Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thursday 6 miles + chopping wood and continuing to learn..

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.


GZ said...

Wood. Warms you three times. Splitting it. Stacking it. Burning it.

Curious as to the CoQ10 thoughts. I definitely get the skins and treadmill reference.

I digged reading about the man-suem (and like to see a shot of its current state) but I missed this stuff. Yeah, I am an addict.

Skinned all day today.

paulkindzia said...

Chopping wood and then bonking is not good. Here's a different suggestion that allows physical training without post exertion bonking -

It's what Culpepper does (I swear!) That's why he's so fast...

Lucho said...

GZ- CoQ10 is essential dude..
her's a quick explanation:

Paul- Bonking WHILE chopping wood is even worse. I had a whole pile to split and finished my run right before dark- I was out in my running gear chopping away... possibly the best core work I've ever done (beside squat press ups).
And yes- Alan does chop a lot of broccoli :)

uli said...

What would happen if you just ran without wondering if it actually helps your marathon performance? What if you just add short races to that where you just go out and smack it?
Do 30 milers in the mountains. Do 20 min runs with 200m all-out sprints. and once you feel like doing a marathon, look for a race 4 weeks out. spend every other day of the following three weeks at FMP (fucking marathon pace). rest one week. race.

Lucho said...

Good stuff Uli! Tough for me to not think that much, but it's probably on the right track. I think I may have found a coach- a 2:14 marathoner that lives close by.. so he's an altitude guy. I think having guidance is the most effective path for me right now, if anything just to get the doubts out of my head. I'm so 'back and forth' right now.

uli said...

nice! looking forward to hear his ideas on your training.

if you race often and have good results, you might spend less time thinking about the marathon.