Wednesday, May 23, 2007

In the Beginning...

there were many miles run at moderate paces. As I mentioned yesterday, the word has been passed down by Mystery Coach regarding my marathon build for Twin Cities in October. I'm hoping he will elaborate publicly on the program, as I'm guessing some of you out there would be interested in hearing his take first-hand.

I'll be running one 2-4 mile evaluation run per week, starting out on the slower and shorter end (2 miles at 5:45) and gradually building in speed and distance. I'll also be doing one very hilly run per week where I'll focus on getting the knees up on the uphills while stretching out on the downhills. The coach guesses we were a little too light on the hills last time given the course I ran in Sacramento. The other two workouts are the familiar back to back efforts, of which the first day is a steady diet of 7 miles at 6:12 pace, while the second day will alternate weekly between a time-based long run and 14 milers with 4 miles at 6:12 pace.

The remaining days are simply running by feel, anywhere up to 90 minutes at 6:35 pace or slower. Doubles are allowed (and I'm taking this to mean in addition to the "up to 90 minutes"), though second sessions will be easy running.

According to the coach, we're backing off on the speed (especially on the MP stuff and the time trials to some extent) in an effort to get back to conditioning the muscle fibers by activating them through volume (instead of through intensity like I have been while racing this spring).

At first glance this whole plan looks easy, but one thing I've learned about the coach is that if I can show him I'm adapting AND recovering from the present workload, that workload will change to become more challenging. He has said as much in his emails, and he has cautioned me against getting ahead of myself and thus screwing up any chance of accurate observation and evaluation.

There was a time when I would be rebelling against such a cautious start, but if given the choice between under-doing it for a few weeks while establishing a baseline of fitness and over-doing it by challenging myself to run 6:20 pace daily and having to step back and regroup after a few weeks, I'll take the former. Maybe I'm growing up or something.

The way I see it, adding a few easy doubles and trying to get out for the full 90 minutes on at least two of my three unscheduled days will ease my mind about going too easy on overall miles. It's good to be given a bit of rope in this regard.

Training: 13.75 miles, 1:30:25, 6:35 pace


Greg said...

Hey Mike, Can you tell me where the 6:12 pace comes from? It obviously is slower than MP so I was just wondering what kind of calculation went into coming up with that pace.

I'm guessing I could probably search around and find the answer somewhere in the archives, but you know, I'm lazy.

Keep up the nice work!

Dusty said...

Sounds like you've got a good coach and that you are trusting him, which is so important. Great that he puts a plan together that is conservative then ramps it up as you are able.

eric said...

Don't mistake 'ease' for efficiency. This work is going to take you to another level, provided you have the patience to see it through properly.

This is going to be an exciting summer, Mike!

Mike said...

Greg, I actually do think it's pretty close to marathon pace for me at the moment, though it will certainly adjust down as I build back endurance and stamina. I've only done one 20 miler in the past few months, and the mileage has been much closer to 60-70 per wek as I've been racing.

Even if it's conservative, it will hopefully allow me to recover and supercompensate, which I'm guessing is just as important as the work during the first 2-3 months.

Thanks as always for the comments, and are you doing Chicago again or what?

Dusty, it's nice as always to hear from you. I do trust the coach, especially after seeing Eric put in such a good marathon under his tutelage.

Bruce said...

Hi Mike, nice 5K last week. You ran a great race clearly giving it everything. All the best for the marathon training. You'll be in great shape come October. You can't go wrong with Lydiard.