pm) 7 miles as easy as I could jog with 4 X 30" strides at the end..
I am officially a coached athlete. My coach sent my schedule last night and I penciled all the workouts in to my training journal. I have 60 miles of jogging this week with a fairly brutal hill workout tomorrow: 4 X (60"/ 90"/ 60") on 60" jog back down rests.. This adds up to 14:00 of hill interval work. Friday is 4 X 6:00 at half marathon pace/ effort. I will be using 5:30 per mile as my 1/2 marathon pace if I run it in Boulder, I'll go by effort if I run it up here at 8500ft altitude though. I'm still on the fence in regards to how much I need to slow down my pace as the altitude increases. Everyone I ask- and I've asked a lot of people- have different theories on this.
I have received several great e-mails from my own athletes supporting my decision to hire my own coach. I really think that the combination of me constantly thinking about my athlete's training on top of my own has worn me down. It's a never ending thought process of training schedules. It's the first thing I think of when I open my eyes in the morning and it's the last thing I think of when I close them.. Simply having my coach send me my week schedule is like a weight lifted off my shoulders and allows a little more free space in my head. He has run a 1:04 half marathon and a 2:16 marathon so I feel good about placing my own fitness in his hands. It feels weird though to see another coaches schedule and I am fighting the urge to add workouts and question the process.. but fight I will, it's what I do best.
My first race is a 7K on March 15th... 7K?? What the hell is that? I remember winning a half marathon that was on Vancouver Island in BC back in 2000. It was all marked in kilometers and I was clueless. "Wow... I'm at 11K. Huh?" Trying to do the conversion when your suffering is a funny thing. But I digress...
I have my hopes up that I will finally be guided to some consistency in my jogging. I'm well aware of my inconsistent training history and it's frustrating.... and not such a simple thing to remedy on your own. I firmly believe that one of my only genetic gifts is my durability so I have tried to exploit this with simple hard (too hard) work. And as I have alluded to recently I need to redefine what I think is hard work. Rather than use my training log total mileage I want to shift my thinking more towards pace.
This may turn in to a long post..
I was reading an article on the concept of 'base' and how much is carried over from year to year. The idea that a 'veteran' needs to retrain their base every season may have some underestimations involved. I think that the definition of base for a veteran is different than it is for a beginner. I'm in my 12th (?) year of training huge volume (my biggest week for Ironman training was 49 hours... that could be called 'huge' I think). When I was 11 years old I won the Kansas State Games mile and went on to pay for college with my legs earning a couple All-American honors in track. These are things that I should take in to account when I consider my base fitness. I also believe that a runner- hitting high volume- does not break down their aerobic fitness when the percentage of aerobic work is considerably higher than their percentage of hard work. For example- If I get 80 miles of running per week and I push to my LT for 4 miles of that... I am still training my aerobic fitness for 95% of the time! This is huge. when I first started hanging out with GZ he questioned the exclusivity of MAF training and I think he was more intuitive than me and more correct than me. For a pure runner I am starting to believe it is critical that they do not focus solely on MAF/ Zone1/ easy running. Even when an athlete gets very fit and their MAF intensity has become quite fast- they are erring in not developing more specific muscle strength that is needed to race. They also lower their lactate threshold. My mistake has been carrying the Ironman mentality over to the marathon when they are truly different sports altogether. The requirements to run a 2:50 Ironman marathon do not have much at all in common with running a 2:20 marathon. The metabolic requirements and the muscular demand is at opposite ends of the spectrum. As Lydiard preached, steady state intensity is where it's at. And steady state IS NOT MAF. Here is how coach Greg McMillan defines steady state: "Steady-state runs were once a staple in the training programs of U.S. distance runners but somehow fell out of favor. Runners now seem to have only two speeds, slow and fast - no in-between. But the steady-state run is one of the most beneficial types of workouts.... The appropriate pace range for steady-state runs is between your 30K and half-marathon race pace. Your heart rate will likely be between 83 and 87% of maximum and the runs should last at least 25 minutes and can go as long as an hour and 15 minutes.". Lydiard's idea of training- as you can see and imagine- was not based on moderation. Nor should it be for a runner and as I have switched from the Ironman to the marathon this has become quite clear. Most of the coaches that preach MAF have never trained for, then raced, a marathon. The marathon at "the pointy end of the stick" is about developing your lactate threshold as high as possible, then building your 'steady state' or your AeT pace as close to your LT as possible. In that order.