I just had a 45:00 phone conversation, regarding my training and racing, with a 2:13 marathoner who is living and training at 8000 ft.. I e-mailed him a detailed review of all of my training before the phone call.
Once again I'm hearing that I'm not necessarily doing anything wrong. The one thing he did say is that a HR monitor at this altitude is not too effective (he actually said to, and I quote: "get rid of the gadgets"... Uli- did you talk to this guy too?). He thinks I need to race much more and certainly focus on building my speed back, but to use caution and listen to my body closely. I don't need a coach but I do need someone who I can consult with often and use as a sounding board and he is willing to help me. He said e-mail anytime.
Communication was the thing lacking most (completely) in my "coach". I think if I had been able to communicate with him and have him modify the training in response to my fatigue- it may have worked. Instead I followed the program regardless of my fatigue and the warning signs.
So... what to do? Do I start looking to build my speed cautiously? Do I keep a focus on base work? He thinks my base is not my problem, it's my speed. Next month he is doing a 5 week training block just down the road from me and we'll be running together a bit.
He also said I can run under 2:20 this year.