Signed up for St. Albert

I signed up for the St Albert 10 Miler after a relatively tough but encouraging weekend of training. This weekend was to be one of two times during my marathon buildup where I ran hard on Saturday and long on Sunday. The idea is that I’ll encounter some pain and suffering towards the end of the Sunday long run which should help to build up a bit of durability in advance of the marathon. That kind of resilience in my muscles should help me keep ticking over once I’m past 20 miles in the marathon and put together a good final 10kms split.

The problem with trying to make yourself a little bit more immune to suffering on race day is that you have to do the suffering during training. Both Saturday and Sunday were serious on pain. Saturday I had sketched in my training plan a 10km run TT to be done on flat (or nearly flat) roads and I wanted to try and run about a 41 minute pace. That’s the kind of pace that a Riegel-formula would convert into a marathon split of ~3:08 and a Cameron Formula would convert into a marathon split of ~3:12. I figured if I could run about that speed in a training run I’d be pretty confident that going out at the 3:10 marathon pace on race morning was not going to be too ambitious. I have been hitting the requisite paces in my marathon-paced portions of my long runs to suggest that I’m on form to squeek out a Boston Qualifying time. This run TT was to serve two purposes. The first being to put some stress on the muscles in my legs in advance of the long run on Sunday and second, to build some confidence.

Photo from gallery: Spring 2011

Note that you can see the four places where I had to come to a stop and do a 180o turn.

I was not up for the full 10kms and when it really started to hurt at around 4kms I thought I was probably getting close to 6kms. When I reached 6 I thought I probably should be done, and when I got to 8 kms I pulled the plug and stopped my watch. It was a good effort, but the motivation to stick with it at the end of a tough week of training just wasn’t there. My final time amounted to a 4:04 pace for 8kms which is inside of the 4:06 pace I had hoped to do for 10kms. All told, it was a confidence boosting workout for the marathon even though I really was having a tough time breathing hard enough to keep up with my legs.

Sunday’s run was a bit achy right at the start but the sensations turned for the better and I ran a solid hour with Pat and Aaron through the river valley and we did take in a few hills en-route. I then continued on with Pat past the 1.5 hour mark for a ways further. It was at this point I started to really get achy again and some parts felt like I was running aboard disembodied legs. The good news though is that I was able to keep the pace together and never fell apart and really had to slow down from the pace that I started at. I’m now taking a day off to recover before getting back into it on Tuesday and then I have a relatively important session on Wednesday with 6×1kms at about half-marathon pace. It should be manageable. This coming weekend I’m going easy on Saturday and then have my final long run with a marathon paced section where I plan to attempt a full 10 miles in the second half of the long run at marathon effort. Hopefully I can do this without snow on the ground, in which case marathon effort should be at marathon pace. That’s the peak of training, three weeks out from the marathon.

Heading into the marathon I’m going to show up for a couple of the Wednesday night cross country races and tempo one of them in the middle of a medium-long run at around half marathon pace, and just ride out to another and run it at around marathon pace. I will not be racing but going out and doing the exercise in the middle of a race should help me dial in the right effort in race-conditions so that I don’t go out too hard at the start on May 1. It’s a social experiment I guess, we’ll see if I pass my own test! There’s one big effort left after that, I’ve decided to run the St Albert 10 miler as my final big preparation run. Indication from my 8km TT suggests I can probably do it in under 68 minutes. Of course, I’d rather do it in 66. This one won’t be holding back, it will be a max effort 10 miler, twice the pain of 5 miles, no excuses.

Photo from gallery: Spring 2011 Photo from gallery: Spring 2011

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Coaching Update #4.5

One weekly update:

2011-03-21 to 2011-03-27

Sport Total Distance Total Time Min Pace Ave Pace Max Pace Pace Units
Bike 85 km 2:50:00 30 30 30 kph
Run 85.08 km 7:22:25 5:34 5:12 4:27 min per km
Swim 7350 m 2:55:00 2:26 2:23 2:20 min per 100 meters
Yoga 0 mi 0:50:00 na na na no pace units
Total Time 13 hrs 57min One Day Off

I’ll post another full update in a few weeks when the big push for marathon fitness is over. I’ve got some solid work to do this week including a 10km race simulation on Saturday that I hope to run right around 40-41 minutes, and that is backed up with a no-pressure-on-pace long run on Sunday. It’ll be my one kick at a long aerobic run with sore muscles during the buildup. I’ve done a lot of running like that in past, but have really made an effort in scheduling to not require that I do it very often this time around, this is the one situation where I am going to tackle it. It will probably be a relatively easy long run considering I am a lot stronger at this point in the season than I have been previously, I still want to do it though as it will have some training effect in adding some robustness to muscle durability. The alternative – trying to run a blazing 10kms the day after a long easy run doesn’t really achieve either of the training effects. The easy long run is going to be pretty superfluous as far as race specificity goes because I’d probably feel fresh the whole way, and the 10km race simulation will probably have me feeling a bit flat and not likely to boost capacity for dealing with lactate. The weekend after that is my toughest long run of the buildup, 20 miles with 10 of them at marathon effort, I’m hoping I can bring them in below 4:30 pace again, and if so I will declare myself to have a realistic hope of qualifying for Boston.

