Thursday, April 06, 2006

Just Like the Old Days

I feel good. All hell can break loose when I say this but I can't help myself. Four miles easy before dinner last evening gave me 20 for the day, and a good night's sleep led into this morning's second Lydiard hill workout of the week. Last night I re-read a bit of "Running the Lydiard Way" and thought about these words by Arthur Lydiard-

"As you spring up that hill, you arms, shoulders, neck and facial muscles should be relaxed. Keep your head up and looking ahead, with hips slightly forward, and legs driving down forcefully. Push hard with the toes, raise the knees high, and then apply body-weight resistance to the leg muscles as your feet hit the ground. Your progression up the hill will be gradual, not fast."

He wasn't kidding about progressing slowly up the hill. For me it's almost like running in place, with only the slant of the hill driving me forward. Each stride is maybe 12 to 16 inches at most. I take the "apply body-weight resistance to the leg muscles as your feet hit the ground" to be what Nobby has emailed me before about "loading" the leg with more body weight by pausing ever-so-slightly before pushing off with each leg. During the third and final minute of each of the four efforts I tried some more bounding as well, which is difficult!

The three days of hill work during Lydiard's hill phase really do break up the week, and replaces the monotony of covering the same loops over and over before work. I know that the efforts on these days are short, so running a fair amount of mileage the day before doesn't hurt me too badly. Running uphill also seems to bring to the surface the "dead spots" in my stride, and I'm able to work on trying to run with a bit more fluidity. In short, I like hills, and I look forward to some challenging ones I'll be facing at this race in a little over two weeks, where I'll once again be running on a team for The Workout Group and The Running Shop, my favorite place to buy running stuff. They even have the new Garmin Forerunners, though I have to wear out my old one first.

So 9 miles this morning and no evening run planned. I'm hoping to rest up for another good 16 miler tomorrow, and I might just do my long run instead if I sleep well and get up early enough to get back to take Haiden to school. We'll see how things go.

Training: Today, 9 miles, 1:16:00, 4 hill circuits with 3 minute efforts and 3x100 sprints
Yesterday pm., 4 miles in 29 minutes, last mile fairly fast


Evan said...

Curious question. You have a GPS. Why do you run standard loops?

Personally I've given up my appetite for variety for endless repetitions of loops that let me run on a good mixture of grass and asphalt. But in a perfect world there would be more variety and less standardization in my routes.

Mike said...

Hi Evan,

Just not enough roads where I live that aren't major arterials I guess. I try to mix the asphalt with dirt at close to a 50-50 ratio, and where I'm at I'm almost always running up or downhill. I pretty much settle back into my familiar runs in part due to the repetitive nature of my miles during Lydiard's conditioning and hill phases. Two 16 milers and one 22 miler each week for an eternity will do that!

Anonymous said...

there will be crushing of souls at the spring CC classic.


Mike said...

Dan, you have a flair for the dramatic.

Blaxabbath said...


Rick said...


I've been reading your posts for a few months now. They've been motivation for me. I'm trying to break 2:40, pr of 2:44 in 2000. I've been running 100 mpw for 20 weeks of Lydiard base and combo of Hadd type heart rate training. Training for Gradma's Marathon eleven weeks out. I haven't switched over to the hill phase because I'm thinking I haven't got my 10 mile marathon heart rate down to marathon pace. I would like your input on if I should keep doing what I'm doing before switching or why switch at all until I get down to that marathon pace. Thanks Rick

angie's pink fuzzy said...

Mike, that's awesome!

I'm planning on the Lincoln XC race too - I've never been out to that park. I am a little worried about getting off-course :)

PS remember the June 10 ultra I wanted to do, then decided not to? It's back on! Woo hoo!!!