Training Log 8/16-22

Week of Training August 16 – 22

Morning Afternoon Notes
Sunday 19 Long Run
Monday 8 6 Core
Tuesday 12 6 Drills and Strides, Core
Wednesday 14 Workout, Core
Thursday 10 6
Friday 12 8 x 30 sec hill sprints
Saturday 10
Week Total 103

I had another great week of training, heading in to my fall racing season. My confidence grows as I have weeks upon weeks of good training. Also, running is always more enjoyable when I am running lots of miles while still having great workouts.

For the long run on Sunday, Cole, Pete, and I headed out to Todd Railroad Grade Road. With both Cole and myself returning from injuries, we decided that running on the hills of the Park or the recently graded Watauga River Road, were not the best choices. This basically left Todd as our lone option for the run. We had not been out there in a while, which happens in the summer as there are so many great trails around, and we were rewarded with a Petunia sighting. Petunia is a pot-bellied pig that lives at the rafting shop in Todd. She is a bit of a local celebrity and was even on the ballot for Mayor of Todd! Cole and I had a good run as we progressed through out the 19 miles, and our last 10 were right around 60 minutes. Neither of us really wanted to push too hard, because we did not want to aggravate anything, but it was a step forward for both of us!

Unlike last week, I did not have two workouts, but a single longer workout on Wednesday. Pete prescribed a Manor-Maze Progressive, a ZAP classic. The only difference is that he had us start with a 2000m piece rather than a 1500m. With many of us ZAP athletes racing varying distances, we often do not get to workout together, but I was able to run with both Joe and Griff.

2000, 4 ½ minutes rest; Manor-Maze Progressive; 4 x 45 seconds snowball
A great workout with these two studs!

A great workout with these two studs!

We were instructed to run the 2000m fast, around 5:45, which is right around 4:37 mile pace (4:20 1500m). We ended up running a few seconds faster as we went through the 1500m in 4:17 and finished in 5:41! Griff, who is in the middle of marathon training, had a quick lesson on what running on dead legs feels like. After he was so shocked at how fast that pace felt. I could only tell him that it was not going to get better until he starts to peak in over a month. I had a good rest of the workout, running quick up to the Manor then I was moving well through the Maze.

5:41; 14:17 - 7:45 - 12:13 - 34:15 total

After getting back on to the Lake we had 4 by 45 second pieces. We ended up running them in snowball fashion ratcheting up the pace every 15 seconds. One of the things that Pete and I talked about this summer was what changes we can make so that I can raise my running to the next level. My results from the last few years show that I am headed in the right direction, especially as I have become aerobically stronger since coming to ZAP. So the basics of the training do not need to change, but the one thing that we felt I needed to do was finish my races better. In the last two years I have been with the leaders until the very end, but have not been able to close. So the long aerobic workouts will not change, only now I will finish with something fast. This will help me at the end of my races, and hopefully get me to the next step of winning races rather than just placing in the top 3. There is still two weeks until my season debut at the New Haven 20km, so I have time to get in some good training, and I will get to reap the rewards that I have sowed over the last few weeks. With some big goals for my fall season, I hope to use these races as a springboard for the marathon trials in February.

Training Log 8/9-15

Week of Training August 9 – 15

  Morning Afternoon Notes
Sunday 17   Long Run
Monday 8 5 Core
Tuesday 14   Workout, Core
Wednesday 12 6 Drills and Strides
Thursday 13   Core
Friday 14   Workout
Saturday 10    
  Week Total 99  

This week made me eager for the next few weeks of training. I have a few more weeks before I start my fall racing season at the New Haven 20km, which also doubles as the USATF 20km Championships. I had a bit of a hiccup a few weeks ago, but being smart and cautious allowed me to only take a few days off from running and only miss a week of good training. This week, I was able to run nearly triple digits miles, while still getting in two workouts.

A beautiful day along the Parkway! Great day for a workout.

A beautiful day along the Parkway! Great day for a workout.

Sunday was the usual long run, but since I was concerned about reaggravating my Achilles, as I figured out a hard long run was the initial cause, I took this one much more relaxed. I did not run the steep hills of the park and stuck to the much less rocky sections, i.e. the Lake and Maze. The plethora of venues to train at is one of the reasons I love training in Blowing Rock, but it is better to be healthy and run the same old routes, than be hurt and not running at all. The long run was a success, and I was even able to move well at the end!

Pete scheduled two workouts for the week, with the first being a climb along the Blue Ridge Parkway. This climb is a bit different than ones we do in the Park, as not all of it is uphill. There are significant portions that are either flat or downhill, especially at the end. This allows you to get a good aerobic workout at the beginning then be able to move well at the end. Andrew, George, and I started our climb at Holloway Mt. Road and ran 40 minutes up from there. Overall it was good climb, but I could tell I took a month off from workouts along with my third harder effort in five days. As Andrew and George were bouncing up the hill, I could tell I was starting to labor. Fortunately we began a descent and I was able to recover and held on to them for the rest of the workout. After finishing the climb, we had some faster stimulus of 8 x 30 seconds. By the end, Andrew and George were finishing far ahead of me, but I was not worried as I know in a few weeks time I will be right next to them.

40 min Climb; 8 x 30 sec, 45 sec rest

After a few days of easy running, I did my second workout of the week on Friday. The workout was one that Pete often gives us right before workouts, but this time I had more reps. Often the week of a Fartlek we will do 3 sets of 3 min, 90 sec, 45 sec with the rest being what comes next. E.g., after the 3 minutes is 90 seconds, after the 90 is 45 seconds, etc. But like all Fartleks, the first few sets are floats in between, so is done quick. Then as the workout progresses, the reps get faster and the float becomes slower.