To compare with a week of my previous marathon build (March 2009) I’ll post some stats from a week that totally knocked me on my ass:

2009-03-09 to 2009-03-15

Sport Total Distance Total Time Min Pace Ave Pace Max Pace Pace Units
Bike 90 km 3:00:00 30 30 30 kph
Fixie 25.1 km 1:12:00 18 20.92 22.8 kph
Run 87.49 km 7:25:50 5:28 5:06 4:32 min per km
Swim 2700 m 1:30:00 3:20 3:20 3:20 min per 100 meters
Yoga 0 mi 1:00:00 na na na no pace units
Total Time 14 hrs 7min Two days off

Oddly enough, it looks just about the same! ~85kms in 7.5 hours accounting for about 55% of my weekly activity. If you look closely you’ll see that my fastest run pace this past week was barely faster than my fastest run pace that week, my average run pace is actually a bit slower than it was that week, and my slowest run pace was actually slower last week than it was in 2009. What these stats don’t show is that… my fastest run pace during that week in 2011 occurred during the 12.5km marathon effort interval during the second half of my long run. Also, that my slowest pace occurred on a recovery run instead of on my long run where I was hurting, and that the average pace for my long run in the 2011 week was actually considerably faster than my average pace for the week. It also doesn’t show that I backed up this week with a Monday night workout over 2.5 hours in duration of running to the pool, swimming for an hour twenty, and then running a round-about-way home with zero calorie consumption across the whole thing. In 2009 I backed up that week with three days off and a weekly mileage of 16 kms. The fitness is in how things are put together, not purely in the generic stats, but I have faith that it’s there.

Some other cool stuff from the long run this weekend:

Photo from gallery: Winter 2011
Photo from gallery: Winter 2011

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Track Split Lookup Tables

It’s getting close to the season when lots of people are starting to throw down a weekly workout on the track instead of navigating the snowbanks and icy-sidewalks focused on aerobic conditioning. The easiest way to do the math is usually to run in the inside lane, but I really don’t like running the sharpest corners unless I have to. Instead I’d rather do the workout on one of the more outside lanes on the track… If possible it’s usually nice to run intervals on an increment of 10 seconds because it’s then pretty straightforward to keep track of the incremental time. The same idea as using a pace-clock in the pool, you graduate from swimming your 100’s on 1:35 straight to swimming your 100’s on 1:30 without going through a phase in between, keeping track is not worth the mental effort. If you can choose the lane so that the extra distance brings you across the line at the right time you can really save yourself a headache.

Unfortunately, that math is generally too hard to do accurately enough on the fly in my head. It generally requires some relatively difficult pace to calculate and some weird distance. I cobbled together a set of lap splits for track workouts that will tell you the splits required to run certain paces in different lanes on the track. The general method for using this would be to look up the pace you hope to run in the left columns (both per kilometer and per mile are listed) and then run your finger across that row to find a lap split that is the closest to an increment of 10 seconds, choose that lane and get running.

Photo from gallery: Weblog Photos

Doing this can increase your interval distance by up to 13% on an 8 lane 400m track or up to 19% on an 6 lane 200m track. So, if you’re dead-set on doing a certain distance interval, then use the inside lane. But let’s remember that those intervals are chosen to try and get a certain physiological response from the average person. I can personally guarantee that the physiological response of the average person varies by a lot more than 13%, and physiology probably varies more by time and speed than by distance. At least in my opinion, the benefit of running the wider corners of lanes 6-8 outweighs the insignificant benefit of running the inside lane to make an interval of a very specific length. It will probably also help you shy away from setting a new 800m personal record each time you show up to the track. You’ll pick the lane that corresponds to the pace you want to run, and then you’ll run the pace you wanted to run. This neatly evades the racing that can otherwise happen, between other athletes at the track, and with your former self, that can often happen when you get into your racing flats and start running in circles.

I’ve got these tables in my smartphone so they’re always accessible and I think I will print one out on cardstock and laminate it in to keep in my gym locker which has a 200m indoor track. Do what you want with them, hopefully it’ll improve your training – Enjoy!

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Coaching Update #4

The weekly updates:

2011-02-14 to 2011-02-20

Sport Total Distance Total Time Min Pace Ave Pace Max Pace Pace Units
Bike 90 km 2:45:00 30 32.73 40 kph
Run 18.31 km 1:56:10 7:39 6:21 5:08 min per km
Swim 2400 m 1:00:00 2:30 2:30 2:30 min per 100 meters
Telemark 145 km 14:00:00 10.23 10.36 10.5 kph
Yoga 0 mi 0:45:00 na na na no pace units
Total Time 20 hrs 26min One Day Off

2011-02-21 to 2011-02-27

Sport Total Distance Total Time Min Pace Ave Pace Max Pace Pace Units
Bike 65 km 2:10:00 30 30 30 kph
Run 27.5 km 2:31:30 6:07 5:31 5:09 min per km
Swim 2800 m 1:05:00 2:19 2:19 2:19 min per 100 meters
Weights 0 mi 0:10:00 na na na no pace units
XC 12 km 1:20:00 9 9 9 kph
Yoga 0 mi 0:40:00 na na na no pace units
Total Time 7 hrs 56min One Day Off

2011-02-28 to 2011-03-06

Sport Total Distance Total Time Min Pace Ave Pace Max Pace Pace Units
Bike 60 km 2:00:00 30 30 30 kph
Run 6.5 km 0:43:30 6:42 6:42 6:42 min per km
Swim 1750 m 0:30:00 1:43 1:43 1:43 min per 100 meters
XC 14 km 1:25:00 9.88 9.88 9.88 kph
Total Time 4 hrs 38min Four Days Off

2011-03-07 to 2011-03-13

Sport Total Distance Total Time Min Pace Ave Pace Max Pace Pace Units
Bike 96 km 3:12:00 30 30 30 kph
Run 50.96 km 4:30:07 5:36 5:18 5:00 min per km
Swim 6450 m 2:09:00 2:06 2:00 1:41 min per 100 meters
XC 10.22 km 0:48:40 12.6 12.6 12.6 kph
Total Time 10 hrs 39min One Day Off

