Friday, October 8, 2021

Random post and FTP testing on the bike

 I've been considering reviving this place and posting stuff. For now though, since I'll probably not be consistent, I'll just post an update. If you follow my instagram you might know I'm signed up for Ironman St George. So I'm back on that grind. Although I feel that "grind" is too negative. This is what I love whether it be running really fast, lifting weights, biking long or running long it's always there and I look forward to it all. Even when I take a break I'm doing something. So maybe I'll start posting training here again.

  For now though, I've been kicking around a lot of thoughts on FTP testing. I've always said it's almost more mental that physical which is why I don't like it. But it's a mostly necessary evil if you use power in order to set wattage ranges for training guidance. I fought testing on the bike for ~20 weeks and just rode by feel, which works fine and good. I sort of reverse calculated my ranges based off 2:00-3:00 rides taking that wattage and setting it as my Z2. Then extrapolating upward from there. I just typed an e-mail to one of my athletes on testing so I'll just leave that here. 

I asked her if she had a hill available to do a FTP test on. She said yes, here's my reply.  

The micro details of the climb don't matter too much, those all look great. You want a hill with a good shoulder mainly so you can ride safely, you'll be MAXING out and suffering so your handling skills may not be great at the end. You'd also want to avoid anything over ~8% grade so you can stay on top of the gear and maintain cadence somewhat. You will also want ~20:00-30:00 of warm-up to the hill, not much further away than ~6-8 miles or so.
I'll probably have you ride the hill you choose for workouts, BUT with the option that if you feel GOOD then you test. I'll also give the option for 2 X 8:00 or a 20:00 test. And it looks like you do have an option for a ONE HOUR test. If possible you'd time trial the ~4-5 miles leading up to the hill and then ride one of the 7+ mile climbs and aim for one hour hard. I feel the one hour test is the best one and you don't HAVE to max it out like you do on the 8:00 or 20:00 tests. That one hour test shows more of a true FTP based on your particular fitness type.
For example, I tested last week but because I'm coming off several years of strength and high intensity training I will test better on the shorter tests. My ENDURANCE however is lacking so I would test much lower on a one hour test. I'm better with short, hard efforts. In terms of relevance for 70.3 where you're biking for ~3 hours the longer test shows a more accurate fitness level specific to your event. The problem with all of these tests however, and one of the reasons I don't like them, is that the mental component plays a HUGE role in performance. This is why I don't think it's useful to schedule a test, rather it might be better to do the test as an option when you realize that you feel great early in a workout or ride. Plus, as I said before, all of these test options happen to also be excellent workouts.
Another thing that you'll find is that experience matters a lot in these tests. NO ONE executes the test perfectly the first time. Or the second. Learning HOW to ride 8:00 or 20:00 or an hour perfectly takes experience you only get from doing them. So in that regard you can expect to see 8:00 intervals and 20:00 intervals in the future so you're familiar with them.
And one other thing that I'll talk to you about again is that your OUTSIDE test will be ~20-30 watts higher than your trainer tests. So when you do an outside FTP test and we set that wattage as FTP, when you do trainer rides you need to DROP those ranges by ~20 watts. And the converse is more typical where athletes test on the trainer and then use that wattage when riding outside. That scenario is actually a little better because I feel everyone should drop their FTP by 10 watts by default. Rarely do we ever train too easy, instead we are always striving for the TOP end of every workout. By automatically dropping 10 watts that provides sort of a safety buffer if you will to keep athletes more consistent. And 10 watts will never make or break a workout, physiology is far from that specific.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Week training log


AM)  Lift as part of my warm-up for the run.
2 X 100 meter FLY starting at speed. Both in under 12 seconds.
2 X 400 meter at goal 800 meter effort. This was at altitude on a rolling section of road so there were ups and downs. Hit 67" on each.
2 X 200 in 27".
 All on 5:00 rest.

PM) 3 miles easy

 AM) 3 miles easy.

