Wednesday, November 30, 2005

"Coach" Mike?

Haiden in winter mode

So one of my favorite bloggers, "Marathon Thomas" from Denmark recently made the mistake of asking for my help in planning his own Lydiard method build for the Copenhagen Marathon on May 21st. Thomas is a good runner and an intelligent guy with a dry sense of humor, and since we are in similar territory (trying the Lydiard method for the first time), it seemed that two heads would be better than one. Thomas is planning his schedule with the help of Lydiard's books, "Run to the Top" and "Running with Lydiard", and I am doing what I can to help him make good decisions about his training. Do me a favor and help me keep an eye on him, will you?

The first thing I noticed when I started helping Thomas is how much more conservative I am with someone else's training than I am with my own. It reminds me of Nobby Hashizume's emails to me, where he usually urges more restraint. Just today he sent me a great comparison between what Lydiard's plan for Snell was in his run-up to the 1968 Olympics in Tokyo versus his actual workouts. He mentions how Snell had a leg injury about 10 weeks out and took almost a week off and still made good when it counted. Here's what he said about Lydiard the man versus Lydiard the coach. "Arthur was such an iron-willed person. He would be the kind of a guy to will through some problems; but he didn't necessarily did that to his athletes. He knew what to do because he was there. Without that, I'd tend to be a little more to the side of "if in doubt, do less." But I just wanted to show you this to let you know "it's okay to take it easy".

When I looked at Thomas's initial schedule, the first thing I suggested was taking it a bit easier from the get-go, and to worry less about effort level at first. If this sounds a bit like what Downeast Andrew or Simon Says Run's Zeke are doing, it's completely intentional. I've been reading both of their blogs and I'm envious of the long time frame they've given themselves for their mileage build-up. Unfortunately time is not on Thomas's side, and we are planning on slightly shortening the coordination phase at the end to give us 13 weeks for conditioning at the front. This is more like Lydiard's "Running with Lydiard" schedule and less like the most recent "Running to the Top" schedule I'm following. I think Thomas will do very well with this if he keeps the efforts easy to start (are you reading this Thomas?).

Oh yes, I'm still running too. I've decided to be a little conservative this week as well, and instead of three anaerobic efforts of a 5k time-trial, a 10k time-trial, and one day of 800 repeats, I'm doing the half-marathon at the end of the week and I did the 800's today. This is my second most important race of the year, and I don't want to be tired at the starting line. I figure that one really hard 13.1 mile effort can take the place of two shorter time-trials.

That being said, I did 5x800 today with a 400 rest (walking the first 100 of the recovery). I set out to do 4-6 of these, content to call it a day when the body told me I'd had enough. Again I was shooting for 2:28-2:35, and they came in at 2:34, 2:32, 2:31, 2:32, 2:31. I'm happy these were a little faster than last week at the same effort, especially after yesterday's long run. Just when I was thinking about whether to do a 6th, the high school track team that had been milling about off the track started their warm-up en-masse so I called it a day. No coughing/groin/adductor problems today (thanks for the anatomy lesson Ty).

Training: 10 miles, 1:13:01, 7:18 pace w/5x800 in 2:34, 2:32, 2:31, 2:32, 2:31. Good day


Thomas Sørensen said...

So we are an official couple now :-)

river trail matt said...

Glad to know you are feeling well again, Mike. Perhaps I'll see you at the start of the 1/2 on Sunday. Well wishes for a strong run for you!