2011-03-14 to 2011-03-20

Sport Total Distance Total Time Min Pace Ave Pace Max Pace Pace Units
Bike 90 km 3:00:00 30 30 30 kph
Run 85.9 km 7:28:26 5:31 5:13 4:34 min per km
Swim 5500 m 2:10:31 3:00 2:22 1:33 min per 100 meters
Yoga 0 mi 0:40:00 na na na no pace units
Total Time 13 hrs 18min One Day Off

I had a bit of a washout for the first week of this period, it could have been good training but then I went Telemarking for two days. It was fun, but it killed three planned runs. Sure I logged lots of hours but Telemarking is pretty non-specific preparation for a marathon, at least it uses your legs I guess. That trip also hampered the next week because I should have been working on the revisions on my thesis demanded by the examining committee that weekend, but I went skiing instead. They needed to be done the next week and so I botched another opportunity to do some high quality consistent running in alright conditions. The next week I travelled to Calgary to attend the funeral of my Grandfather, and then started work. While that didn’t force me to take 4 days off, run once and really come off the rails with training, I don’t see that I necessarily should have done otherwise. Death is a motivation sucker, it always will be and that’s just how it’s going to be. I actually don’t really care that that week was a write-off, but I am frustrated that I started to slide in the two weeks previous. It’s a good thing Dave demanded that I come out and go skiing the following Sunday or I would have skipped out and taken another zero.

The next week back took some getting used to, I had slipped a fair amount in my consistency with everything and it really felt like I was trying to get a heavy locomotive rolling again. It seemed that the whole metabolism managed to slow itself down and needed some time for the pressure in the steam chambers to build up before I could roll out of the station. I did get moving by the end of the week but was frustrated by the fact that my well laid plans for preparation for this upcoming marathon had been all-but destroyed. Part of me wanted to give up, it was a large part. I asked Dave what I was supposed to do when I just didn’t care about a race anymore. It wasn’t like I was asking if it was OK to switch to the half-marathon, I was wondering about quitting all together. Maybe I’d go to Vancouver and just be a tourist for the weekend with that plane ticket I now wished I hadn’t bought, maybe bring a bike and write off the whole idea of running a marathon.

Then I got roped into a long run that evening by Keegan and went along with it. I stand by the statement that I’ve been making quite a bit recently. “If you’re smart about who you choose to surround yourself with, peer pressure only does good things.” I tapped out a 1h49 half marathon and stayed strictly aerobic for the whole thing. Decked out in full tights and jacket, running in loose snow and doing some single-track trails… that’s a totally amazing time. It was at this point that I drew the analogy that I was the big locomotive that was taking a while to get going after a lousy three weeks of training. Hindsight helps. I figured that my best bet was to try and put together a good week of training, keep it mostly aerobic and then see where I was at before I made any drastic changes of plans.

Photo from gallery: Performance Management Charts

The last week of training went well. I didn’t roll over 20 hours or anything that would have seemed super impressive last year during the Ironman build, but I did run with good consistency and put together some pretty good runs, nothing junky. Everything had a purpose and I was happy about it. It wrapped up Saturday afternoon with a good long run of 30kms with a 5 mile section thrown in after 30kms where I was able to maintain a 7:22 pace in variable snow conditions. I got home feeling beat up, but happy. I think it’s a real positive sign to feel like the marathon training plan is back on track. Unfortunately it’s not really, there is a pretty significant hole in the middle of my buildup (as evidenced by the falling CTL [red] on the chart at right). I have modified the plan from here on out to account for this. I’m cutting the amount of running above aerobic threshold scheduled for this coming week in half. I’m also cutting out all of the VO2 focussed intervals that the Pfitzinger plan has scheduled in favour of strides and some running just slightly above marathon pace. I’m trying to be conservative with what I can ask my body to do without as extensive a base-buildup as I should have done. I’m then paring back the total volume anticipated by 10-15%, slicing it off of most of the runs with the exception of my long runs which need to stay at the higher durations as they are needed for focus on duration. The marathon on May 1 didn’t get 10-15% shorter.

Photo from gallery: Performance Management Charts

I’m posting the planned weekly schedule from here to the race [here]. It’s accurate for running, and if the weather co-operates I’ll be adding some aerobic cycling to the mix once the roads are clear. There’s not going to be stress on the muscles in my legs for that kind of stuff so I’ll sprinkle in what I have time for. For completeness sake I’ve included the PMCs for all three sports and my total at the left here as well, click on the mini-picture to expand.

Finally, I have one other stat to note… I swam a 15:31 for 1000 yards on Friday. I went out pretty conservative in the first half. I think that partly had to do with me not really wanting to suffer as much as I could have suffered for 15 minutes but also a bit of disillusionment with the purpose of doing this when Keegan had opened up with a 1:15 1000yds next to me and I was feeling super slow. I did turn it around in the second half which is nice and it made for a good workout even though it’s evidence that it wasn’t the best test of my actual 1000yd TT speed. Despite being a long ways off how well I was swimming last march at this time this is a huge improvement in my swimming since Christmas when I was struggling to come in with 50 second laps on only 100 and 200 yard intervals in a workout. I’m also happy to report that I’m actually tackling flip turns with some regularity. The immediacy of the Spring Thaw Triathlon, where successfully doing flip turns could amount to a full 0.5% improvement of my finish time has convinced me that it is worthwhile. Buying carbon aero widgets to do that would cost me between $1000 and $1500.

