Posts Tagged ‘plans’

Survival.

Change of Plans…Again

Sometimes plans go out the window. And when you want to keep a thing going, you just do it. Prior to Week 7, I was working with a high(er)-mileage, lower intensity plan designed to build endurance. Generally speaking, the time commitment was about 9-10 hours a week. I’ve since changed the plan – a familiar occurrence over the past 3 years – and benefitted greatly.

After starting work in Hawaii, I decided that I didn’t want to put 9-10 hours into running. For a while, in fact, I was walking back and forth to work, which took about an hour and a half every day. The walks didn’t mesh well with running. For a couple weeks, I didn’t run at all, just trying to get my bearing in a new state, and work out the more important details (food, apartment, money). In all, for 3 weeks, I didn’t run. I played basketball a couple of nights a week though, and that may have been enough to save me from falling out of shape altogether.

 

Details

Around Week 10, the first of the month or so, I decided to start running again. I tried at first to start over with the low heart rate runs that I was doing before, but my pace had dropped from around 8:30 to 10:00. Enough of that. On Saturday of Week 10, I sped up. A lot. All runs would be at 83-88% heart rate or what Greg McMillan refers to as the steady state pace. I still run mornings and nights, but either 3 or 2 miles depending on the day. I included a weekly speed session on Wednesday mornings of either 3-mile tempo, 3×1600 or 6x800m length. On Saturdays, I planned to do a long run of 10-12 miles depending on the week.

Basically, I switched to the same plan that netted me a 17:44 5k in 2011, except that I’m running a lot more frequently upwards to 48 miles instead of 21. I’m not lifting weights now, though I’ve committed to pushups, sit-ups and squats after (mostly) every run. And the long runs are a little bit longer 10-12 miles instead of 9. I still take every fourth week off from any speedwork and shorten the long run.

 

So Far…So Good

Results have been nice since the switch. I dropped 10 pounds initially, through running, basketball and so silly dietary habits, but have since put back on about 5 of those pounds. My morning heart rate has been the most pleasant surprise, moving from 54 bpm at the start of Week 10 to 43 bpm, in the middle of this week. The pace for the 3-mile runs at 83-88% heart rate also moved down from 8:30 to 6:49.

All said, not a bad go in the last 3 weeks. Really trying to build off the lessons from previous running plans. Last summer, I consistently ran fast 3 miles runs in the morning, but did not include any long runs for endurance, run frequently enough to keep my weight down for speed, oh, and didn’t include any speedwork at race pace or below. I’ve tried to correct those mistakes now to become more complete runner. So far so good, with a month to go in the training regimen.

The weather is predictably nice for running, that is, I can always run. But the temps are consistently around 80 degrees with a similar figure for percent humidity. I have to remember when I’m comparing my progress to previous years, that I’ve never consistently pushed this hard in this sort of heat and humidity. Just hoping to keep the train going. Speaking of which, I’ll probably switch to daily updates again as well. Blogging helps keep me motivated.

 

Last Week:

Sun: 2 miles (morning) / 2 miles (night)

Mon: 3/2

Tue: 2/basketball

Wed: 3/2

Thu: 2/basketball (double-header)

Fri: 3/2

Sat: 9

 

Tracking Goals:

I’d be happy in August if the following occurred:

  1. Hit 70 miles in a week in late July-August. [Alright. Not going to happen. Looking for 48 miles in the middle of August but faster than originally planned].
  2. Avoid injury, particularly of the foot and knee variety. [Still good, though I am battling a cold this week.]
  3. Drop weight. [Down 5 pounds when I originally set this goal. Been as low as 10 pounds down. Really need to decide what to do here. Felt pretty weak when I dropped lower.]
  4. Increase pace on easy runs, gradually. [Yeah. The pace has improved…because I’m running at 83-88% and not 75% heart rate. That said, I still want to improve. So…that means faster than 6:50 pace on three-milers and faster than 7:30 on the weekend long runs.]
  5. Run increasingly faster in three 5K races. [Alright. I give up. There will only be one race. August 16.  For all the marbles. Now to pick it and stick with it.]

 

Stay motivated!

Out.

 

Advertisements

Hello again,

When I last left off, I was getting set to run a race in Columbus at the end of April. Two foot “injuries” later, I’m now starting another schedule for the summer. Not going to say January-April was a failure though. Gained a lot of strength in the weight room and on the track in those months. Probably packed on about 5-7 pounds in the process. That said, the weather’s getting better. It’s time to do what I really love doing.