PM) Threshold test of sorts.
 Good warm-up. Then 2 X 1 mile on 5:00 rest. Ran entirely by feel only looking at distance. Sand bike path out of the altitude.
Mile 1- 6:30. Average HR 168. Slightly uphill over-all.
Mile 2- 6:00. Average HR 170. Slightly downhill over-all.

AM) Tempo (short intervals with lots of rest) is excellent recovery as long as damage or fatigue isn't severe.
6 X 200 in 30"-31". Felt smooth and super relaxed. On 3:00 recovery and HR was dropping back to under 100 by 2:00. Legs felt better as I went.

PM) 3 miles easy. 

AM) 4 miles easy

N) Lift- hamstrings. TRX/ dumbbell Bulgarian split squats with 5" pause at bottoms. 35# med ball throws and catches, ab wheel, planks, hanging leg raises, 7 Way Hips with 20# ankle weight.

Saturday- 7 miles in 57:00. HR 141. Super happy with 8:09 pace at that HR. Flat bike path out of the altitude.

Sunday- 6 miles in 55:00. From home, super hilly up to 8700ft altitude. 9:13 pace, which is actually not a terrible pace up here. Did a sort of fartlek where I ran strong on the climbs, most are steep enough that just running makes it tempo. Easy downs.

35 miles total on the week. 


Saturday, May 11, 2019


 Training's going well. Tonnes of crappy weather.
 A few workouts from the last couple weeks.

20 X 100 meter hill intervals on 1:30 walk back down. Averaged 16". Standing starts. Good session that knocked me down for several days but I bounced back just fine. Pretty sure this was considerably harder than the Sanya workout I did a few years ago (track- 10 X 200 in 30" on 2:00 rest at sea level) that ended my year. And this was all at 8000+ altitude. Good sign that I'm adapting.

6 X 150 on soccer turf on 1:30 rest. Averaged 20". Standing starts.

The one track session I've done as of late: All one step starts.
200- 30"
400- 65"
200- 30"
200- 30"
200- 31"
400- 64"
200- 30"
200- 31"
 All on 3:00 rest.

 First race of the year is in ~3 weeks. It'll be an 800. As of today I think ~2:08-2:10 would be solid.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Week recap

Monday- 4 miles flat, out of the altitude, sort of a MAF test just to check in on that type of endurance. Plus there's a chance I'll try an 800 meter race this year so I'm mixing in more of these runs.

Tuesday- Home, 8000ft altitude on a somewhat "flat" section of road.
 4 X 300 meters relaxed tempo on 4:00 rest.
 8 X 100 HILL at best efforts on 100 meter walk back down.
 2 x 200 meters (flat) best efforts on 30 seconds rest.

Wednesday- Lift

Thursday- 0

Friday- Soccer field. Speed.
 4 X 100 on 5:00.
 4 X 40 on ~3:00 or so.

Saturday- Ralston DIRT track.
 3 X 300 90-95% effort on 5:00+ rest.
 Felt really good but the watch wasn't showing it.

Pm) Lift.

Sunday- Monarch (rubber) track. Speed focus ladder.
 Best I've felt this year and the fastest 40, 60 and 100 I've ever run. I never really do 80 meter intervals so I guess by default it's also the fastest ever for me. Note: last night's lift was playing around with potentiating today's run. Seemed to work.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Track- extensive tempo

 10 X 200 meters on 2:00.

30.3     31.5
30.6     30.5
31.4     30.4
29.6     30.4
31.8     30.8

Average- 30.6

 I did this workout two years ago (at sea level) and it ended my season. Today it felt like a recovery session where I felt better at the end than I did before. I was recovering easily at 2:00. 