1000yd TT

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Coaching Update #3

The weekly updates:

2011-01-10 to 2011-01-16

Sport Total Distance Total Time Min Pace Ave Pace Max Pace Pace Units
Bike 95 km 3:10:00 30 30 30 kph
Run 10.68 km 1:37:00 13:00 9:05 5:38 min per km
Swim 3300 m 1:30:00 2:44 2:44 2:44 min per 100 meters
XC 35.25 km 4:05:00 8.03 8.63 10 kph
Total Time 10 hrs 22min Two Days Off

2011-01-17 to 2011-01-23

Sport Total Distance Total Time Min Pace Ave Pace Max Pace Pace Units
Bike 60 km 2:00:00 30 30 30 kph
Run 5.3 km 0:24:40 4:39 4:39 4:39 min per km
Swim 4000 m 1:27:00 2:24 2:11 1:48 min per 100 meters
Telemark 0 km 13:00:00 0 0 0 kph
XC 10 km 0:44:00 13.64 13.64 13.64 kph
Total Time 17 hrs 35min Zero Days Off

2011-01-24 to 2011-01-30

Sport Total Distance Total Time Min Pace Ave Pace Max Pace Pace Units
Bike 90 km 3:00:00 30 30 30 kph
Run 55.87 km 5:09:08 6:22 5:32 5:12 min per km
Swim 3200 m 1:00:00 1:52 1:52 1:52 min per 100 meters
XC 13.53 km 1:04:35 12.57 12.57 12.57 kph
Yoga 0 mi 1:00:00 na na na no pace units
Total Time 11 hrs 13min One Day Off

2011-01-31 to 2011-02-06

Sport Total Distance Total Time Min Pace Ave Pace Max Pace Pace Units
Bike 60 km 2:00:00 30 30 30 kph
Run 38.15 km 3:32:30 7:08 5:34 5:00 min per km
Swim 6500 m 2:25:00 2:14 2:14 2:13 min per 100 meters
Total Time 7 hrs 57min Three Days Off

2011-02-07 to 2011-02-13

Sport Total Distance Total Time Min Pace Ave Pace Max Pace Pace Units
Bike 90 km 3:00:00 30 30 30 kph
Run 29.43 km 2:28:56 5:21 5:04 4:49 min per km
Swim 2800 m 1:00:00 2:09 2:09 2:09 min per 100 meters
XC 55 km 4:26:00 12.41 12.41 12.41 kph
Total Time 10 hrs 54min One Day Off

I did at best an acceptable job with sticking on a training plan during the past period of time. I’m not exactly proud to be posting these stats as it makes it evident that I haven’t been out running nearly as much as I said I was going to be running. I’ve had a few periods of good success, and one week of perfect execution on the run which occurred at the expense of one swim and a day of skiing. It was followed up by a good week of running which then crumbled on the weekend with a total of zero hours logged and coming up significantly short on my mileage target. The causes have been largely due to commitments surrounding the completion of my degree, with a few long weeks of work and relatively high levels of stress that were making it necessary to dedicate 10 hours of sleep per night to be able to function during the day. The result of that is time rapidly disappearing from training. I’ll also take a bit of personal responsibility for not treating these issues with significant enough urgency to solve the problems before they arose. Militantly defending little bits of training time throughout the week has a pretty poor return on investment and so when push came to shove I dismissed the necessity of training in adverse conditions as well as unfortunately trying to save time by making relatively poor dietary choices.

There have been periods of great success sprinkled amongst these frustrations. I marked an improvement of another 15 seconds per kilometer on my MAF run pace later in January (to the 4:40-4:45/km range). Since putting in the period of 11 days of fantastic consistency I saw an improvement of my default pace from around 5:20/km to about 5:00/km which is nice. I was seeing a default pace (~140bpm HR) of about this speed during my 40 runs in 40 days challenge in May last year. At that point my MAF pace was around 4:15/km. I don’t believe that I’m going to test at that pace this coming week with a MAF run test so that means an interesting thing. I’ve somehow narrowed the gap between my MAF pace and my default run pace. The only thing I think I can attribute this to is my transition into a slightly different style of stride with much more of a midfoot strike. This may not contribute to me going a lot faster when running at a MAF limit but interestingly it is making me faster a very submaximal paces. I think this is good because it likely contributes to improved efficiency at those faster paces at a more rapid rate than if I have a large discrepancy between the two sets of paces. Maybe this isn’t happening, I haven’t tested my MAF pace in three weeks, it could be that I’m already at the aerobic fitness required for the 4:15/km pace which would be nice because that would be goal marathon pace already, nearly 70 days prior to the start!

Photo from gallery: Performance Management Charts

The PMCs at the left show that I have been able to keep building fitness over the past period of time (ATL is ahead of CTL all the way) and so despite really mentally feeling like I wasn’t giving my attention to training the same way that I wanted to I was still progressing. This is a comforting sign and it’s a reminder to me that I need to keep taking stock of where I’m at numerically and in testing rather than just how I feel. It’s fine that I’m not able to be throwing down a bunch of 18-20 hour weeks the same way I did last February, because my fitness is in a different spot and I’m progressing it from there. That said, my training stress balance is not as negative as I know I can handle at this period of the season and so I could be training a bit harder. That’s also OK for this period of time. The snapshot shows that I keep pressing onward with my general fitness for the next period of time until the second week of March which is a bit of a breather (my training stress balance should “come up for air” at that point) before getting into a period of 3 week “Lactate Threshold Phase” and then moving in to what the Pfitzinger plan calls the “Specific Prep Phase” which continues on with the Lactate Threshold work but is directed to helping me dial in the marathon pace. That leaves me with a two week taper into the race. This is on the shorter side as far as tapers could go but I believe that because I am not trying to dig a huge hole it shouldn’t take so long to climb out. I’m training with the focus of getting fast during the final period of time, not trying to get outrageously fit by loading up on volume so a gigantic taper should be unnecessary.

Photo from gallery: Performance Management Charts

At right is an indication of my planned run fitness which shows a progression in training stress from -1 unit to -3 units. I know that this is reasonable to expect of myself, but it’s important to note that I plan to maintain a training stress balance of overall fitness hovering right around zero the entire time while I do this. This is done by paring back my commitments to other sports (skiing is no longer scheduled at all past mid-March for example).