Just run. Moving to Hawaii sometime this summer for work. I am vaguely aware of what that sounds like. Just reporting the facts here. Move involves stops in five states: Indiana, Missouri, Texas, California, and of course Hawaii. Not much room to hit the weights and the track on the road. So, I’m keeping it simple. Mileage. 10-12 hours per week. Morning and and night. No more than an hour at a time. Easy work. The old Lydiard way. Long runs on the weekends. Tempo and “speedwork” outside on Wednesday. I just want to be outside.

 

Goals:

I’d be happy in August if the following occurred:

  1. Hit 70 miles in a week in late July-August.
  2. Avoid injury, particularly of the foot and knee variety.
  3. Drop weight.
  4. Increase pace on easy runs, gradually.
  5. Run increasingly faster in four 5K races.

 

Last Week

Sun – Thu: Fartlek Runs, 20-40 minutes

Fri: Off

Sat: 11 miles…Sllllooooow

 

Last week in Indiana. Time to run…and pack…

Image

 

Howdy,

Been a while since the last post, which coincided with a move to Indianapolis. The move, I don’t know if anyone would have guessed, has been a strain on outdoor exercise over the past four months. Adjustments had to be made. Disappointments overcome. A recap:

1) Low Mileage Wins

With temps ranging from the negatives to all the way up to the high teens, Indianapolis hasn’t been much fun for any runners, I’d imagine – particularly in the morning. Nonetheless, I still see some brave souls out there in the afternoon pushing through the elements. Ice and wind are the biggest obstacles. RunnerRich had none of that. After cherry-picking research that supported a speed and power based plan, I began in late January. The basic pattern alternates between weight lifting and interval workout days with a rest day on Sunday. Where? An indoor track near my job. The results so far? In the same condition was I in last August (sub-19:00-ish) with a similar resting morning heart rate (sub-50 bpm). The real key pushing forward will be continuing to improve size-to-strength ratio. That is, controlling my diet to stay smaller (no 50-mile weeks to help out anymore) and improving overall strength and stability in the gym.

2) Disappointments: Mileage, Knees

Did I mention I started the latest plan in late January? What was happening before then? A pile of F.A.I.L. Began in November with a plan that put me on the road about 10-12 hours a week – trying to build an aerobic base and give myself a great excuse to eat whatever I wanted. It took about two weeks before pain in the right knee and right foot derailed the high mileage train. Lingering pain in both knees in fact, kept me on the sidelines sporadically up until late January. Likely lost about 2-3 weeks in that span altogether. In all honesty though, if the knee pain didn’t stop the outdoors running, the cold would have – or at least I would have let the cold break it up. Probably not a smart plan on my part. Since then, weights have helped me to build strength in my legs gradually, and I’m having fewer problems with pain.

3) Sprint, Speed, Stamina

I don’t have a running workout that I don’t enjoy right now (i.e. running has been great). Mondays are fast: 8x200m indoors. Wednesdays and Fridays are not as fast: 8x400m and 8x800m. My initial concern was that speed would burn me out quickly, but I’m finding that by not running at all on consecutive days, I can recover pretty well. One of the greatest feelings last month was completing an 8x200m workout on consecutive weeks while moving from 4 minutes to 2 minutes rest. Long story short, the fast stuff is making the longer stuff feel easy. Looking forward to continuing the pattern in March, though I’m anticipating some schedule breaks due to travel.

Plan for this week:

Sunday: Rest

Monday: Weights (5×5 stronglifts)

Tuesday: 8x200m w/6 min rest

Wednesday: Weights (Stability exercises)

Thursday: 8x400m w/3 min rest

Friday: Weights (Stability)

Saturday: 8x800m w/1 min, 30 sec rest

*Note I have some pace times in mind, but generally, I like to surprise myself out there these days. Go by feel and stay consistent.

See you next Sunday!

Workout: 10 miles @ 7:49 pace.  Weather: 63 degrees, sunny.

Recap: Easy work.

At 63 degrees, one of the coolest weather runs I’ve done in a couple months. Beautiful outside. I love the park near my house. Good to see people at the park getting the work in. Whatever it takes.

