pm) After talking to Alan (see below), 6 miles. As 3 mile warm-up then 2 X 800 in 2:45/ 2:46 + 4 X 400 in 1:20-1:24 all on 1' standing rest. This was done on a not flat road at 8000ft. Here's the elevation profile for the road I used for the intervals- this is as flat as it gets for me:
Then I chopped wood for 45:00 and bonked bigger than shit.
I was able to sit down and talk to Alan Culpepper today about my training. I had asked Alan to coach me last week and he said that I was "uncoachable".. something that I have heard several times recently in my quest to find guidance. I wanted to know why Alan thinks I am uncoachable as I trust he will be honest with me. Part of the problem is that I am not really doing anything wrong in my training. I'm on the right track, so to speak. My problem is my inability to know when I am pushing beyond my limits- the limits that prevent me from racing well. I have long believed that if I keep myself at my limit long enough, I will establish a new limit.. or adapt to the severity of the load. Alan disagrees and I see his point.. there is nothing beyond a limit or a maximum. By definition that is all there is. I am speaking in terms of limits in regards to ideal volume for race performance. Alan also thinks that I am stuck on the idea that volume defines my success in training, and I completely agree. Just because a runner can hit 100 mile weeks consistently, it has little bearing on their ability to hold a fast pace when it counts. Look at ultra marathon guys.. they run far more than most 2:10 marathoners. It comes down to specificity- something I am well aware of. My problem may exist in my attempt at mixing the two. I suspect that I may be better off defining my training success more on intensity than sheer volume. I think it's too easy to simply take a total mileage number as a sign of work rather than trying to define the amount of actual hard work within a week. So I run 200 kilometers this week... that's a sweet number. But how many meters of that were running fast? One of the first times that Alan and I ran together we were discussing speed.. I can walk out my door on any given day and run a sub 60" 400.. but how far beyond 400 can I hold it? That is the major concept here. If I want to run a fast marathon then I have to train fast. By pushing my volume I limit this ability... of course! It may seem obvious to everyone, and I have thought of this before.. which brings me full circle to the root of it all. Once I change my thinking in what I define as hard work, what I think are my limits and how I define them.. then I can move forward- hopefully much faster!
My marathon training cycles are far too long. I have long suspected this. Coming from the Ironman it is not uncommon to have a 24 week training cycle for a race. The marathon is considerably different and I know that in the past I put up great workouts 4-5 weeks before a marathon... then I start a back slide in fitness. IE: I peak at ~16-18 weeks in to a training cycle. Bob originally put this bug in to my ear which is why I "raced" Kansas City last year.
Things to ponder on this road. I'm a student in all of this. Alan refusing to coach me may be one of the greatest things to happen. We would never have talked about this. I'm going to continue to bother him in regards to training.