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

Friday, November 1, 2013

35: How to ignore the perfect plan

I caught the bug that's been going around, so I didn't really run this week. That's just as well - I've always preferred planning a run to actually doing it. This week, I came up with the absolute perfect training plan for my goal and decided that it wasn't for me.

The current age-class record at Afton is close to a 3:00 marathon effort (my calculation is that 3:00 marathon equals 4:22 and the record is 4:26). Checking the 25K split times available for one year, I figure that even-paced running would mean catching the competition just after AS3 on the second lap, with 9 miles to go; the plan then is that the first three hours would be easy, with a race for the last 70-75 minutes, divided into about 60 minutes of a "threshold" pace, 10 minutes at maximal heart  rate in the Snowshoe Loop and 3 minutes of lactic acid tolerance going up the last hill, with a final sprint of 150m. Each section could be trained for independently, but the challenge is being able to do the harder parts AFTER having run for hours.

M 11 miles in 90, on hills, with 2x2 miles hard.
T 12 in 90 with 10x800 in 2:55-3:00, 3 minute recovery (Yasso)
W 7 in 60 with sprints, drills.
Th 7 in 60, technical trail
F off
Sa 21 in 180
S 12 in 90 with 6-10 @ 6:45-7:00.

I could explain in detail, but I won't.That plan would've worked for me 10 years ago, but not now.

What I need is to be able to 1) run the distance 2) run pace on trail 3) run hills 4) keep up speed (one of the problems ultras have caused me is to get comfortable with a "slog" and lose the ability to push).

The plan now looks more like:

T 90 minutes, Yasso
Th 90 minutes hill repeats (steep, maybe weighted), sprints
Sa 90 minutes fast continuous run
S 50K trail (as slow as needed, with walking as needed)


Colin Gardner-Springer said...

I'm with you - creating training plans is fun! Hope you get over that bug soon though.

What's the thinking behind that weekly slow 50K (especially in light of your desire to get out of the rut of running at a "slog")?

Robyn said...

Looking back at your successful races, are there things about the training cycles for them that really worked for you? Or do you think it was mostly a function of being able to stay healthy enough to train consistently?

SteveQ said...

Good questions! Colin, right now I'm sorely lacking in the ability to run long at any speed, so it's a temporary thing (especially once it starts snowing); I hope later to switch the weekend runs so that I finish a Saturday long run with 60-75 minutes at race pace and Sunday becomes just an easy run of 90 minutes.

Robyn, it depends on how far back over 35 years of racing I look. My most successful races have been those I thought at the time were training for later races (which nerves or overreaching ruined). It's hard to say what specifically in training worked best, especially as I've raced at such a variety of distances and terrains.