Wrapping up this post

I began writing this post on Monday but didn’t have the focus to keep writing so I put it on hold. Then I got distracted by the very interesting statistics from the VO2 test on Tuesday and writing up a blog post on that. At which point I needed to buckle down and focus for a successful thesis defense on Thursday. That little delay enables me to conclude this post by answering my question posed a few paragraphs higher up about what my MAF pace is at the moment. I tested today indoors (because it was -22oC outside) and stupidly calculated which lane I needed to run in on the track doing 1 minute laps to get me running at 4:15 pace (Lane 6 on a 200m track in case you were wondering). So, needless to say this caused a bit of strife because I set out to test my HR at 4:15 pace instead of following the normal MAF testing protocol which is for me to run at 161 bpm and then measure the resulting pace. After warming up I ran 1500m at that pace at which point I had received enough feedback from my HRM and my breathing rate that I was not in the kind of shape required for 4:15/km at MAFHR fitness. I wouldn’t call it a botched test, it was interesting to follow that kind of testing design and I think I learned a few things from it about pacing (I think this kind of testing protocol would actually be pretty useful on the bike riding in rolling terrain with a powermeter) but I was also able to then dial back the intensity on the run and still salvage a better estimate of MAF pace which scored me around 4:25-4:28 per km. That’s alright, it’s a good progression in the past few weeks so I’m satisfied.

To wrap up I’ll post two tentative schedules. The first is for the next three weeks (well, this week is more than half over already) and is the final three weeks dedicated to aerobic development. I know already that I am going to come up way short this week on running mileage which is frustrating but I’m going to go skiing anyways for two days and enjoy it, I’ll be just fine for hours as a result! I am also posting a tentative look ahead to the following three weeks which the Pfitzinger “Advanced Marathoning” book describes as a Lactate Threshold phase. I currently have this set out according to the second “level” of mileage targets in the plan design and before I start into the next phase of training I’m going to assess whether or not I’ve been successful enough during the current aerobic phase to tackle that or if I need to scale back my expectations for myself (basically determined by if I can put together good consistency for the next two weeks). I’ll post again in three weeks on the subject of doing that mid-build self-assessment.

If the pattern I’ve been monitoring with my MAF testing continues as it has been going I will have a MAF pace that is very closely correlated with goal marathon pace by the point in time that I begin Lactate Threshold focus. That would be ideal. The result would be that my race-pace work is going to be right on the edge of being aerobic so it should be manageable. It also means that all of my lactate threshold work will be above race pace instead of (say, if I switched into that phase of training at the moment) being at around race pace and so will be training my mind to think of marathon pace as the relatively manageable. That’s a big coup. I know that when I was running lots of my shorter aerobic runs at around 4:45-4:50 pace during June and July in 2010 and staying completely aerobic throughout their entire durations I was really developing a strong belief in my ability to take on the 5:00/km goal pace at Ironman. Training that perception in advance of the marathon in Vancouver is important to me as I know it will make a difference in how well I am able to stay focussed in the race-situation.

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Four months of AWESOME!

The racing schedules for this summer have just been posted and it looks like everything stacks up almost perfectly for me!

When I say perfectly I mean that there is very little conflict of interest in where I intend to direct my attention each weekend for basically every weekend of the summer. It’s simple, choose what you love doing and then love doing it. I’m not signed up for everything listed here, or at least not yet!

  • May 1 – Vancouver Marathon
  • May 8 – Spring Thaw (Sprint) Triathlon
  • May 14-15 – Velocity Stage Race
  • May 21-22 – Bikes on Broadway Stage Race
  • May 28 – Crewing for Aaron at Blackfoot 100km
  • May 29 – Pigeon Lake Road Race
  • June 5 – Oliver (Half Ironman) Triathlon
  • June 11 – Half Moon Lake – Mission3 (SuperSprint) Triathlon
  • June 18-19 -Banff Bike Fest Stage Race
    • or June 18 – Chinook (Olympic or Half Ironman) Triathlon
  • June 25-26 – Devon Stage Race
  • July 1 – Canada Day Crit
  • July 10 – Edmonton ITU (Olympic) Triathlon
    • I think this will have slots for Worlds but they are in New Zealand in October 2012 so taking a slot is a rather outrageous proposition.
  • July 16-17 – Perhaps run the Skyline Trail with Aaron?
  • July 23-24 – Perhaps a backpacking weekend in Wilmore Wilderness?
    • Sylvan Lake (Half Ironman) Triathlon is on the 24th and is likely the spot that I’d need to race to qualify for the ITU Long Distance World Championships that are going to be held in Spain in 2012. Doing this is an attractive alternative to chasing a Kona slot in 2012 as this is a true world championship, not a corporate world championship.
  • July 29-30 – Tour de Bowness Stage Race
  • August 6-7 – Jason Lapierre Stage Race
  • August 14 – Bicisport Road Race
    • or August 14 – XTerra Canmore (Offroad) Triathlon – rumour is that this will have slots for Maui in 2012, so racing on the course the year before is an advantage if I want to try and qualify for worlds in 2012.
  • August 20 – Headwinds Provincial Road Race
  • August 27 – Recovery Weekend
  • September 1 – It’s September – time to start riding the ‘cross bike!

Two or three weekends out of the whole four months with conflicting interests is a pretty slim number. I’m happy to have a couple weeks in July without much potential distraction which I can either use for relaxation if I’m running on fumes or use for hard training to prep myself up for the upcoming stage racing. I’m really hoping to be able to bring my A-game to the criteriums in Calgary, the infamous Tour de Bowness “Bownesian Pavement” Crit and the soon to become infamous Jason Lapierre “Speedfest” crit that was run downtown last year, rumour is that it will be downtown again in 2011. That means big base in May and June and serious sharpening efforts in June and July. Lots of bike riding!

