Training Log 2/15-21

Morning Afternoon Notes
Sunday 18 Surges
Monday 10
Tuesday 10 Core
Wednesday 13
Thursday 16 Workout
Friday 10 Travel to SC
Saturday 10 Core
Week Total 87

This was our last week in Tallahassee before we headed up to Greenville, SC on Friday. With all of its amazing training venues, I was sad to say goodbye to Tallahassee for another 11 months, but excited to head to Greenville. Also, during the next few weeks my racing season will start again at the World’s Best 10k in San Juan, Puerto Rico! After nearly three months without a race, I am eager to toe the line.

Since I felt like I was at the beginning of a sickness at the end of last week, I toned the beginning of this week back some. I was able to get a good solid last long run at the Clay Roads, and took the next two days easy. Doing that helped kick any vestige of my sickness, and I felt normal on Wednesday’s run.

I'll miss the plethora of trails in Tallahassee. Here is the trails next to the St Mark's bike path.

I’ll miss the plethora of trails in Tallahassee. Here is the trails next to the St Mark’s bike path.

Since I felt pretty good on Wednesday, Pete had me do a workout the next day. On paper it doesn’t see that long, especially because the standard ZAP Hill Cycle Workout is 25-15-7 min. But the extra pieces added in, seem to change the workout substantially. Since it has been a while since I have done a hill cycle workout, here is a description of one loop: A hill cycle is a loop that has around 400m of flat, 400m of up hill, and 400m of downhill. Each section does not have be exact, as our loop in Blowing Rock is somewhere between 1050-1100 meters. It also just so happens that the loop in Tallahassee can be made into exactly 1200m! But all the pieces are not all 400m.

5 min “snowball”, 3 min rest;
25 min hill cycles, 5 min rest;
3 min “snowball”, 3 min rest;
15 min hill cycles, 5 min rest;
7 min hill cycles

As usual the opening piece is designed to put some “junk in your legs”, as Pete would say. Right from the go, I could tell that I felt flat. Unlike my workout last Tuesday, the surges on the opening “snowball” piece were strained. While I did not fell terrible, I ran a 4:48 mile on the grass, I was struggling to change pace and speed up. That pretty much set the tone for the rest of the workout. The idea of the workout is that each loop is supposed to get quicker, even if it just a couple of seconds. What happened is that I found a pace where I was comfortable and stayed there.

One thing that Pete has told me, especially before races, is he wants me to try and find that 95% effort, where you are comfortable while running fast. Often when running at 100%, you are straining, which will eventually take its toll. I have found that most of my best races have been when I was running relaxed at 95%, rather than straining at 100%. Since it was a workout, I especially didn’t want to be straining, so instead I ran a bit slower and consistent and stay relaxed. This is something that I know has taken me years to figure out and actually implement in practice. During college I would have opted to try and pick it up regardless of how I felt and would have run too hard.

Since I stayed more relaxed, I felt like I got a better workout in. I still benefited from nearly an hour of fast running, even if it was slower than I would have liked. Also the weather was not my best friend. It was cold, around 30-35 degrees and blustery. And the entire loop is grass; so running an hour hard on soft grass tends to leave your legs a bit more tired than other surfaces.

On Friday, Moen and I made the drive up to Greenville and got settled in. But not too settled, as I have some races coming up in the next few weeks! I also updated my Schedule page until the beginning of May. I added three more races. First the Raleigh Relays where I will step down and run my first 1500m in 3 years (first one at sea level in 7, time for a PR!). Then I head out to my first trip of two to California for the Mt SAC Relays 5000m. Two weeks later I will head to the magic that surrounds the University of Stanford track for the Kim MacDonald 10000m.

Training Log 2/8-14

Week of Training February 8 – 14

Morning Afternoon Notes
Sunday 17
Monday 8
Tuesday 14 Workout, Travel back to FL
Wednesday 10 6 Core
Thursday 10 6 Drills and Strides
Friday 14 Workout
Saturday 7
Week Total 92 Down week

After a few good weeks of training, having a scheduled down week was very much needed. One of the ironies of a down week is that you hardly ever feel “good” during the week. All the training and miles of the last few weeks are soaking in to your legs, so it usually takes week or so for your legs to catch up to the lower miles.

