"There's only one hard and fast rule in running: sometimes you have to run one hard and fast."

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Let's Assume Everybody Else Isn't an Idiot (for once)

[I'm in a much better mood than yesterday. Thanks for bearing with me.]

I decided that this would be the year that I would do what I'd tell others to do in my place. I've always been a decent coach, but there's always the problem that I, as a runner, think I know better than I, as a coach, do. When I started running crazy long races, I tried doing things my own way, re-inventing the wheel, so to speak, as everything I was hearing sounded contradictory. The coach in me says: try it the way everybody else does who's had success, before making changes.

I'm currently running 100-105 minutes on pavement every day, which isn't exactly specific to running 100 miles on hilly technical trail. I'm doing it because that's what I can do. Others would suggest getting in long runs or running twice per day instead of the continuous grind of the same run every day. I am... reluctantly... following the idea attributed to Maffetone, whereby I do this until my pace no longer gets faster or the effort level (measured by heart rate) stops decreasing. The reason I'm doing it, however, is that there's only about two hours of daylight each day when the temperature is anywhere near okay to run. Running twice per day would mean doing one run at windchills of -25 in the dark on unplowed paths. Running long runs would also either require partial darkness and/or running when the temperatures hadn't peaked and would also seriously increase the risk of frostbite or hypothermia.

So, for the time being, slow boring moderate runs it is.

A Lydiard plan on my 105 min./day would look like:
M 60 min.
T 90
W 60, fartlek on hills
Th 90
F 60
Sa 255
S 120

A Daniels plan:
M am: 45 w/6-8x20-30 sec strides, pm 60
T 90
W (same as M)
Th 90
F (same as M)
Sa 150
S 90

A Hudson masters plan:
M 105 trails (specific endurance)
T strength/core training
W 105 threshold and hill sprints
Th strength/core
F 105 hike/power-walk (x-training)
Sa 420, with last 105 faster (progression)
S strength/core

The challenge is to find a way to transition to one of these from what I'm doing. I think the way to go is to run as long as possible on Saturday, then have a secondary fairly long run Sunday (back-to-backs being popular among ultrarunners), then divide up the rest of the week.

M (am 45) pm 60
T 90
W (am 45) pm 60
Th 90
F (am 45) pm 60
Sa (150) to 255
S (90) to 120

If I can only do 150 or so on Saturday, then I include the morning runs Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

The crazy way to combine all of them would be:
M am 45 w/ 6-8x100meters, pm 60 with hill sprints
T 90 trails, predicted pace for start of race, plus strength work
W am 45 w/ 6-8x100, pm 60 hills
Th 90 threshold (4-6x1 mile at marathon pace, down to 1/2 marathon pace) plus strength work
F am 45 w/ 6-8x100, pm 60 fartlek
Sa 150-255
S 90-120 progression run (last 30-60 faster than start)

You'll be glad to hear I have no intention of doing that, I'm sure.


Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

You major flaw in reasoning here is assuming I'm not an idiot.

But good luck anyway.

Colin said...

I think you're on the right track with listening to the coach in you ... and I also think it makes sense to start with what has worked for others then tweak it for your purposes.

Your Lydiard and Daniels plans look about right as to what they might suggest. Is there a typo on the long run in your Hudson-based plan? I find it hard to believe he'd recommend a weekly 7 hour progression run (especially with only 3.5 hours of running and 1.75 hours of power walking during the week).

I think your proposed plan looks really good (the real one, not the crazy one!). We've got another month or two of nasty weather to train through (the days are already getting noticeably longer), and then you'll be in great shape for the next phase of your training!

SteveQ said...

Colin, Hudson has nothing to say about ultras, so I started from a finished plan of my own and worked back and the extreme long run popped out.

The Daniels-type plan is a little off as well. For distance runners, he generally has two hard runs per week and he states that ultrarunners could benefit from runs over 2.5 hours. Perhaps: 30 min. AM plus 60 PM on M,T,Th,F and S, and 75-105 hard W, 180-210 Sa.