Last week Mike had a disappointing time trail over 3 miles and there was a fair amount of speculation on what was wrong. Any one of the suggestions could have been correct (they were all good opinions) but we didn't have any facts to back them up. This is where the weekend's eval run (4 miles at heart rate 150) gives some facts. When the time trial didn't turn out well I wrote to Mike to have him do the eval this weekend. I suspected 3 possibilities for the TT results;
1) Drop in steady state (not sure this is it)
2) Fatigue (most likely)
3) Need for some additional sharp stuff
Here are the results with one eval from the end of his base phase before New York and the last column adjusting the pace to standardize it on 150 beats per minute.
Mike Salkowski 150 150 150
Date 19-Aug 14-Mar 14-Mar
Mile 1 6:09 6:11 6:13.7
Mile 2 6:18 6:13 6:15.7
Mile 3 6:20 6:13 6:13.0
Mile 4 6:17 6:16 6:18.7
Average 6:16.0 6:13.3 6:15.3
Average last 3 6:18.3 6:14.0 6:15.8
Diff 1 and Ave 9.3 3.0 2.1
Mike's base numbers look as good or better than at the end of his last build. It would indicate that he is in 16:20-16:25 5K shape now but still short of the 15:50-15:55 5K shape he was in last fall during his peak before the New York Marathon.
So most likely possibility number two; "fatigue" was the cause of the time trial results. This was also indicated by Mike's feelings as he started the trial ("I felt a bit sluggish from the get-go").
Since last spring Mike has been working on staying on the safe side of the recovery curve with good success. From a training perspective it makes the timing of the harder sharper work (needed to get to that sub 16 5K) more critical. Over that next 4-5 weeks that will be the goal with a careful watch on recovery.