 Here's a pic of my HRV before the workout and at 90 minutes post workout. Had this been "intense" for me the HRV should have dropped. Not entirely sure though.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Friday soccer field

  Felt ok today but want to save it for potential track sessions this weekend. I drove down to the big soccer field where corner to corner is ~170 meters. Pretty sure I'll be utilizing this for many quality, short sessions this year. It's a new field and still super soft which means less pounding.
 The goal today was relaxed and fast working on some mechanics. One idea is that you don't work on top speed form while running at top speed. You work on it while running at a more moderate speed.
 ~25 degrees, too cold to not run bundled up so movement felt blah.
All 3 point starts.
100- 13.9
150- 20.2
150- 20.0
100- 13.4
100- 13.6

Those sticks are my starting line

   My gym is a few blocks from here so I sat in the dry sauna for 30:00 post run and did deep tissue/ scraping on my legs.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Wednesday 6 X 200 meters

  I woke up feeling good considering yesterday's intensity. HRV was good but not great like it was yesterday (7 point drop today), so I chose a tempo session. Something less intense.

 6 X 200
 All on 3:00 rest.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Tuesday 3 X 300 meters

  Sunday was a 7 mile run with one of my athletes.
  Yesterday I felt drained and flat, so it was a rest day.
  Today I felt good. So-
 3 X 300 meters on 6:00 rest.
  All three were the fastest I've ever run a 300. The first two were ~90-95% efforts holding back a tiny bit. The last one I admit to pushing to near best effort, still started relaxed though.
  My previous fastest 300 in a workout was a 41.6 a couple of weeks before I ran my 55.9 400 race last year.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Saturday track

 Wednesday was off.
Thursday was a cycling workout on the trainer. 3 x 40" max efforts (cadence 90+) on 2:00 rest.

  Friday was 4 X 40 meters. Felt horrible.

  Today. Track. Speed endurance or 90%-95% effort.
100- 13.3
200- 27.7
100- 12.5
200- 27.0
100- 12.8
200- 26.9
100- 12.9
 All on 4:00 rest.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Tuesday overspeed

  My legs are lit up today so I took the speed option on my schedule. Yesterday was a 3 mile easy run, which is something new to my schedule and something I have been against for my own training. I'm making this up as I go though and I constantly doubt my planning ability for my own training. Not uncommon. It's why I have a job.
 Anyway, this morning was a lift with my son and he's embraced my #2 rule for the weight room, which is never skip leg day, so he wanted to focus on legs. We did a bunch of hops and jumps, med ball movements, isometric squats, and light Smith rack squats. I use the Smith rack with him so it's more controlled and I can cue him on posture and position, same reason for the isometrics. Right now I'm not concerned with lack of need for stabilization, more just technique and form. The jumps and med ball are for stability.
 My #1 rule by the way is to never touch your face. Gyms are petri dishes.

 Then my workout-
4 X 30 meter downhill, fly. No times. On 4:00 rest.
 Then 3 X 100 meters on a very slight down grade. 3 point start. I'll just be using a 3 point start for my 400's this year. Not much of a need for me to use blocks for a 400. I timed these which is far from accurate but I think if they are wrong then I'm at least consistently the same amount of wrong.
 All on 6:00 rest. 

 Downhill, yes. But easily the smoothest and strongest I've felt in a long time.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Week review

  Traveled Friday so I took a zero.
  Saturday was a ~1:00 very solid strength session. Tons of effective jumping. My main set of jumps was:
2 X 10 16" box jumps.
2 X 10 24" box jumps.
2 X 50 double leg hops (imaginary jump rope) holding 12# kettle bells.
2 X 50 hops w/ 18# kettle bells.
2 X 20 hops w/ 24# kettle bells.
2 X 10 16" box jumps with 18# KBs
2 X 10 16" box jumps with 24# KB.
2 X 20 each leg TRX bulgarian split squat jumps. THESE are amazing and an excellent finisher.
 Then I went into a comprehensive routine with a secondary focus on eccentric hamstring and glute work.