Sunday’s long run was a few miles shorter than the last few weeks, but was hardly any slower. Having rained quite a bit in the day before, I was relieved to see that there was a chance that it would not rain during my run. But that was only wishful thinking, as around 40 minutes into the run the rain came down in torrents. In only a few minutes I was soaked to the bone. Even though it was raining, I tried to not be too upset with it, especially when I was cruising along at 6 minute pace. I progressed the last half of the run and the last two miles were down hill so I began to move well, running 5:05 and 4:45!

While I had a down week, I also had two workouts scheduled. So on Tuesday, I headed to a bike path in Campbell, CA for my workout. During the whole workout I felt very good and the workout went by quickly. On my last piece I was happy that every minute, when I had a surge, my legs responded with ease. Then I was even happier to look down at my watch and see a 4:31 split! It is amazing what difference a week makes!

4 miles moving forward every 5 min, 5 min rest;
3 miles, moving forward every 3 min, 3 min rest;
1 mile, moving forward every min
19:58 (5:08, 5:05, 4:57, 4:48);
14:35 (4:45, 4:57, 4:48); 4:31
Our workout one year until the trials! Now the real training starts!

Our workout one year until the trials! Now the real training starts!

My other workout for the week was on Friday. Pete had planned for Cole and me to do our workout together. While I had been working out with other guys on the team, Cole had been left to do all of his workouts on his own. So this was a good opportunity for both of us to have someone to do the workout with. For our workout, we did the classic Pete Rea, 7 to 1 Fartlek. We start with a first piece of 7 min and work our way down to 1 minute, all with half float. After that we had a final piece of a “snowball” 6 minutes, moving forward every minute. Cole and I ran a smart workout, as we were very conservative at the beginning and speed up as we worked our way down the ladder. Since we were on the rolling hills and grass of Alford, I did not run as fast earlier, but still had lots of aerobic benefit.

7-1 Fartlek, 3 min rest, 6 min “snowball on the minutes”

Unfortunately I after the workout, I began to get a little sick. I immediately got on a regimen of Cold-EEZE and lots of fluid. I plodded along for 55 minutes for run on Saturday. While it always sucks to get sick, it sometimes just happens so you have to deal with it the best that you can.

Week of Training 2/1-7

Week of Training February 1 – 7

Morning Afternoon Notes
Sunday 20 1:59hr for 20, Surges
Monday 8 6 Core
Tuesday 12 6 Drills and Strides, Core
Wednesday 15 Workout
Thursday 11 7 Core, Drills and Strides
Friday 13 Travel to CA
Saturday 10
Week Total 108

This week was my highest mileage week since the marathon build up nearly 4 months ago! Since then I had struggled with a sore Achilles tendon that did not allow me to bring my miles up. As the last few weeks have shown, it seems that injury is behind me.

Most injuries from running are from overuse. It is the body failing before it truly breaks beyond repair. When looking back at my injury, I feel that it was a signal that I need a bit more rest and recovery after the marathon. Besides just the build up for the marathon, I had been running hard and racing a lot over the previous two years. Not only had I been racing more, I have also been racing longer. In 2013, my longest race was the 15km Championships in Jacksonville. I ran many more track races, including two mile races. While in 2014, I topped out at the marathon with two halves thrown in for good measure (and another one used as a training run). I see this as the natural progression of my training as I have moved more to the roads, where the primer event is the marathon. Even though I my races have been longer, I have been training longer. 2014 saw me run more miles and higher weekly mileage (I think this is true. I do not have all my logs with me right now, just going by gut). As we move into 2015, I want to have another great year as a build up in to the Olympic Trials in February 2016.

I started the week off with a solid long run at the clay roads. I started the first 11 miles with the crew and eventually felt the itch to run a little faster. I told them I was going to take off, so that they would not surge with me, as they all had a race the next weekend and did not need to put a tiring long run in their legs. I felt relaxed running just under 6 minute pace with surges of 1, 2, and 3 minutes. After finishing I was satisfied that I had put in a good day’s effort.