5 x (3 min, 90 sec, 45, sec; 90 sec, 45 sec, 3 min float/rest)
My new tattoo!

My new tattoo!

To mix up the stimulus, I did the first two sets on the Lake. I progressively got faster as my first two loops (3000m) were 10 minutes and the second two were 9:35. After the first two sets, I began running the hill cycle loop to work on building power while running uphill. This workout was the one that really gave me a boost in confidence for the upcoming weeks. While I did not know how fast I was running during the hill cycle sets, I know that I was running quickly on the first to sets. I was consistently running under 3 minutes per kilometer for the on reps and quick on the float sections. I averaged 5:15 miles for the first four miles, all while on the Lake and changing speeds!

The other big event of my week was that I made the trek down to Asheville to get a new tattoo! After over a year of thought and consideration, I finally pulled the trigger. I got a leaping fox on the left side of my ribs. Foxes have always appealed to me, as I like how playful and smart they are. They can be viewed as cunning and deceitful, but in Finnish mythology and Japanese Kitsune (fox in Japanese) folklore have a positive view of foxes as tricksters, but rarely malevolent. Foxes in Kitsune Folklore have superior intelligence and are imbued with magical powers.

Training Log 8/2-8

Week of Training August 2 -8

Morning Afternoon Notes
Sunday 13 Core
Monday 8
Tuesday 12 Core
Wednesday 14 Drills and Strides
Thursday 9 6 Core
Friday 13 Workout
Saturday 8 Drills
Week Total 83
The last few days have been fantastic in the High Country!

The last few days have been fantastic in the High Country!

Coming off of an Achilles setback last week, I was cautious with returning too quickly into full training. I was able to pin down tweaking my Achilles to doing a hard long run as my first run back. So rather than do a long run on Sunday, I opted to run slightly shorter. Looking back and comparing two weeks ago and this week, the only big difference is I cut the long run back. Even while running a significant amount, my Achilles progressively improved throughout the week.

By Friday, I felt that I could do a workout to test how my Achilles held up from more assertive running. Right now Griff is deep in marathon training, so Pete had me tag along for the first portion of his 8-1 Fartlek. We headed out to Todd Railroad Grade Road to run flat and on some pavement. Even though I had not run fast in nearly a month, I felt smooth, and my Achilles held up! I only had authorization to run the four reps if I felt good, so I bid Griff a farewell after the 5 minute piece and finished to the post office in Fleetwood. During the cool down, my Achilles and calf tightened up, but nothing to really worry about. It was just a reminder that not everything is 100% yet and I still need to be attentive to all the little things.

Summer Update

The sunset over the Shenandoah Valley. My few days in the wilderness were fantastic.

The sunset over the Shenandoah Valley. My few days in the wilderness were fantastic.

It has been a while since I last wrote an update, nearly a month, but who is counting? Having so long between posts was not part of my original plan. I planned on taking those two weeks off of posting as well as running, and if I was particularly motivated give a quick update at the end of the second week. After my last race at the Peachtree Road Race, I had two weeks of active rest, which is basically running every other or every third day. This helps keep the body moving and tends to help with the transition back into full time training.

A waterfall in Shenandoah National Park. There were so many cool trails and waterfalls all throughout the park!

A waterfall in Shenandoah National Park. There were so many cool trails and waterfalls all throughout the park!

Those two weeks went by way too quickly, as I ran little (7 and 55 miles respectively) and probably drank more beer than I should have, but I was reenergized and ready to start training for my fall races. With that enthusiasm carrying me into my first long run, I over did it and tweaked my Achilles. For a few days I was in a bit of denial and hope that it would clear up while still training. But near the end of the week I brought myself back to reality and forced myself to take a few days off and then build up much slower and methodically. Having dealt with an Achilles problem in the winter, I was not about to a repeat of a month where I hardly run at all. Over the course of writing about my training, I have repeatedly stated I am much better at listening to my body than even a couple of years ago. In all reality my Achilles never hurt nearly as much as it did in the winter, but by looking at the long term, it is much better to take a few days off now than run for another couple of weeks and be out for a month.

Besides dealing with my Achilles, I spent the last four busy. I spent the first weekend in Washington DC representing both ZAP and the Road Runners Club of American (RRCA) at the RunPro Camp. I had a blast hanging out with the newly graduated runners and picked up some useful knowledge. It was a good change to get out of our little world in the mountains and head to the big city. While we do get to travel numerous times in the year, we often do not get to explore much of the cities we visit. We are too preoccupied getting prepared for our races.

My new home!

My new home!

I have also been kept busy working our running camps, but I was able to get a few days between two camps where I could head up to Virginia and camp for a few days. Originally I planned to go to Williamsburg, Virginia and explore the historicity of the town, but in a game time decision, I took an early turn up north and headed to Shenandoah Valley National Park. I spent the next three days going on hikes and just driving around. I totally get why people used to go on Sunday afternoon drives. Shenandoah Valley NP encompasses the mountains to the east of the Shenandoah Valley and has a great road that runs along the ridgeline so there are some awesome views. This jaunt up north coincided with my days off due to my Achilles, so my aerobic activity for the days as hiking. Also being out in the woods, mostly alone, I got some time to reflect on what I need to do over the next couple of weeks to get myself healthy and ready to run fast in the fall.

The last big news around ZAP is that the house being built for some of us athletes is finally done! So Joe and I will get to move in over the next few days, and Sinéad (our newest athlete) will be making her trek up to the high country soon.