 Today, Sunday. I wanted a hard speed endurance session but I really didn't want to drive 45:00 to the track. So I measured out 300 meters on a section of road by my house. I don't have anything flat, and by "anything" I truly mean that there isn't a flat section of road within 10 miles of my house. So the 300 meter profile was roughly 100 meters with gentle uphill to start that gradually went to a downhill/ 100 meters downhill (maybe 3% grade)/ 100 meters transition from down to uphill with the last ~50 meters fairly steep.
  Here's a pic. You can see the final uphill in the distance.

   I did the session as:
300/ 3:00 rest/ 300.
Rest 8:00.
300/ 3:00 rest/ 300.
 If I were at sea level I'd have taken just 1:00 rest between but since this is at 8000+ ft altitude I knew going in that there was no way. As it was the 3:00 left me wanting more, but was just enough. The goal on the 300's was 90%-95% effort. This session is designed to be run on a track at sea level and I have the chart to tell me what times I should hit that correlate to 90-95% of my 200 ability... which all means nothing here. So I went in with zero time goals and just the goal of running "hard" but balanced. Meaning I didn't want to run the first one too hard and then die on the rest of them.
300- 48"
300- 47"

300- 48"
300- 49"

Friday, March 22, 2019

Thursday double workouts

Am) Made it down to the track but had to cut the workout short in order to make it home to get my kids ready for school. Just 2 X 300 meters hard. 44.5" and 46". On the slow side. Again I feel great through 200 and then die quick after that. I definitely need to focus on that speed endurance aspect for a month or so.

Pm) Since I cut the morning run short and I felt great I did a second session. Sort of speed endurance-ish because of the short and active recoveries.
 All on my hill.
6 X 30 meters sprint on 270 meter jogging recoveries. At high altitude that simple jog recovery (not walking or standing) after a max effort started to accumulate more fatigue than a typical full recovery.
 Then 3 X 100 meters sprint on 300 meter jog recovery.
 In terms of volume for someone focused on the 200 and 400 that would be considered a fairly long run. All told, with the warm-up I got ~3 miles or so total.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Saturday track fail

    Like some things, even when it's bad it's good. I got to the track today. They had far less snow in town than we had up here (20"+) in the mountains so it was all clear. The plan was to do something I haven't been able to do as of late. So I chose split 400's done as 300 hard/ 1:00 rest/ 100 hard. Results.

 300 in 44.5. Done. I felt great through 200 then over the next 14 seconds I died.

    I ran one more 300 after my hamstrings loosened from their cramped state but I kept it very relaxed. Then 1 lap with the straights as tempo. So, not what I wanted but I'm not entirely shocked. Over the last several days I've had solid workouts with yesterday being a lift + 5 X 50 meters hills. Thursday was a crap ton of shoveling heavy, wet snow and I wore a 20# weight vest. I shoveled the driveway (twice), deck, and a path to my shed and it was one of the harder "workouts" I've done in a while. Plenty of reasons I sucked today but I think the main one is that I haven't done anything long in a while. I need more endurance work but not the long, slow running kind. More the speed endurance kind with reps of 300m up to 400m done at 90% to 95%. Very difficult, long efforts edging upwards to 40"-1:00. 
  Anyway. It's all fine and good, even as I was failing I was having a blast. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Tuesday 8 X 40 meters

  I tell athletes that the best way to know if a workout was too hard is to wait a day. Or two. Over the years I've learned how to feel if a workout is too hard or damaging while it's happening by paying attention to how my body feels during the workout compared to how it feels the next day. By paying attention in the moment, and then looking back, you learn how to predict. During Monday's workout I stopped at the point where I thought I could be compromising the next day's workout. I was also seeing a drop off in performance which is a sign of break down.
   Yesterday I lifted early in the morning for ~45:00, lots of jumping and eccentric hamstrings to mitigate my HHT (high hamstring tendinopathy) that has been niggling. As long as I continue to load it heavy, eccentrically and frequently it's fine and good but I dropped off the routine last week and it's flared back up. Then late in the day, thank you daylight savings, I went to the soccer field and did a speed session and practiced my starts with 8 X 40 meters. After the first one which was dismal I managed to get the next 7 under 5.8 seconds. Which isn't great but considering my fatigue it's fine. Part of the goal was also to work on my starts which are slowly becoming consistently good with much less thought. I also forced this a little because of the storm that moved in last night and will prevent me from running for at least two days.
 The first few inches of a potential foot of snow. Old Man Winter is grumpy.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Monday 10 X 100 (or split 200's) up/down contrast