10 miles went smoothly for me. The first two miles, it was like I didn’t want to be outside. Like I’d rather be home sleeping. Found the rhythm after that point, and it was on. By the end, I thought that I could carry this pace on for another 10-15 miles, as in a marathon. Good feeling. Struggled to get to 7 and 8 miles two weeks ago, now I’m back up to 10. Slowly coming back. The goal is to make these runs feel as easy as possible. Overall, pretty good week. 44 miles. Good tempo, speedwork and long run dates.

On a roll lately, and it made me think about some of the great things that can happen this Fall if I stay on plan. Here’s the personal bests I’d like to shoot down before the end of the year:

1. Most miles in a week53 (2012)

* Planned 54 in Week 9.

2. Fastest 800m speedwork session2:41 pace (2011)

* Planned 2:39 pace in Week 13.

3. Longest run16 miles (2012)

* Planned 17 miles in Week 14.

4. Fastest 5K17:34 (2000)

* Planned 17:24 in Week 16.

Screen Shot 2013-09-21 at 10.30.15 AM

Workout: Warm [2 mile], 2 miles @ 6:37 pace, Cool [0.4 miles]  Weather: 79 degrees, sunny.

Recap: I’ll take it.

4th week. Down week. Move from 3 to 2 miles on the tempo. I’ll repeat this pattern every 4th week until December [Weeks 4, 8, 12 and 16]. The Runner’s World Smart Coach plan says to do nothing but easy runs on the fourth week. In the past, I’ve found that it’s difficult to return back to the regular tempo and speed sessions in the following week. What I’ve done instead is reduce the length of the tempo runs and speedwork from 3 to 2 miles and 6x800m to 4x800m, respectively. Also, cutting down the long run from 9 to 6 miles. I would be nice if after this week, it got a little cooler outside.

The run itself was tougher than I expected it to be. The warm up and the first 1/2 mile had me thinking this would be easy. Then the monkey jumped on my back, and I had to hustle. Still churning those hamstrings and getting my butt involved during the run, but it’s certainly tiring down the stretch. Glad today was only 2 miles of the tempo run. Averaged 6:31 on the run, just trying to get it over with.

Finally, going to go to running every day (except Sunday) starting tomorrow. My days off from running are a little weird. I really don’t know what to do with myself in the mornings. To do minimal damage to my plan, I’m going to run at a pretty low HR (75% or 150 bpm) on the other days. Just basically want to keep moving and enjoy my time outside. Runs should be pretty easy by comparison. We’ll see what goes. I’ll also only blog on the days where I originally planned to run. Taking two days between helps me to collect my thoughts a little bit better.

Screen Shot 2013-09-10 at 11.05.42 PM

Workout: Warm [1 mile], 1.75 miles @ 6:10 pace  Weather: 77 degrees, sunny.

Recap: A little disappointing, but not really something that I’m going to worry about. Made it 1.75 of a planned 3 at 6:10 pace. The first mile was pretty smooth, actually. Then the fire went out. I’m thinking. Failure isn’t the worst thing and all, but dang…maybe I’ve set my goals to high for now. Let me start to where I can complete the workouts and build from there. Not changing the workouts. Just slowing down a little. If I do a few of these correctly, I can build my confidence back. Plus, it will be nice to going into a workout, knowing that with a little effort, I can complete them.

Thus…therefore…accordingly…I’m backing my current predicted 5K time to 20:00 from 18:20. Honestly, I don’t think I could run the 18:20 in the Texas sun anyway. At least not right now. Yeah, I can hear that voice in the back of my head saying “Weak sauce, son. Man up,” but I want to win sometimes. And enjoy running. I’ll see what goes.

Screen Shot 2013-08-28 at 8.51.49 AM

Workout: 5 miles @ 7:37 pace; core work. Weather: 68 degrees, sunny.

Recap: Back from 3 days off to try to let my left foot heal a little bit. Still not all the way back, so I’ll take tomorrow off as well. Not sure I’m going to be able to pull off a time trial on Saturday at this rate. Don’t have much confidence in the foot. That said, good run today. Didn’t feel like I put a lot of effort into it. Looking to pick it up on Wednesday for speedwork. Already cooking up a different plan for the Fall. Fun times.

Have a great day and thanks for reading!

Screen Shot 2013-08-12 at 10.54.51 AM