Friday, October 04, 2013

Two Month Summary: August/September 2013


  • I've been focusing on performance improvement with two goals: run under 3:10 at CIM on December 8th, with a 3:07 goal (7:08/mile) and Boston on April 21, 2014 (18 weeks later) under 3:00 (6:52/mile).
    • My 3:14 at CIM with far worse training in 2011 - where I was on sub-3:10 pace until I collapsed the last 6 miles due to lack of training gives me the confidence that this is achievable
      • The months leading up to CIM in 2011 I was running far fewer miles:
        • August 2011: 15 miles/week - mostly fast
        • Sept 2011: 37 miles/week 
        • Oct 2011: 40 miles/week - with the "big week" running down the coast
        • Nov 2011: 24 miles/week - mostly speed work
      • I ran CIM in my record time of 3:14:18 on December 4th.  I was on a 3:07 pace until Mile 21 whereupon I ran out of energy and suffered through 6 miles at 8:30/mile
    • CIM this year is on December 8th.  Comparing 2011 to 2013:
      • August 2013: 42 miles/week
      • Sept 2013: 64 miles/week
      • Oct (planned): 75 miles/week
      • November: 80 miles/week
    • 2-3X the miles for prep than in the record year - but - the key will be the speed work
      • I've not really been running any speedwork since March/April.  I really miss that as it's my favorite. And I do like running the track so much and feel that's my real strength. 
      • I'm on the Pfitzenger plan which does not have formal track work, but instead has three types of speed work:
        • "strides" where you run 100 meters, building for 30 than running fast for 70. I tend to do this like "all out" for 100meters which is probably wrong...but I cannot resist just running "all out"
        • "Lactate Threshold" where you run just under anerobic (for me - a HR of like 155...but not over 160) for an extended period.  Also commonly known as a Tempo Run
        • V02Max runs - real speed. For me that means at least 162 - 166 HR, seldom more than 
    • I'm concerned that to increase my speed will require the following elements:
      • No injury-related slow down in training
        • I've been plauged with injuries this year - primarily my left Achilles tendon, and a collection of other injuries:
          • Right calf strain
          • right hamstring
          • Right foot - planter pain
      • Weight Loss
        • I'm at 174 today.  I wanted to be around 165 by now, or at least by November 1st. 
        • I seem to get stuck at 170-172, then float back to 174.  I'm not really being all that anal about eating now, and I've been very aware of how horrible I feel when I cut back on carbs mid-week and do the 6-14 mile runs on no carbs and have to slow down to 9+ min/mile.  Yes, I then drop down to the 170 range, but feel very weak.  I'm hoping that this time around when I begin hard V02Max runs in Oct/Nov in the middle of 80 mile weeks that drives me down into the 160s. 

2013 Mileage and race summary

By far 2013 has been the biggest running (aka "serious") mileage year of my life.  I've been consistently moving towards 100 mile weeks which I plan to reach early in 2014.  Mileage increased this year:
  • 186 miles in Jan
  • 200 miles in Feb
  • 220 miles in March
  • 126 miles in April (w/boston marathon)
  • 182 miles in May
  • 89 miles in June (w/RockNRoll marathon and injuries)
  • 234 miles in July
  • 182 miles in August (with a full week off due to injury)
  • 270 miles in Sept
  • 300 MIles in Oct (planned)
  • 320 Miles in Nov (Planned)

August and September 2013

August was the best of times and the worst of times.  I was in the 175/10% range, and felt mostly good at the start of the month. Then I went to SF for a week holiday with the kids. During the trip I ran and walked every day.  I felt good running from the Hyatt down to Pier area and along the water and back every day, and went quickly.

On August 9th, feeling particularly fast, I ran along with the crowd (passing all of them) at 7:30/mile average for 11.4 miles.  Of course, these were not evenly paced miles.  I ran downhill from Union square where the hotel was to wharf area along all the piers and ran fast.  kept picking it up and really took off on the last third of the run:

Well this had a bad effect  - suddenly running that far/fast without proper speed prep.  It was fun while it lasted (I did this again two days later, a bit slower) and spent the remainder of the days walking up and down hills in SF...until...Voila! My good old friend, the left Achilles tendon, came back after leaving for a while.

This in injury stayed along from about 8/10 until 8/24  - a solid two weeks of intense soreness. I slowed down, daily icing, more biking and occasional slower runs, and by 8/25 it was feeling good enough again to begin a regular training regime.

September 2013

September was a better month, and most likely the most miles I've ever run in a month in my life. I started the month with a 67 mile week and only one day of strides:

Strides (from Pete Pfitzinger): 100 meters in which you accelerate up to full speed over the first 70 meters and then float for the last 30 meters. It's critical to remain relaxed during these accelerations....Concentrate on running with good form, and focus on one aspect of good form, such as relaxed arms or complete hip extension.  A typical rest is to jog and walk 100 to 200 meters between repetitions. The most important considerations are to maintain good running form and to concentrate on accelerating powerfully during each repetition.   

My "accelleration" seems to occur in like the first 10 meters and is just fast until I hit the line.  More on this at the end. 

The tendon trouble came back on in the first third of the month (9th/10th). so I backed off for a couple days.  by the 14th I was ready for a long run with some marathon pace running. I have no idea what my marathon pace should be now. I'd like, of course, to be at 6:52 for MP for a sub-3:00, but I think that may come at Boston next April and for CIM I'll shoot for 3:07 which is 7:10/mile.

On the 14th I was shooting for 7:05/mile (3:05:42), which is now down to the "splitting hairs" level.  I ran up to the beach lot NW from the Kraken (a classic watering hole) and turned around.  I began the MP in Del Mar and ran the first mile downhill for speed and a warmup in 6:20.  Then slowed down when I hit the flat, and ran up into Solana Beach in 7:39.  Then was a bit downhill again in 7:06, and continuing to the turnaround in 6:55.  I came back after the turn in 7:17, and then slowed again coming back into Solana Beach up the small hill in 7:36.  The last two miles were back to 18th street in 6:56 and 6:49.  I was really pushing the last mile and ended with a 170 HR.  My average HR was 154 - at the high end for the distance and perhaps the 7:05 average was too fast and I should be at 7:10 now.  If I'd ran the last two miles 15 seconds faster then both average speed and HR would have been on target.

Another fast run was a long run Sept 21 with Jim Goss. It was a SDTC run, but I was running with "fast Jim" and he and I did a quick one - running away from the group after the first mile out of Balboa Park (where the high school xcountry races were being held).   We did what Jim measured as 20 miles at 7:37, but my watch (which I stopped at a light after standing around for  bit, then forgot to re-start for half a mile) had us at 7:44.  At any rate, it was fast and sort of hard.

And the next day (Sunday the 22nd) I both rode 20 miles with Kevin Winters - and then - ran 10 miles fast with Carles....that real recovery.  I biked 40 miles on Monday  - no running.

On the 24th, Tuesday, did another somewhat quick 13 mile run at Mission Bay@7:55/mile.   Well, on Wed the 25th I was "cooked". Barely did a 6.2 mile run @9:39, then the same run only a bit faster the following day...then a 1 hour spin class on

Finally, wrapped up the month on a weekend when Jim G. was tapering and ran with the group doing 8:10 miles around the bay that was - at last - easy