  I haven't posted for a minute but I'm continuing to train fine considering the weather has been less than ideal for sprinting.
  Today was contrasting uphill/ downhill 100's on (maybe) a 2% grade. These were broken up into sets of two (also called split 200's) with a 1:00 to 2:00 rest between each. Then 6:00 to 8:00 rest between sets. I'm finding that the typical one minute rest between split intervals isn't productive at 8000+ ft altitude, I think it only inhibits performance. That 60" rest protocol is based on an assumed sea level altitude with the goal of neural and ATP recovery but still allowing high lactate levels, never a mention of actual O2 uptake. At high altitude though O2 becomes a real issue. After 60" rest I'm gasping for breath and it's actually peaking at that point. Today, between 100's, I waited until I actually caught my breath and was no longer feeling light headed which was coming on after about 1:30.
  I've never read anything about contrasting up/down hill workouts so I was sort of making it up as I went. My idea today was to use the downhills to allow me to run faster in a fatigued state than I could on a track, not only in terms of the individual 100's but also the volume. 10 X 100 is a ton of sprinting and I was hoping the downhill would allow me to eek out more reps. So I ran my first 100 UPhill/ rested 1:00 up to 2:00/ then ran a 100 DOWNhill. The first 100 was an aggressive but relaxed effort, no time goal. The downhills were just max effort, no time goal. One other reason for this workout was that I don't have access to a flat 100 meters unless I drive an hour round trip.

 The first two were still sort of warming up and getting a feel for the hill.
100- 13.7 uphill
100-13.3 downhill

100- 13.5 up
100- 12.7 down

100- 12.9 up
100- 12.4 down

100- 13.0 up
100- 12.7 down

100- 13.4 up
100- 12.8 down

   Not sure if this is an effective workout or not. I'll find out in a few months, but of course one workout has little impact on overall performance. It was fine though and I had fun. However, I am sure that the downhills allowed me to run more total meters faster than I could have on a track. I averaged 13.0 seconds for 10 X 100 (or 26" for 5 X 200 meters, not really but sort of) which I doubt I would be able to do otherwise. I'm also not rested, previous workouts have been solid so doing this well in a fatigued state is quite good for me.
   One thing to note is that downhill sprinting is as violent as it comes. I've read that pushing downhill sprints too aggressively is a "potentially career ending" exercise. I've also read that injury rates increase 3600% when fatigue begins to inhibit nervous system economy. So basically downhill sprinting when fatigued increases injury risk by a gazillion percent. It's probably best not to try it.

Here's the hill.


Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Sunday 100's

    Friday was a great hill workout. Yesterday was a ridiculously solid strength session focused on jumps, loaded jumps, and messing around with some shoulder stuff. I've backed way off on any upper body lifting in the interest of keeping that mass or weight down. I'm consistently at 155-160 pounds regardless but every little bit I don't gain helps.
    Today I felt really good but could definitely feel some nervous system fatigue but I went to the track anyway because it's the weekend and I won't be able to get on all week because of school. Tired, but not knackered, so I gave it a go. Freezing cold, 28 degrees and a steady ~10-15 mph wind. The turf infield was snow with spots of dry but lane 1 and 2 were dry from someone shoveling. The goal was 3 sets of 3 X 100 on 1:00 rest. Full recovery between sets. I stopped after two sets.
     Choosing goal times for short intervals is pretty tricky and I've found it more effective to go by perceived effort and percentages. Similar to Daniel's VDOT chart I use a % chart based on various personal bests or current level of fitness. So today I ran at two efforts, 100% for the first ~20 meters and then 95% for the remaining 80 meters. Which is kind of similar to how you'd race a 200.
Set #1
13.6 blocks
13.8 no blocks/ curve
13.5 no blocks