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Coaching Update #2

The weekly updates:

2010-11-29 to 2010-12-05

Sport Total Distance Total Time Min Pace Ave Pace Max Pace Pace Units
Bike 120 km 4:00:00 30 30 30 kph
Run 32.29 km 2:48:00 5:31 5:12 5:02 min per km
Swim 3200 m 1:20:00 2:30 2:30 2:30 min per 100 meters
Weights 0 mi 0:30:00 na na na no pace units
Yoga 0 mi 0:20:00 na na na no pace units
Total Time 8 hrs 58min Two Days Off

2010-12-06 to 2010-12-12

Sport Total Distance Total Time Min Pace Ave Pace Max Pace Pace Units
Bike 120 km 4:00:00 30 30 30 kph
Run 24.67 km 2:12:30 5:43 5:22 5:18 min per km
Weights 3.11 mi 0:55:00 na na na no pace units
Total Time 7 hrs 7min Three Days Off

2010-12-13 to 2010-12-19

Sport Total Distance Total Time Min Pace Ave Pace Max Pace Pace Units
Bike 80 km 2:40:00 30 30 30 kph
Run 24.12 km 2:02:39 5:08 5:05 4:58 min per km
XC 16.43 km 1:43:57 9.13 9.48 9.76 kph
Total Time 6 hrs 26min Two Days Off

2010-12-20 to 2010-12-26

Sport Total Distance Total Time Min Pace Ave Pace Max Pace Pace Units
Run 41.68 km 3:29:10 5:04 5:01 3:45 min per km
XC 50.77 km 6:33:31 5.05 7.74 12.09 kph
Total Time 10 hrs 2min One Day Off

2010-12-27 to 2011-01-02

Sport Total Distance Total Time Min Pace Ave Pace Max Pace Pace Units
Downhill 202 km 20:20:00 na na na no pace units
Run 23.12 km 2:03:47 5:31 5:21 4:54 min per km
XC 24.25 km 4:05:00 5.31 5.94 6.35 kph
Total Time 26 hrs 28min One Day Off

2011-01-03 to 2011-01-09

Sport Total Distance Total Time Min Pace Ave Pace Max Pace Pace Units
Bike 60 km 2:00:00 30 30 30 kph
Run 40.08 km 3:31:35 5:31 5:17 5:00 min per km
Swim 2600 m 1:10:00 2:42 2:42 2:42 min per 100 meters
XC 14.2 km 1:25:00 10.02 10.02 10.02 kph
Total Time 8 hrs 6min Two Days Off

I did a mediocre job of following my schedule in the few weeks leading up to the Christmas break. I did find bits and pieces of time to train but I was also doing stupid amounts of time in the lab turning the crank and churning out page after page of my MSc thesis. The thesis was considered relatively complete until my supervisor chucked it back at me with major revisions. It wasn’t a very nice realization, I’m not so much cut out for the world of academia, and I’m trying not to think about it too much. In fact I’m not going to write much about it either as that would require me thinking about it. In short, I hope accepting this new job starting March 1 isn’t a huge mistake. Then over Christmas break I just tried to run frequently, I wanted to hit 25 miles per week a couple times and I was successful for two out of the three, I would have been on track to hit it on the week between Christmas and New Years but I found myself in Fernie skiing my fool face off (and loving it!) and so I’ll take a mulligan. These next two charts show my progress up until Christmas and then my progress over the Christmas break.

’till Christmas

through Christmas

Photo from gallery: Performance Management Charts Photo from gallery: Performance Management Charts
Photo from gallery: Performance Management Charts

The PMCs above show that over the Christmas break when I went totally off program and gave up on trying to schedule anything for myself I still did get in lots of general aerobic work as I had wanted to during that period. The little chart at the left here with the two overlays compares the planned training effect with the one that was actually completed over that break, it lines up just fine. I’m still on track in terms of developing basic fitness and despite not trying very hard at planning my instincts for how much, and how soon, were just about appropriate.

I am due for a MAF Test on the run soon but with the forecast at or below -20o for this whole coming week I might have to wait a bit. There isn’t a whole lot of purpose in measuring MAF pace while running with tights, fleece pants, shell pants and a fleece jacket, the measurement isn’t going to be very accurate anyhow. I do have an estimate of MAFHR from some recent treadmill running that puts it around 7.6-7.7 miles per hour which is slightly sub 5 min/km or a bit better than 8 min miles. That’s alright progression if you ask me, about 25 seconds/km pace improvement over the course of a bit less than two months. Slow and steady wins the race. As I mentioned previously I think it would be good to get to 4min/km at MAFHR in time for the Vancouver Marathon (a bit less than four months) which necessitates me being keeping up this kind of progression in MAF pace. I don’t really have a great indication from previous tracking of these metrics of how fast I can hope to improve, my testing last year started at around 4:20 pace and progressed to around 4:04 pace while I really developed a ton of durability to run at that effort while maintaining volume in the training program. Recently I’ve been able to do a lot of my running rather close to MAFHR and haven’t felt like I’m straining myself much to do it. That’s an alright sign, it indicates I’m in need of conditioning my cardiovascular system and that I’m not straining the muscular/joints as much as I did last year while developing my ability to run.

I was out of the pool for a LONG time and my first time back was tough work but I enjoyed myself, I don’t anticipate that it’ll be easy to swim a ton this winter but I am hopeful that I can do a decent job of it.

