The past week of training was a success. I had gotten a chance to share our home with one of the McKirdy Trained coaches – Esther Atkins – she was in between races culminating in the Grandma’s Marathon (She finished 8th in 2:37:27!). Over the course of the week I tried to learn from her as much as possible but also give her the space she needed to prepare for her major race.
She was kind enough to run with me a few times and even give me a few technique tips which were greatly welcomed. One can never stop trying to improve.
One of the things we discussed was the concept of recovery. I value Esther as one of the smartest runners and coaches in the country, which is exactly why I hired her to help develop our clients. She gave me a simple thought — the day after a speed session it really doesn’t matter how slow you run, just get out there and get the blood flowing. Get the body ready for the next speed session and slow things down without a care in the world. (Just don’t run sloppy)
So with that thought in mind I slowed things down and ran with one of my best friends and also one of the greatest high school track coaches in the nation. We ran for just under an hour having fun and I don’t think I looked down at my watch more than twice to see how far we had gone or what our pace was.
Monday – Easy running
Total Mileage 11.5
Tuesday – Speed!
I woke up today to some seriously soupy conditions. There’s a big storm pushing through and the air just hasn’t broken yet. It certainly made for an interesting start.
Just like usual I woke up and ate a steady race day breakfast. I waited about 90 minutes and started in with my Wharton Isolate Activation stretching and then into some drills to get the central nervous system in line. 2 miles of easy running and it was off to the track. The warm up process lasts around 40-45 minutes.
The entire purpose of this workout was to gear my legs up for power and speed. I have a 10k in a month on the track and I need some faster turnover if I am to crack into the 31 minute range. 5 sets each (with equal distant walk/trot recovery) of 400, 300, and 200 meters. The intensity was pretty steady with my slowest 400 coming in at 1:03. I even managed 28.00 for the last 200 meter block!
Thoughts on the track traveled from “man this air is crap” to “this will prepare you for any conditions on race day.” I found myself a bit afraid of hitting these speeds but as the workout progressed the confidence grew and I let myself go to a place I hadn’t been in quite some time.
When I had finished with the cooldown I popped in a 300 calorie shake and headed over to a total body lift session for 45 minutes.
Mileage 9.75 with lift
Evening run 4.1 super easy miles –
The day after speed is always an issue for me. I feel so good from the accomplishments from yesterday’s training that I just want to gun it – obviously that’s the wrong thing to do! So – run easy, and do it often.
Mileage 7.5 miles – super easy
Evening run 4.1 miles
So I just watched a video with Molly Huddle. An amazing athlete and someone who truly races incredibly well. But one thing she also does well is recover – as fast as she is she was running 7-7:30 miles for the 10 miles without a care in the world other than the purpose of recovering.
She spoke about taking 3 days between her major sessions. Although I’m sure her coach switches that up from time to time it was good for me to hear that because I try to do that with my own clients as well. It doesn’t mean be lazy between workouts and skip days… it means that it’s time to work on the little things that will help make the hard days that much better: Form, drills, core work, rest, hydration, nutrition — all of that adds up.
Today’s goal is to run 13-15 miles broken up into 2 runs. With the 10k in 1 month I have to be focussed on the purpose of each workout, even if that means running lightly. But my concept is this: If I can run 31:30 for a 10k then I should be able to manage 1:09-1:10:30 for a half marathon – If my body is able to handle that then I know I can run 2:25-2:27 for a Marathon. First of course I need to break 2:30. But I believe in the numbers, I believe in my coach, and most importantly I do believe that my best days are yet to come.
Mileage – 14.9
Friday – SPEED
2 mile warm up – 5 miles at Threshold – 2 mile cooldown — Walnut Hill Park
5:17, 10, 11, 10, 08 — 25:58 finish time.
Mileage: 9 with lift to follow
Saturday – A day of Baltimore and baseball!
Balancing my running and family life had sometimes been a very difficult task to do. It was really easy for me to focus on one and not the other. Ultimately one would suffer and selfishly it wasn’t the running.
But over the years I’ve taken a new approach to my training, especially the last 12 months. Last year I had been training for the Boston Marathon. I had an extremely low bib number and felt I was in the best shape of my life. However racing Boston was not in the plans, my body failed me. – In a training run I had severely damaged a tendon. With just 3 weeks to go before the big race it was certainly not good timing!
I had built up Boston so much in my mind that it was the sole purpose of everything I did. It consumed me. And then by chance I got hurt. Maybe “chance” isn’t the right word but it certainly shaped a new mindset. Over several months of recovery I remembered why I was running, what drove me.
This weekend we traveled the Baltimore to spend time with Rachel’s family. We ate great food, saw the Orioles win and just enjoyed being together without much care of schedule.
I did run, don’t get me wrong. — I woke up early, did my drills, drank my water and hit the hills of Towson, MD.
Saturday – 8.8
Weekly Total – 87.75 (Monday – Sunday)