Sunday, February 26, 2012

Improving a training week

Lucho used to have a list on his blog called 'The Rules of Joghard'. I don't remember all the rules. There was one that said: "There's a man called Canova." I do remember rules 1 and 2. Rule #1 - Family comes first. Rule #2 - Did you read #1, if not, read again. If I had list of rules about running, number 3 would be "Consistency produces great running." Which I guess is similar to the answer Steve Moneghetti gave when asked at a running camp about the best training session one could do. He replied "The 2 x 7 x 365."

I'm going to detail my training for the past week and include thoughts about how I might improve each day's running. Feel free to add your own ideas or suggestions in the comments section of this post.

Monday 20 February: 15k with the Speedygeese. A basic aerobic run. First 8k was at 5:40 per km (9:07 miles). How to improve: This could be a good day to run some strides at the end of the session.

Tuesday 21 February: 11k including a 5k club race in 23:17. Had a bit in reserve during this race, running a slight negative split. How to improve: Possibly a longer warm-up and some drills/strides prior to the race.

Wednesday 22 February: 10k easy run in 57:40. How to improve: Could run longer and easier — perhaps 12k at 6 minute kilometres (9:39 miles).

Thursday 23 February: 10k including a 1 mile race at the Vets' track meet in 7:51 and a 1200m race-walk in 7:19. The mile was a fairly easy effort, but I didn't feel up to racing hard. How to improve: Not sure, but I hadn't recovered sufficiently from Tuesday's race to race hard on Thursday.

Friday 24 February: 7k including a 3k tempo run on the grass track in 15:20. How to improve: This was a very good run as my average HR was only 136 and the track was soft. I think this run benefitted from the relatively easy Thursday. How to improve: Could possibly run a 4 or 5k tempo run.

Saturday 25 February: 16k long run at an easy pace. This run took 1 hour 45 minutes, so definitely 'long'. How to improve: Could possibly run longer (20k) or add some strides.

Sunday 26 February: 12k including a 6k race which I ran as an interval session of 1k easy, 1k hard, 1k easy, 1k hard, 1k easy, 1k hard. Didn't feel that fresh while running these. How to improve: Run a more structured interval or hill repeat session with some running drills during the warm-up.

Sprint Marathon Relay title=Finishing the Vets' Sprint Marathon Relay (like an Ekiden with 1k legs)


Blogger Robert James Reese said...

I like the idea of writing down what you could improve on for each run. I just might have to steal that for my own log.

9:02 am  
Blogger speedygeoff said...

Same here.

9:49 am  
Blogger Janene said...

I'm envious of the mileage you're managing at present. Improving your training could depend on what you are aiming for, so you include some targeted training sessions. If you are shooting for good 5K times, then training could include speed work targeting the 5K. It will be interesting to see what other comments you get.

8:43 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

No worries RJR and Speedygeoff. Steal away.

Janene, running every day helps with the mileage ;) That and longish warm-ups. Yes, good 5k times are the goal for 2012 - same here re comments.

9:32 pm  
Blogger RICK'S RUNNING said...

Have you got any big targets for this year?

10:12 pm  
Blogger Grellan said...

Monday easy, Tuesday 5k race, Wednesday easy, Thursday 1 mile race, Friday tempo, Saturday easy long run, Sunday 6k race/intervals. Surely that's a lot of "racing/interval/tempo" running for a typical week? I thought that 1 or 2 key workouts a week plus a "long run" would be more than enough and that the rest of the easy/recovery runs would be planned around these.

6:11 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Rick, I may do the Melbourne Half in October. I think a good HM time translates well to the 5k. A target 5000 would be one on the track in late October/early November but the calendar for the next track season isn't out yet.

Grellan, good points. In retrospect I did too many hard sessions that week as I've been struggling a bit so far this week with soreness and tiredness. I'm not sure how to place my 16k long run in terms of hard/easy, as the pace is very easy.

9:12 pm  
Blogger Black Knight said...

A solid week of running. You are doing great and you are going to do better.
Writing is a good way to improve.

11:04 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That week provided a wonderful combination of consistency, variety and sociability, and your idea of thinking about potential improvements for each session is great. If you are still aiming for a fast 5000m in about 4 weeks time, I would expect to see two sessions focussed on 5000m preparation: for example a 5x1K interval session with fairly short recoveries and a fast tempo run, not far below anaerobic threshold. You had two sessions similar to this – you included 2x1K hard with 1 K easy recoveries in Sunday’s race and a satisfying 3 K tempo run on Friday. In both cases, I think you own suggestions for improvement are good: the interval session might have been better if more structured and the tempo run could have been either a bit longer or a bit faster. However if your main target races are more than 6 months away consistency , variety and sociability are probably the most important ingredients.

12:08 am  
Anonymous Medical Alarm said...

Excellent post, congrats on all of your accomplishments. Thank you for sharing!

4:18 am  
Blogger trailblazer777 said...

