Thursday, May 25, 2006

Look Sharp

End of the road for the hard, anaerobic stuff. After 6 hot miles last evening with Dragons Jason and Lucas at a moderate pace, today called for my last real track interval workout, or sharpener, before the marathon next Sunday.

The 4:15 wake up call found me a bit fuzzy, and the legs were not feeling at all good when I met Lucas at the track an hour later. After about two easy miles up and down a hill we were ready to go. His original plan called for 400's, but I managed to talk him into 600's instead. With a little longer interval I tend to run a little more evenly, and 400's for me seem to turn into miniature races. We settled on 1:30 recoveries, as both of us were feeling a little tired. We hoped to run 8 or so at 5 minute pace, but nothing was set in stone.

The first repeat felt a little slow, and it was at 1:56 (1:52-3 was goal pace). Neither of us were feeling very good at this point, but number two went down in 1:52. I actually started coming around here, and the third repeat at 1:53 felt very relaxed. The next three left me scratching my head, with times of 1:50, 1:50, and 1:49. I just don't run this fast. By now Lucas had switched to 400's, and I had started feeling a little fatigued at the end of the 5th repeat and for half of the 6th. Rather than forcing things and risking breaking down, I switched to 400's for the last two repeats. 70 and 69 followed. This was nuts, as I never get under 73. Something good has happened to the legs. Yes, I ran 400 less than planned by cutting the last two intervals short, but it was nice to stop on a good note, knowing I might have had one more in me. Another trip up and down the hill and I was home just after Haiden woke up.

It's time to start saving up now. I've noticed a nice progression in how the legs and body have felt over the past month. It started with the 10K almost three weeks ago, where the running felt tough but I improved more than a minute from the year prior, and continued through the 5K where I felt much better about my performance. The workout today seemed to take me another step up, and I really think I need to "put the lid on the speed", as Nobby would say. A planned 10 miles on the Phoneline trail tomorrow is turning into 6 easy miles instead, which will lead into 20 minutes of tempo (probably with Lucas) on Saturday. An easy, and slightly shorter long run of 2 hours or a little under is on tap for Sunday.

The goal, of course, is to keep coming up in fitness, and peaking on the starting line of the marathon. It's a tough needle to thread.

Training: 7 miles, 6x600 with 1:30 rest in 1:56, 1:52, 1:53, 1:50, 1:50, 1:49, and 2x400 at 70 and 69

6 comments:

tb1 said...

I'm happy for you. What a great feeling to run fast and refreshed. I actually feel the opposite (tired and slow) which I attribute to a 30% increase in my mpw average (27 to 36) catching up to me. Or maybe it's just the heat. But I'm counting on getting some good rest between now and the race. I still feel that I can break 4 hours.

I can't wait to hear about your decsription of the race. Especially after you set a new PR. Your writing style puts the reader right there with you. Do you have someone running the race with you at your pace? I remember you running alone in your pictures from the AZ R&R.

Mike said...

Wish I had someone along Tony, but I'll most likely be in no-mans-land for the majority again, which is mentally tough. Good luck to you and recover well during the taper. The hay is in the barn at this point, and with some rest hopefully we'll both come around in time. See you there.

Danarchy said...

I am disappointed to hear that your sons full, Christian name is in fact "Griffin" and not "Fin". I just found this out. I was really hoping "Fin" was his birthname. However, your best bet is to continue calling him "Fin" because the only other Griffin I knew became "Crime Dog" (that was his nickname). And do you know why? Because Griffen shortened becomes "Griff" which is close to "Gruff" which is similar to "McGruff", and we all know that "McGruff" is the crime dog that takes a bite out of crime. So make sure that this doesn't happen to your child, it would be a shame. Aren't you glad you have me as a friend/training partner?

dan

Eric said...

Looks like you're feeling nice and sharp. It's great when it just flows like that.

What you have scheduled for the last week sounds like a reduced volume version of a regular week. How did you come to that method?

Mike said...

Must be a slow day at the shop Dan. I was hoping you would have run with us yesterday. Finn was almost "Caleb". A day before he was born I kind of flipped out and told Kiera I just couldn't say "Caleb". Something about the "b" at the end. Your comments are always, err, usually appreciated.

Eric, I'm scheduling my week (and next) with these things in mind:

Last time around I think I ran too many shorter days at the end, and that I might have lost a little endurance as a result. Long-ish (14-16) and slow shouldn't stress my system much after all the long stuff I've done. Nobby has mentioned keeping a few longer runs to "keep the lid" on the speed and keep me from all-out peaking too early.

Also, today was the last "hard" workout. Any speed from here will be either slow (MP or similar), or very short and fast (strides or 100 on, 100 off). The tempo, at only 20 minutes and probably around 5:45 shouldn't hurt me much either I hope. I might have overdone this a little at the end last time.

The last thing is just looking at the sample schedules Lydiard has and trying to duplicate it with my strengths and weaknesses in mind up to this point.

I do need to try to cut the overall mileage a little more to get the body to turn the final corner, which is why I'm trimming some of the in-between days (8-10) down to 6-8 and ignoring the impulse to do more doubles. Hopefully it will work. Tapers are difficult to get just right, but I think I've learned a bit from last time. God I hope so.

Thomas said...

I'm writing this after following your blog from far away and don't really have much insight into your training. But the impression I get is that last time you peaked too early and were already on the way down by the time of the marathon. This time you might be peaking at just the right moment.

Good Luck, and I'm hoping for a big new PR for you. You certainly deserve it.