Since I am still in my base building phase, Wednesday’s workout was long, around 8 miles worth of “work”. I was excited to see how I would come off of the workout last week, where I was comfortable running around 5 minute pace. This workout was a next step up, to where I had to run faster. I did the workout on the same bike path as last week, so I could try and find a rhythm. Also as the distance dropped, the pace was to increase, and then as I repeated the intervals, I was to go slightly faster each one.

I found out from this workout is that I was very comfortable running the 2km pieces. Only when I increased the pace, did I begin to strain. Looking back at the last few months, it made total sense that I would be a bit stale. It had been over 6 weeks since I had run a fast sustained pace.

(2km, 1:45 sec rest, 1km, 90 sec rest, 500m, 3 min rest) x 3; 4 x 400m, 90 sec rest
6:07, 2:55, 1:25; 6:03, 2:54, 1:23, 5:57, 2:52, 1:22; 66, 65, 67, 66

Over all I was very happy with the workout. I feel that I have progressed very well since the beginning of the year. Even though running faster was hard than I would have liked, I know that eventually I will be running that pace with ease, especially when 10,000m pace will be 66 seconds!

Training Log 1/25-31

Week of Training January 25-31

Morning Afternoon Notes
Sunday 19 Long Run, Surges
Monday 11 Core
Tuesday 12 6 Drills and Strides, Core
Wednesday 16 Workout
Thursday 10 6
Friday 13 Drills and Strides
Saturday 10
Week Total 103

Not much happened this week in my training. It was just another build up week, as I get ready for my upcoming races in Puerto Rico and Jacksonville. I feel that I am back to the shape where I was before my Achilles tendon flared up over a month ago. Even though I did not cross train as much as I think I could have, I did everything else to get rid of the tendonitis. And it was good to be able to get back to pre injury shape so quickly.

My workout for the week was a simple 8 mile progression run. As usual with a ZAP progression run, we started out around 5:35 pace and worked our way down. The last couple of miles around 4:50 pace, indicating that it was a good workout. Also being an early season workout, I was very happy with how I felt. I was comfortably running around 5 minute pace and was only straining some as the pace quickened. Knowing that I get into shape very quickly, I should be ready to run fast in March!

Help save running in Moses Cone National Park! Comment on the NPS Proposal here!

Help save running in Moses Cone National Park! Comment on the NPS Proposal here!

While we have been away, one thing that has brewing up in Blowing Rock is a proposal put forward by the National Park Service that would either limit or eliminate all running in the Moses Cone National Park. Here is a good article from that explains the proposal and (maybe a bit biasedly) outlines some of the impacts that such an action would have on Blowing Rock. A basic summary of the article is there will be a negative impact on the economy, as running and group horse riding is big business in Blowing Rock. In the summer, people come to Blowing Rock to experience the outdoor activities that are provided by the surrounding areas, including Moses Cone National Park. By taking away this fantastic area, the local economy will suffer.

Besides the possible economic impacts of the proposal, I feel that there is a social obligation that is being broken if this proposal is passed. As stated on the website, the mission statement of the NPS is:

The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and 
cultural resources and values of the national park system for the
enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.
The Park Service cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of
natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation
throughout this country and the world.

If the proposal goes through, a portion of the population will be banned from using a public national park. National parks are here for all people to enjoy, so this proposal clearly breaks the mission of the NPS

Beyond the broad implications above, there is a more personal reason that myself, along with all my ZAP Fitness colleagues, feel this proposal should be passed. If the most restrictive plan is passed, ZAP will have lost one our fantastic training areas. Along with being a great training area for us athletes, we share this great area with our campers. Without access to Moses Cone, our camps would suffer. Many of the campers return year after year to come run in one of the hidden running gems of the US. Since are a portion of our funding comes from the camps, the goals of ZAP and its athletes are placed in jeopardy. Now, I only ask that everyone who reads this to take a few minutes and fill out a comment (there is only 5 days left for comments!) in support of keeping running and riding in Moses Cone National Park, myself and many other runners will appreciate it.