Friday, December 09, 2005

Coordinating the coordination

I'm not going to talk about my feet and the blisters because I don't want to think about them. Still having trouble, more duct tape tomorrow, as per Eric's suggestion. Scooter had some good advice too.

I'm in my first week of Lydiard's "coordination" phase, which will take me four weeks. Here's what Lydiard says about this phase-

"After these first four weeks of track training, another four and a half weeks period should start with the aim to coordinate all the training that you've so far done. Now that speed. stamina, and the anaerobic capacity to exercise are more or less developed, it is necessary to have you running smoothly though-out your competitions without apparent weak spots showing in your running. Even though you may have fine stamina and speed, it does not necessarily mean that you can race well and to your best potential. If you give your body certain exercises to do often enough, then your body will adjust and manage them efficiently. The same can be said about running over distances, If you have the basic condition and run over certain distances often in a controlled way, you start to improve in performances. So at this stage of training, there are these aspects to consider:

It is necessary to do some anaerobic training, only at this time you need to drop the volume and increase the intensity. In other words, if you run, say 400 meters twenty times, it takes a long time and you get very tired with the training. Whereas, if you run five laps around the track by sprinting fifty meters in every 100 meters, floating the other 50 meters, in all twenty sprints; you will also be very tired, though in this case it will only take about 7-8 minutes to complete the exercise, if you are a mature person. This is called sharpening, or putting the edge on the knife of anaerobic capacity training; and this way we can get into racing shape without seeming to pull the good condition down. At this stage it is usually best to use this training once every week, say. upon Monday."

So it's time-trials, shorter sprinting, and getting used to running marathon pace for four weeks. Here's what my first week's schedule from my "Running to the Top" book says-
Monday-100m sprints every 200 meters, 10-12 times
Tuesday-Jogging 90 minutes
Wednesday-Time trial, 5,000m
Thurday-Jogging 90 minutes
Friday-Fast relaxed running, 100m x 6
Saturday-Time trial 5,000m
Sunday-Jogging 90 minutes

This is a "down" week, with a 35k "fast" time trial scheduled at the end of next week. My week has been much different, as I've been recovering from the half-marathon and some serious blisters. For quality I tried a 3,200 meter time-trial and called it off after one mile, then did 8 of the 100 meter sprints every 200 meters today. I'm also planning to run 16 miles on Sunday, with 15 of them at marathon (or 6:00-6:04) pace. I also kept my long run at 22 miles, and did another run of 16 miles. So the mileage is still staying constant, as I'm not really able to ramp up the intensity this week because of my recovery.

The coordination phase is honestly giving me trouble, partly because I am trying to work from two schedules. My "Running to the Top" book, and an earlier "Running with Lydiard" schedule Mark Coughlin sent me. I honestly prefer the latter because of Lydiard's focus on longer time trials in preparation for the marathon. "Running to the Top" only includes one time trial over 10k, which is the 35k one I mentioned above, scheduled for one month out. "Running with Lydiard" schedules two 25k time trials, one 20k, and one full marathon time trial (the last one at one month out). I like this much better, though I would probably cut the full marathon trial to 22 miles at the max. The other problem is that "Running with Lydiard's" schedule is two weeks longer than "Running to the Top", so the best I can do is combine both schedules the best I can with the limited time I have (5 weeks, 2 days and counting).

Here's my answer, though it's subject to change. I did 11 of 16 miles at marathon pace two weeks ago (the week before the half-marathon), then I did the half-marathon full-bore, I'm scheduling 15 of 16 miles at marathon pace this Sunday, and I will do my long run next Sunday with 18-20 miles at marathon pace. Between the three marathon pace runs and the half-marathon, I'll have four high-quality simulations for the real marathon in January. In the past I've always felt I've needed more marathon pace work, and I'm hoping by combining the two schedules with the time I have I can stay true to Lydiard while maximizing my potential.

In addition to the marathon pace runs, I will do some of the prescribed leg-speed sprinting, probably alternating between the "50 sprint, 50 floats" prescribed in "Running with Lydiard" and the "100 sprint every 200" written in "Running to the Top". If this sounds complicated, it is, but I'm hoping by my second go-around with Lydiard I will have found what works while staying true to the method. I will also try to do the shorter time-trials, though I won't do them as hard as I've done in the past, which has "cooked" me a bit too much to stay fresh.

Sorry for the boring and long-winded post, but hopefully others struggling to "get" Lydiard will appreciate my view from the trenches.

Training: 10 miles, 1:07:19, 6:43 pace, with 8x 100 sprint, 100 float on the road (counting steps)


tb1 said...

When I read the coordination part of Lydiard it does sound kind of complicated so I am enjoying reading your posts and look forward to what you are experiencing.

It is also cool to look at your times for the different distances and see that since beginning Lydiard you've hit PRs in all of your most recent races. Those kind of results must have a very positive effect in performing this type of training.

Andrew said...

Keep leading us Mike! You're doing great. My read on Lydiard was slightly different (perhaps). During the coordination phase I came under the impression that the "core" workouts were the MP runs with 90 minute easy runs on the off days. Long on Sunday. This significantly reduced the mileage but that was ok because aerobic capacity is locked in. MP runs were short in duration in order to avoid depletion issues - the focus being on pace management but not on the ability to hold it since that's what the aerobic capacity will take of. With MP being 90 -95% of steady state pace (the pace you're able to hold for an hour) these runs really shouldn't be "too" taxing. That's an armchair assessment from me here in Eastport while I run nice and slowly and live vicariously through your phases! You're doing great!

Mike said...

Andrew, I think you have the analytical mind neccessary to make sense of Lydiard, so I always appreciate your input. You might have "Running to the Top" nailed. I think I have been doing the trials too fast, and Nobby has said as much. Looking at "Running with Lydiard" is changing some of my ideas about him though, and I'm starting to favor the longer trials in that schedule over the shorter ones in "Running to the Top". I just like the confidence that 20-35k at marathon pace brings, and I'm hoping the aerobic endurance I have will make those workouts...well not easy, but do-able. I may visit this again later in another post.

tb1 thanks again, and it is confusing. I'm excited by my dropping times as well, and the half-marathon was one of those rare races that changed what I thought I was capable of. Doesn't happen too often, but it's nice when it does.