Thursday, December 29, 2011

12/29/11: Training Recap, Speed Workouts, and Kilian Jornet

I have had another two good weeks of training. Definitely laying the foundation for the National Marathon on March 17th.

Week of 12/10

  • Saturday: Magnus Gluteus 50K in 4:42. Very hard effort that brought a PR and 2nd place.

  • Sunday: 10 miles easy and some cross training / lifting

  • Monday: 12 miles easy

  • Tuesday: Off

  • Wednesday: 10 miles with 5x800 @ 2:40. My legs were still shot from the race, so this was a very tough workout. Would have wanted to do more repeats if I was fresh, but I was happy with this.

  • Thursday: 4.5 easy

  • Friday: 2.5 easy

  • Total: 70 miles

Week of 12/17

  • Saturday: 15 miles. Did a 14 mile route that I often run around DC in what I think was my fastest time ever. Averaged 7:10 pace on mostly trails with some hills. I didn't have a watch and wasn't even pushing the pace all that much, so this was a great run for me.

  • Sunday: 15 miles easy

  • Monday: Off

  • Tuesday: 8 miles easy

  • Wednesday: 5 miles easy

  • Thursday: 10 miles easy. Wanted to do a speed workout in the evening, but my legs just were not there, so I bagged it.

  • Friday: 9 miles with 4x1mi @ 5:43. Obviously I made the right call with postponing the speed workout. Rather than have a crappy run on Thursday, I had a very solid workout on Friday with somewhat fresher legs.

  • Total: 62 miles

For the first time in a long time I have been able to do speed workouts pretty consistently. I hate speed workout with the passion of a thousand burning suns. If you offered me the choice of a track workout at 6:30am in the dark and being kicked in the face, I'd have to think about it for a while.

But I will admit that I always feel fantastic afterwards and am really glad I did it. I am also convinced it is the key to success for me and more important than the distance and long runs. I have plenty of endurance at this point after years of a consistent base and running 3,500 miles a year. But I am not naturally fast and benefit greatly from more speed workouts.

However, I used to really force myself to do the workouts on a particular day of the week. That lead to some bad workouts and cutting workouts short when I wasn't feeling good. Sometimes I would skip them altogether and end up falling out of the habit.

I have recently been much more flexible on when they happen, such as the 4x1mi repeats I recently did on a Friday morning, which I wouldn't have even thought of doing a few years ago. But I make sure to do them regularly whenever my legs feel good, and I think it is producing good results.

On a less boring note, Kilian Jornet is one of the best ultramarathoners in the world and is also the world champion ski mountaineer. The way he runs up and down mountains defies explanation and is truly inspiring. I highly recommend clicking on this link and watching episode 7 for some sweet footage of Kilian running in the Alps:

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