Very Good! That Mona quote (7x2x365) sounds very familiar...I'm disappointed I didnt make it to his camp here in Perth on the weekend this year. Last 2 years were awesome, but family does come first, and from time and financial viewpoints...blah blah blah...
I think you need to be more attacking early in your races (I need to be less) The sunday session you did has a lot of potential! Mostly a very good week byt the 2-5 of those in a row, and you should be ready to see the race times drop like crazy! way to go.

5:01 am  
Blogger trailblazer777 said...

hard intervals sessions are tough to do the day after a long run especially if you push the long run out to 2-4 hours, so I usually schedule a day of rest after my long run, and try to do my hardest intervals sessions (on the weeks when I occasionally actually get around to doing them) when I am fresh, and not in the 24-36 hours after a long run. Am sure you know all this but may have forgotten. Of course the Kenyans often do 3 sessions a day, although a lot of it is easy recovery type runs for 45-60 minutes. Ramp up distance or more importantly intensity...hills, intervals...

5:09 am  
Blogger strewth said...

Increasing your long run to 20km would be perfect. Then you can run with me on Sat as I only have a short 20km scheduled - yay!

4:28 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Stefano!

Canute, yes, I'm targeting that 5000 on 29 March for a major effort. Good suggestion on the 5 x 1k with short recoveries. I'll try a couple of those.

Jonathon, I recall that Mona quote from your blog. Yes, I wasn't able to put in the best effort for Sunday's intervals as I was still 'feeling' the long run in the legs. If I'm to do full effort intervals Sunday I should run easier/shorter on Saturday. Perhaps miss the long run that week?

Strewth, in view of my reply to Jonathon, I think I might alternate a Saturday 20k long run one week with a short easy run the next.

9:05 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck on March 29th

I think you are right to drop a few of the long runs between now and then, as you will need speed in your legs

11:36 pm  
Anonymous Karla said...

Yes, there is a man called Canova, who invented the most brutal workout ever. You are a braver man than I. Great way to analyze your runs and get the most from them!

1:00 am  
Blogger NY Wolve said...

That is some serious mileage. I personally would have hard time with Rule #1 at that level, but then again I have never tried it.

And how do you incorporate hills into that? What effect does that have on your training? Cheers.

3:44 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Canute. After this weekend I'll drop the long run for the following three weeks, run an easy 10-12k in lieu Saturdays and that interval session Sundays.

Karla, now I'm curious to find out about that Canova workout. Habitually I've always 'underdone' interval workouts... perhaps I could do more?

NY Wolve, Lucho is a great family man, but he reminds me in a way of Rob de Castella, who famously said "nothing gets in the way of my workout!" On your question about hills... I've done Brad Hudson's short (10 sec) hill sprints in the past, which I'd like to do again. They can be added at the end of an easy run. Another option I've been thinking about is to do the 5 x 1k repeats on a 'gentle' hill (as M60 world record holder Hosaka does), running both the ups and downs fast. The downs apparently are good for quad strength. I ran 2 of my fast 1k intervals last Sunday on 'downs' and they left my legs sore, so running fast downhill does something (!), as does running fast uphill.

6:08 pm  
Blogger Scott Brown said...

I read through all your comments and noted how everyone is avoiding the elephant in the room.

But as a friend I have to tell you how gay that photo is!

9:05 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Scott, that's no elephant! It's just a bunch of runners finishing a race together by holding hands (as per the race rules). But damn, wish I'd grabbed the girls' hands first! Now that you mention it, I'm worried about the blokes holding mine. I'll have to lend them my tape "Exploring your Masculinity." "Whatever you do... do not dance! Arnold doesn't dance, he can barely walk!"

11:21 am  
Blogger RICK'S RUNNING said...

I keep thinking back to what Pete Magill [super masters coach] told me;
One fast hard session.per week
One less hard session and as much easy running as the body will allow.
On Race Weeks
Only one hard session!

Ewen I think all us 50 plus athletes want to do MORE than our bodies will allow.
To hold back is in fact the hardest thing to do but may well give you the BEST POSSIBLE RESULTS!
Think On!

1:22 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Rick. Did Pete say to do only the race on race weeks or the race and one other hard session?

Like you I've been guilty in the past of trying to do too much. I think the above week was a little of that although in general I try to avoid anaerobic territory in my harder sessions.

8:54 pm  
Blogger Sling Runner said...

Good anaysis. Agree with everyone that there are too many races in a week, even at less than full effort!

Presumably not you typical training week? But I can see some benefit of doing 1-2 races a week as training sessions (not at full effort), because the adrenaline is greater than training solo, which could result in faster paces (& pain tolerance)?

8:51 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Sling, yes, that wasn't a typical week. More typical would be one 'training race' and one other hard day. Yes, the good thing about using races as training sessions is that you do a good warm-up and you have other runners (with known form in my case) against which to judge your effort.

9:09 pm  

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