Set #2
12.9 blocks
14.2 no blocks/ curve and I tripped, more on that in a minute.
13.6 no blocks

     On the curve of that last set I kicked my leg on the swing through, first time that's happened. I'm wondering if that's a sign of the neural fatigue. My times were also meh but I was putting out the effort so I'm guessing that it was.

 Then I practiced my starts. I still need work but they are getting better. My issue is that I take too big a first step when I need to keep it much shorter. Technically, your leg moves faster because it's not moving as far and also you're not loading that lead leg at a disadvantageous angle (too bent) and losing power on the drive. Similar to the loading disparity between a full squat and 3/4 squat, the 3/4 squat is much higher because you don't break over that more extreme/ weak angle. When I try really hard to explode out, I over step. When I relax and don't try as hard, it's much better and faster.

 Then I ran one more 100, blocks, in 12.9.

     Back to the VDOT idea thing and choosing splits. Taking out the trippy 100 this workout indicates that I'm in about 25 high 200 shape. That's very encouraging because today I was quite fatigued and the weather wasn't good for sprinting. 

    Good workout even though the times were mediocre. Being self coached and having no second opinion or source for advice I often doubt whether or not I'm training hard enough. I wonder if all those years of training too hard has made me too cautious. I could have banged out several more 100's in under 14" today but I don't know if I would have been better or worse for it. I think it's prudent to start with caution and work up but I still wonder what level of fatigue is good or bad with sprinting. There's something called autoregulating where you let the watch decide that point. Once you become too fatigued to finish within X% of the goal then you are done. I'm still figuring all this out. Of course time will tell and performance tests are needed which is something I am lacking. Maybe I need more time trials? I do know for sure that I am faster over 40 meters but that's not a good predictor of whether or not my 200 and 400 fitness is progressing, in fact it may indicate that my programming is wrong. It's also tough to track since I do (now) 95% of all of my training on a hill at 8200ft altitude which doesn't give reliable performance data for a track race. Lot's of questions. But, I am having a blast so that's all that really matters for now.   

Friday, February 22, 2019

Friday hill sprints

Today was 10 X 9" hill sprints. Deceptively difficult because I was only taking ~1:00-1:30 between each. At 8000+ ft altitude you never really catch up. I started with a comprehensive jump session and then 3 X 30 meter tire pulls.
 Here are a couple of videos. I couldn't figure out how to upload them to Google (I'm tech challenged) from my iphone but I figured out how to upload them to Twitter and then embed them. Beautiful day for once and you can see the hill where I do nearly all of my sprint training. Not ideal but I'm making it work. 

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Sprint periodization and training ramble

