Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Flip-Flop

This morning felt like I imagined I should have felt yesterday. In other words, I felt like I was recovering from two races over three days instead of the effortless run I took yesterday. I enjoyed being out there this morning, but the legs made it clear that I would be taking it easy.

My original plan was to check out the freshly paved track at the junior high by our house for a set of 200 accelerations, but as I ran a slow lap and admired the new surface I realized the legs just weren't ready for anything quick. So with a total of one lap covered on the track I headed up into Sabino Canyon to run along the pavement and dirt before looping through a few neighborhoods.

I'm realizing I can't expect to get any real fitness gains before the race on Saturday save for what I can muster from recovering well from this past weekend's racing. Probably the most difficult training concept for me to fully understand and believe in is tapering and the resulting supercompensation (just ask Mystery Coach). I say this because most of my best races of half marathon distance or shorter have come at the end of fairly high volume weeks, but no doubt there were other factors at work.

My mind is a bit occupied today so that's it for now.

Training: 8 miles, 55:50, 6:59 pace

5 comments:

Phil said...

Running on a new track would be fun, but any day you get a chance to run through Sabino Canyon (this time of the year, especially) is a good day.

M. Tate said...

For slow legs you do move pretty quick. Hope you get nice and rested for your next race.

Eric said...

Some day the switch will flip for you and you'll have the same perspective about these easy days that you currently have about your workout (hard) days, and the whole 'recovery' concept will come clear.

Omniscient mentioned a while back that recovery runs don't often have a 'pace' per se, but more of a feel--you can tell when you need one, and you can tell how fast (or slow) you need to be going to get a recovery effort. I think you found that today.

Nice work.

Evan said...

Mike, congrats on the back-to-back 16:2x 5ks. I know you'd trade them both for a 15:59 ...

Your experience in racing well off high volume weeks is not unusual. From my own experience and talking to others it's not just high volume, timing and intensity are also important.

Timing: Often what people find when they do a great race at the end of a high mileage week is that 7-14 days earlier they had some low volume. You have freshness in the legs, but also the immediate miles the week before the race that build/maintain aerobic endurance. Which leads us to ...

Intensity: Those high volume weeks before good races are often not high intensity running. If you do a hard interval workout the week of a race you're training through the race in some sense. Daniels' RF, for example, recommends that if you want to do well in a Saturday race you do moderate tempo on Tuesday, and that your last VO2 workout be at latest the Thursday 9 days before.

Blaxabbath said...

You just take it easy and let the ol' Group Run help you recover.