Wednesday, July 16, 2008


12 miles, 1h22m, 6:56 pace, w/8x100 accelerate-sprint, 300 jog
Sleep: 7h, 8/10
Legs: 7/10 A bit tight
Temperature: 78 degrees, 60% humidity

Good run this morning. I felt strong during the accelerations I worked in at 9 miles, and overall I didn't feel taxed at any point. Still, I'm skipping the weekly evening run with the gang to gather my legs for tomorrow's long run. Since the last long run was on Sunday I think I need all the recovery I can muster.

It does seem like the paces are starting to come down a bit on the runs, which should be the norm while following Arthur Lydiard's training model, but I'm finding that they seem to go right up again if I pile on too many doubles or short-change my recovery. I'm still trying to strike the right balance, which is turning out to be a bit humbling when it means canning a planned double or shortening a run when the legs just aren't responding. I think a year or two ago I would have just plodded through and hoped my body would eventually come around, but I'm getting a few signs that this "softer" way is paying better dividends. So far the evaluation runs are showing steady improvement, and the up-tempo days are coming off without any hitches. The long runs are still the sticking point, though the past two weeks have gone a bit better.


Dusty said...

I'm glad to see the "softer" approach is paying off and that you are seeing it. I think it will keep you from wearing down as fast and being able to recover quicker and keep doing these crazy fast miles for a longer time.

Nice job on you runs.

Eric said...

There's no 'f' in 'smarter'. No 'o' either.

Thomas said...

Is it you who decided on following a "softer" approach, or did Mystery Coach have to prod you?

Mike said...

You're right Eric! Don't you just hate the spell-check? =)

Thanks Dusty. I am noticing I'm not as cranky this way too.

Thomas, it's been a bit of both. The coach seems to have quite a bit of "teacher" in him, as I imagine most of the better coaches do. Back when everyone was hammering me on my recovery paces I asked him about them, and he responded not with a formula but simply by saying I'm the only one who can really judge my recovery. That really stuck with me.

Also, when I took his advice before starting this cycle and ran easy (an hour a day and 2 hours on Sunday), I think I finally allowed myself to recover enough to begin to understand the difference between general training fatigue and over-training. This has made making these types of judgments easier for me.

Finally, Eric's performance at Fargo showed that easing back at the right times most certainly pays dividends.

Eric said...

Flattery will get you nowhere. =)

Here are some pullquotes from your blog over the last week:

"I feel a bit guilty about staying on the cautious side, but so far so good."

"Having my pal Jason along for much of the 20 miles helped, even though he dropped me at the end. I took solace in speeding up on my own for the last two miles, though I certainly didn't match his pace."

"I'm still a bit frustrated about not grinding out the last 4 miles today..."

Whenever I start to see language like this in your writing (such as calling thoughtfully planned, well-executed training 'soft'), I get concerned that your ego is about to overtake your common sense.

What are your thoughts?

Ewen said...

Eric, I didn't think Mike had an ego!

Yes, the spell checker always tries to change my Aussie spelling to US-style.

The softer/smarter approach looks to be going well. There always seem to be sticking-point runs no matter how soft the week ;)