The planned training is a bit dubious, I don’t know how everything will work out with the weather looking so outrageously poor. I also don’t really know how the skiing works out as I typically will want to go with other people and just don’t have the interest to go and do three hours of skiing by myself in the woods. We’ll see how things stack up. I’ll have to be flexible here. The key workouts of the week are the runs. I want to put in a good solid effort at getting the frequency up to 5 times per week here or close to that for the next stretch. It’s mostly a matter of getting dressed up and out the door. That’s all it took yesterday and once I was trundling along I quite enjoyed myself, but when getting dressed takes forever because I have to dig up a dozen pieces of clothing instead of just shorts, socks and a shirt, it’s no wonder that it takes a bit more coercion than usual to get going.

Fingers crossed that a cold January makes for an early spring so I can get in the uninterrupted running when it will be the most frustrating to do it inside. I also wouldn’t mind the opportunity to sneak in a couple weekends of skiing in March if possible. Anyhow, here’s the training plan through until the Birkebeiner. Things might require some serious adjusting, but the running framework looks like it’s flexible enough to stick.

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Sit-ups on the treadmill

I ran for 30 minutes on the weekend in my new shoes. My abs were killing me after 20 minutes. I ached in complete bliss for the final 10 minutes of that run. The new shoes are excellent, and they’re calling me to a higher level.

I’m joining Kristina in seeking membership in the 300 club. No, not “That 300 club”, I’m already a member of that one.

And on a completely unrelated note, I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in thinking that black and white is sexy and just breathes fast lookingness.

Photo from gallery: Weblog Photos

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The new shoes

I need to be writing thesis and not blog.

Thesis makes me go crazy.

Blog lets me be a bit crazy.

Since Ironman I haven’t been running tired and sore very often. It’s been revolutionary! I’m definitely not as fast or as fit, but when running I feel like I’ve become a runner. It’s not such a crazy thing, perhaps even expected, that a year of focus on becoming a better runner turned me into a better runner.

But! – you say – you’re not as fit and not as fast, how are you more of a runner now than you were in 2009?

I feel like a runner. That’s enough, and if you’re going to measure it, then I’d contend that this’s all that matters. Let’s just cross my fingers that I still feel like a cyclist next spring. With a beautiful new chariot to ride around the countryside I can hardly imagine that being a problem and I’m not worried at all.

How can I tell I’m a runner? My shoes just aren’t quite right anymore. I’ve spent coming up on 5 years running in Asics GT 2110s, then 2120s and then 2130s an 2140s. Asics changed the name and charged me more money every few months along the way but because they were working for me I stuck with the motto, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. They didn’t really break, but since I’ve been running fresh and relaxed I’ve started to realize that they’re old fashioned. I’ve evolved to a higher life form over the course of the past year with my running, I’m more centered over my feet, I no longer brake against my momentum during my stride, and my leg carriage while still low and somewhat lousy compared to how I’d like it to look, is significantly higher and more efficient. I poured over a lot of research during the past couple weeks during bits and pieces of spare time and concluded that basically all of the research out there is a form of marketing. I suppose my research is a form of marketing too, it’s how we think. Someone can have a conniption about how thoroughly capitalism has ingrained itself in our social structure here, I’m not going to complain, I’m just going to observe. So, I decided that I’d listen to marketing that sounded like someone was thinking instead of deciding that I needed to find real bonified and impartial research. I’m not convinced you can buy shoes without being sold something. I’m pretty sure you can’t buy anything without being sold something for that matter.

This wasn’t meant to be philosphical, it just turned out that way. It was meant to be short because every sentence typed here isn’t being typed and added to the massive tome I’m scribing like a monk. Maybe if I build up a ton of momentum typing about shoes I can maintain that momentum in my fingers and crank out another chapter before I fall asleep tonight?

Ecco’s biom project sounded like people were thinking. I wanted to give them a shot, but I also wanted to let Jack Cook from Fast Trax help me to decide what he believed were important features of a shoe based on my running stride. I showed up, bag of shoes in hand, and we did some video and some running. We watched me run barefoot, in racing flats, in my normal trainers and then in three different styles of natural motion shoes. We did try the Biom shoes, and the same natural motion shoes that my friend Stefan started using mid-summer, substantial padding without the support.

We observed that the alignment through my heel and knee was the worst out of ALL the shoes sampled… in the Asics that I do the vast majority of my running in. We noted that as expected, running in Piranhas (racing flats) was very similar to barefoot and if anything it was assisting me in landing in more natural alignment compared with running barefoot. Perhaps it’s a confidence thing, running barefoot forces you to tread gingerly, and to an extent this is a good thing. It could be however, that the best tracking of your foot through a stride is achieved using something to boost your confidence. Confidence that isn’t there, nor is it ever going to be there despite how much running that you ever do barefoot that you’re certain you won’t step on a sharp rock, piece of glass or get jabbed by a stick. The best stride is a confident one, not a sissy one that’s nimbly picking it’s way along the road. The caveman analogy that says we’re best evolved to run barefoot has some things right. Human beings haven’t “exercised” though until very recently in our evolution. When the caveman is chasing his dinner he’s running with confidence in his stride even if he is barefoot. If I am racing, perhaps I can run with confidence and throw caution to the wind that I won’t step on a nail. In 95% of the other situations though when us humans are exercising we’re not using our running gait “as it was evolved to be used” and so the addition of a shoe, if it adds confidence to your stride could bring you close to running as nature intended.

OK, now it’s really philosophical. And you love it, keep reading.

So, the solution should be to get a closet full of racing flats, as many as you can get for as cheap as you can get? No. Running in racing flats all the time though will make your feet really tired. Jack admitted he’s tried this, it makes your feet sore and generally tired. No wonder, you’re slamming them on the ground with no help or relief. This is where the natural motion shoe fits in the equation. Let’s put a shoe around that natural stride to help it out with the things that it can’t do on its own, that being to (aside from staying warm in Edmonton’s winters) provide a platform that provides enough feedback that you know you’re running in your natural stride with good alignment, and to surround the foot in that position so the forces of doing all the running aren’t going to kill your feet. Cavemen couldn’t run on concrete, it wasn’t invented yet. But me, I have to run on that crap all the time.