   I'm 16 weeks out from my first race of the year which will be the 200 meters. I've kicked around the idea of starting with an 800 meter but in the interest of staying dedicated to the 400 I'm going with the 200. Generally, training for the 800 won't help your 400 but training for the 200 will (it depends a little on where you're coming from in terms of race focus. A marathoner will run a faster 400 if they focus on the 800, but a 200 meter runner probably won't). For a sprinter, the requirements for a fast (sub 2:00 in my case) 800 will more than likely hurt your 400 speed. As with any race, the 400 is defined by energy "systems" or metabolism or fuel. More so than any other race however the sprints require a much higher degree of nervous system economy. Training at much slower paces and higher volume inhibits, and can actually hurt, central nervous system development as it applies to sprinting. If an endurance runner has a poor Vo2 (poor economy of movement) that's OK because other systems can make up for it. But with sprints if your economy is poor there aren't any other energy systems that can compensate to a degree that will make up for it. Also to consider is the duration of the event and what even a small deficiency of movement means. I spent the entire summer last year trying to take a HALF second off my 200, so small changes in economy have a significant impact.
     Anyway, before I get way of track, I'm 16 weeks out and in what you might call a general preparation phase. The goal is to build "endurance", and remember I need endurance that carries me for less than 55 seconds (my first race is 200 meters BUT my ultimate goal is the 400), and speed. Speed in the truest sense is something that MUST be placed at the forefront of any sprinters program. Duh. For me I need more max velocity rather than acceleration. I'm relatively faster from 0-30 meters than I am 0-60 meters which means I have a poor top end. I am explosive and powerful but at top speed my economy isn't great. So in this phase my focus will be on continuing to build my strength and power, with weight room work and lots of jumping, and also to improve my 60-80 meter times. Something to consider, once you go beyond ~7"-8" then you are no longer doing true speed, you're now tipping over into the next energy system. A general idea as to what the various systems look like:
1"-8" you use alactic metabolism. As the duration indicates this is your explosive or immediate movement. You produce/ burn ATP quickly and it runs out fast. You can also call this the ATP-CP system. CP stand for creatine phosphate. Of note, when you focus on this duration you go 100% only and your recovery intervals need to complete. 1:50 up to 1:100 ratio of work to rest. This is true "speed" work. Anything over 8" is not speed work. And I base that off the truest definition of maximal output. I understand that there is "speed" relative to your event.
3"-10" After the initial couple of seconds of explosion you start producing lactate. In the 3"-10" range you can refer to it as power/ short lactic. Energy systems blend into one another so you're rarely in just one. The 400 meters, and to a lesser extent the 200, covers all of these (the ones I'm writing about today) which makes it tricky to train for. If you're weak in one area you won't run fast.
10"-20" Very much lactate, or power/ long lactic. Edges into "speed endurance".
20"-60" Lactate capacity or as I call it, my favorite. Very much speed endurance. This is by far the most painful type of training and also the most (overall) specific to the 400. Intervals are long and hard (95%-100% efforts) with relatively short recovery between reps. A workout example would be 200 meters HARD/ rest 1:00/ 200 meters best effort. Then you would rest ~8:00-12:00 between the next split 400. I read somewhere that blood lactate might only begin to plateau at ~10:00 post interval, so after that second 200 your lactate levels continue to climb for 10 minutes. Brutal. And awesome! It's also something that endurance athletes could learn a little bit from when doing threshold intervals. You can take more rest than is typically prescribed and when I coach my athletes I tend to write "rest as needed". If you do 5 X 1000 at threshold you can take 1:00 up to 5:00 rest. The more important data point is the speed of the 1000. If you take too little rest then the quality will diminish.
 Then you go into energy systems based more off Vo2 max or the traditional "endurance" training. Duration ranges from 1 minute up to hours.

