Week of Training May 17 – 23
This week was scheduled to be an intense week of training, with two big workouts, so the long run was meant to be just a “time on your feet” day. We headed out to Watauga River Road so that we did not have to be on the hills of Moses Cone. Since we had no surges, we just gradually progressed as the run developed, and I ran the last couple of miles quick. I like doing this with the idea that the last miles of a marathon are going to be fast. To be competitive in the marathon, you have to be able to run the last few miles fast, and
The first workout of the week was aimed at specifically for running a fast 10km. Joe, Pete and I headed up to Banner Elk to run on the Lees McCrae track. We take the trek up the mountain when Pete wants us to have the workout on both grass and the track. It is the only place that we can do both. For the workout, I started with the first three reps (2km, 1km, 1km) on the grass field adjacent to the track. It had rained heavily the night before, so the grass was wet, soft, and slow. My first three reps were not where I wanted them to be, especially with the shape that I am in. It was frustrating and I did not want to continue the workout, but I knew that I had to at least get a few reps on the track before that decision. On the fourth rep I instantly felt better, and that trend continued as the workout progressed. I was able to finish the second 2km a full 30 seconds faster than the first!
Workout: 2km, 4 x 1km, 2km, 2:30 after 2km, 1:45 after 1km; 4 x 600m, 1:45 rest Splits: 6:09, 3:01, 3:05, 2:53, 2:50, 5:39; 1:35, 1:34, 1:34, 1:35, 1:33
While I do not know why I felt so bad, other than the condition of the grass was not ideal, I did gain confidence from the workout. I was able to run the last 2km right at 28 minute pace for 10,000m comfortably. With that being the main goal for my next 10,000m, I know that my race at Payton Jordan did not demonstration my fitness. I felt smooth and relaxed while on the track, and am excited for my next three races with the goal of obliterating my PRs. Also I would like to add a fun little fact. I think I might be the only person to have run on the highest (all weather) tracks both west and east of the Mississippi. Lees McCrae is the highest four year college east of the Mississippi, and Western is the highest in the US.
The next couple of days were spent enjoying the beautiful weather that was brought to the high country. After the rain on Tuesday, the weather became ideal. It was just a few relaxing days, getting miles in and soaking up the sun.
The workout on Friday was a standard progression run. This is a stable of most training programs, but I feel like it is often not executed properly. I know that in college, I ran many of our tempo runs way too fast. If done properly, a progression run should feel easy and nowhere near a race effort. Since coming to ZAP, I have been much better at not running too hard on these types of efforts.
With the great weather continuing, Andrew, Joe, and I headed out to Todd Railroad Grade Road. Like all old railroad grade paths/roads, it is flat and ideal for workouts where finding a rhythm is important. The workout ended up being a superb one, as we started at 5:38 pace and worked our way down to 4:43 for the last two. I tend to thrive on this type of training and was excited to have both Andrew and Joe there to do it with me. After the progression run, Pete had us do 8 x 30 second uphill repeats. After running a steady pace for 9 miles, doing the hills helps stimulate a different system. Also running hills works on your form and getting up on your toes, something that is helpful near the end of races.
Workout: 9 mile progression run; 8 x 30 sec uphill Splits: 5:38, 5:31, 5:18, 5:10, 5:08, 5:03, 4:54, 4:43, 4:43 = 46:10
Overall I had a fantastic week of training. I can feel my legs rounding into form. I always respond well to training blocks like this one. It took a few weeks to after Payton Jordan to recover and hit the reset button. Now I get to come into the next few races with some confidence that I am in excellent shape!