 miles w/ 8 x 200 meter strides

Saturday- AM: 12.5 miles w/ 9 miles faster: 1:20:00

Sunday- AM: 20 miles progression: 2:13:00

Total: 103


Monday- AM: 6 miles w/ drills: skipping, high knees, butt kicks, step-step-bounds
+ Strength Training

Tuesday- AM: 5 miles
PM: 14 miles

Wednesday- AM: Hill Repeats(high knees, bounds, sprints x 4), 9 miles
PM: 4 miles

Thursday- AM: 10 miles
PM: 8.5 miles

Friday- AM: 7.5 miles w/ 8 x 200 meter strides

Saturday- AM: 12 miles: 1:12 @ Beach Drive(hilly)

Sunday- AM: 19.5-20 miles: 1:56, averaged between 5:50-6:00 @ Beach Drive(hilly)

Total: 97


Monday- AM: 6 miles w/ drills: skipping, high knees, butt kicks, step-step-bounds
+ Strength Training

Tuesday- AM: 9 miles
PM: 10 miles

Wednesday- AM: 5.5 miles
PM: 9.5 miles with 4 x 5:00 fartleks @ 5:20 pace

Thursday- AM: 14 miles
PM: 7.5 miles

Friday- AM: 4.5 miles
PM: 6.5 miles with 8 x 200 meter strides

Saturday- AM: 12 miles: 1:10 (averaged 5:50's) @ Towpath

Sunday- AM: 20 miles easy

Total: 105


Monday- AM: 6.5 miles w/ drills: skipping, high knees, butt kicks, step-step-bounds

Tuesday- AM: 14.5 miles, 1:42
PM: 6.5 miles

Wednesday- AM: Hill Repeats(high knees, bounds, sprints x 4), 9 miles
+ Strength Training
PM: 6.5 miles

Thursday- AM: 10 miles easy
PM: 7.5 miles

Friday- AM: 5.5 miles
PM: 6 miles with 8 x 200 meter strides

Saturday- AM: 12 miles: 1:09, averaged 5:45 pace @ Beach Drive(hilly course!)

Sunday- AM: 10 miles easy
PM: 11 miles w/ 10 miles in 56:00(worked down to 5:20 pace, averaging in 5:30's) @ Towpath

Total: 105


Monday- AM: 6 miles w/ drills: skipping, high knees, butt kicks, step-step-bounds
PM: 4 miles

Tuesday- AM: 10 miles
PM: 8 miles

Wednesday- AM: 4 miles
+ Strength Training
PM: 12 miles with 4 x 5:00 fartleks

Thursday- AM: 12 miles
PM: 5 miles

Friday- AM: 8 miles with 8 x 200 meter strides
PM: 6 miles

Saturday- AM: 12 miles: 1:08, averaged 5:40 pace @ Beach Drive(hilly course!)
PM: 3 miles

Sunday- AM: 20 miles: 1:55, averaged 5:45 pace

Total: 110

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