     So, again, I'm 16 weeks out and I'm supposed to be focusing on more general preparation. Long tempo is a key workout but I'm going to take some liberties with this idea. I sort of, in my very limited scope of understanding physiology, disagree with the long tempo for sprinters. For an endurance athlete I feel that the long tempo could be the only workout you do. For a sprinter however I feel it's bordering on harmful to an athlete with a speed weakness. And this is specific to ME as an athlete. My endurance, the type you develop with efforts at 70-75%, is far from my weakness. I've been an endurance athlete for 35 years. I feel that the long tempo is good for an athlete moving up from the 100 to the 400, or for an athlete moving up from the 400 to the 800. But for a guy moving from 100 MILES down to the 200 meters, I don't like it. I feel I'd be much better if instead of a long tempo I'd do speed endurance or speed or max velocity, or a jump workout with plyo which is more my limiter.
   So no long tempo. Another factor is that I've basically been in a general prep phase for the past 5 months. So how much more do I need? I feel, and have proven, that my ultimate genetic gift is durability. I'm not naturally fast or strong or an endurance monster... but I can train hard enough to make up for those short comings. Part of that durability comes from learning (too many times to count) where my limits are and also having a healthy paranoia for soft tissue injury. Over the decades I've pushed to my limits until I almost broke, then I rested just enough to avoid an injury. It's made me durable. I also have the bone density of James Howlett. So, I think I can handle a higher load than most which means I want to blend my general preparation phase with the next phase which can be called the "specific phase".
 On that note, it seems that the term "specific training" gets a bad rap. When we communicate amongst ourselves we use terminology to convey our meaning. The word specific indicates training that requires efforts or movements similar to their event. You can assume that a "specific" workout for a sprinter isn't a two hour long run at MAF and that a specific workout for an Ironman isn't 20 meter block starts. I also think the word "specific" indicates something that directly tranfers to your race performance. Loaded back squats are not specific to running. There is a very general or ancillary benefit which can support specific training. But it is not specific and it doesn't directly transfer. If you improve your back squat by 10% that doesn't mean you are now faster. You've gained strength so completely NON-specific to the neural requirements of sprinting that it may make you slower. And if you deep squat you may have compromised the stiffness qualities of your quad tendon which will absolutely make you slower. Enough.

 So I'm going to start to bring in specific training to my general preparation. This means rather than doing long tempo I'm going to be doing speed endurance. But, there is yet another thing here. Extensive tempo can also be used as a recovery or easy day. This is something that's tough to wrap my mind around. I have it on my schedule as an option but I'm sure that 99% of the time if I need a recovery day I'll either rest completely or bike (not specific to sprinting in any way.)

 So here's my basic week that I'll be using for the next 4 weeks. The way I tend to coach myself is I have a set number of workouts within a week and I do them as I feel. I take different options depending on how I feel. With sprinting and the need to go near max every time there are plenty of unplanned days off. My schedule is just a loose template or guide to each week. There also is no need to change this schedule for 4 weeks. It'll take longer than that just to realize any significant compensation. On any given day I'll shorten or lengthen intervals (within the ranges of specific duration goals) depending on how I feel playing it more by ear. My tendency is to go harder and do more so I don't feel that keeping it fluid hurts me. It's entirely about listening to my body.
 And on a final note, I didn't put in my strength days. I'll do those before or after the short hill sessions.


Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Tuesday speed endurance

     We spent the weekend back home where it never got above 15 degrees. It's also where they don't plow or clear snow off of anything so the footing sucked. I actually went to the track hoping my spikes would provide enough traction to do a workout but it was a fail.
    Today it was 18 degrees and snowing when I started my workout and the roads were just wet, not slick. I really don't care about the temperatures, it's entirely about the footing. If I wanted to run easy for miles then it'd be a simple and familiar thing, but trying to run fast on anything but good footing would be careless.
 Warm-up- Jumping. Lots and lots of jumping. As long as you aren't super fatigued starting a workout, then often times just doing a comprehensive jump/ plyo routine is plenty. And then of course nothing prepares you for running as well as running does so I started with 4 X 50 meters. Everything today was up the steep hill in front of my house. I swept the sand off my starting line and the first 20 meters. 
 2 X 50 meters max accelerations. Which means race like starts. Since I can't set up my blocks in the road (Yet. I have an idea as to how I can do that once the tarmac thaws) that means 3 point starts.
 2 X 50 meter max velocity. Which means flying starts. I took ~40 meters and built to near top end speed and then accelerated at the line and went 100% for 50 meters. All of these were on 3:00 rest.
 Rest 8:00.
 Then 2 X 150 meters. 3 point starts at 100% effort. Pretty brutal intervals. At the 50 meter mark you're still accelerating or just topping out and you feel fine. At 100 you start looking for the finish hoping it comes quick. By 125 you're tying up trying to relax and drive your arms.
 Super happy to hit 25" low on each. Not sure I've run a 150 that fast on my hill let alone two of them. Rested 8:00 between each.