Cease philosophy and give an objective review.

  • Biom B at slower speeds really felt like I had a lot of shoe underfoot. This is perhaps due to me being familiar to running on a super thin sole (Piranha) when running in a shoe that provided no support. As I sped up this shoe seemed to disappear from underfoot. It was possible to run with a flat footed stride in this shoe but it definitely encouraged a mid-footed stride. It definitely wasn’t rolling you forwards to try and run forefoot like a Newton. Heel-striking in this shoe was just not going to happen. As I sped up the treadmill the sensation of being on thick shoes disappeared, it wasn’t me getting used to it as the sensation returned as I slowed down.
  • Biom A at slower speeds and faster speeds never felt cumbersome or thick, it is a much thinner soled shoe to begin with. Running flat footed was really discouraged by this shoe in the same way that heel-striking in the B felt like it was just impossible. Yet, it did this without creating the sensation of being encouraged to run up onto my forefoot. As I sped up, the shoe seemed to be able to keep up, it’s performance was uniform all the way across almost all the speeds I use during training. I think I’ll still be sticking to flats for track work and short intervals though. There isn’t arch support in this or the Biom B but there is a stiff section of the midsole near your instep. It’s almost like your heel is on a bit of a shelf above the front of the shoe. This is not the shape of the interior of the shoe, it’s just the best way I think I can describe the sensation. When running the shoe encourages you to step over this part of the shoe onto your midfoot with each footstrike. It’s stiffness also encourages you to use the outside of your foot and not to land on the instep. In the Biom B it’s noticeable but totally tolerable to run with heavy weight of your feet right on that part of the shoe if you want, but you’re encouraged not to. The Biom A is a bit firmer (excuse the pun) in making that suggestion.
  • Saucony Kinvara – A significant amount of padding compared to the Biom A and B. I didn’t feel a lack of padding in Ecco’s so I wasn’t craving a cushy shoe when Jack suggested I try this one for a bit more padding, the padding “just was”. It seemed good, and I fell into the midfoot strike rather readily. Standing still this shoe felt like it had a ton of arch support, but as soon as I started running I realized this was a fake support. It wasn’t actually supporting the foot there it wasn’t actually providing any feedback during the footstrike as to whether or not I had my alignment right. It was giving the foot a nudge from the instep as well as another one from the outstep and gently suggesting you find a comfortable middle ground with your alignment. At slow speeds this all felt fantastic but as I sped up the shoe seemed to be deceiving me into a sense of helping me out and then underperforming. It might be a habit from running in motion control shoes, that when I want the shoe to help it usually does, but the Kinvara didn’t. My guess is that if you’ve got a good natural footstrike, this shoe is probably going to just feel good and it’s going to let you keep running well. If you’re in the process of letting your running stride evolve I think this could be a bit of a messy shoe, it feels like there’s a lot there but when push comes to shove there just isn’t much underfoot. Additionally I wasn’t a fan of the pressure on the outstep, I think that’s a personal preference though.

So, I left FastTrax with pair of the Biom As and while the price is high it was hardly a tough pill to swallow after nearly an hour of opportunity to try on the shoes, run in them and almost a full half hour of Jack’s attention in investigating via video some of these things. With Gordo’s comments about seeking the best mentors and consulting advice fresh in my mind I am quietly confident that this is a very good first step in a slightly new direction. If I can wear them out I’ll be back for an updated diagnosis with the video-cam and another pair at full retail price without complaining. A big plus is that these shoes are leather and polyurethane instead of some silly mesh which always seems to rip on my Asics, and EVA foam which gets crushed within a couple hundred kms of use. I’m guessing that the dollars per mile for this shoe might be nearly equivalent to most other shoes that I’d be in the market for.

Photo from gallery: Triathlon - 2010

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Diary of a self-coached athlete

The past couple weeks of training have been relatively successful. Successful in the sense that I am once again able to be completing workouts. Success has not been marked by extraordinary speed or fitness. That is most-certainly not there, Taking 5 weeks off of everything due to my trouble with the Achilles has been a bit of a rough go of things. Finding routine again though has been good and I’ve had a lot of joy in just getting back into the roll of things.

As I’m not pursuing Ironman in the imminent future, discussion with my coach has resulted in a situation where I’m the one planning all of my own workouts. Steven Lord will still be on-board for occasional discussions and feedback when I solicit it but for 2011 the thinking and planning is once again all mine. I’ll be posting a blog entry similar to this one (without this preamble in future) as an update of my progress in the previous 4 weeks and charting the plan for the next four weeks.

I’ll start with two weekly summaries of the previous two weeks. The focus has been on recovery and getting back into training safely and gradually. It meant that during the first week I only logged 10kms of running over 3 different runs. The second week I logged almost 33kms over the course of 6 running sessions. This was meant to be slightly higher as I had opted to allow myself to try and run up to 70 minutes duration on Saturday on my first run outside. I opted to be prudent and trimmed this run short as I could feel that my legs were getting quite fatigued and I logged only 9.5kms in 52 minutes.

2010-11-15 to 2010-11-21

Sport Total Distance Total Time Min Pace Ave Pace Max Pace Pace Units
Bike 90 km 3:00:00 30 30 30 kph
Hike 3 km 0:30:00 6 6 6 kph
Run 10.14 km 0:54:00 5:20 5:20 5:20 min per km
Swim 1500 m 0:40:00 2:40 2:40 2:40 min per 100 meters
Weights 0 mi 0:30:00 na na na no pace units
Yoga 0 mi 0:40:00 na na na no pace units
Total Time 6 hrs 14min

2010-11-22 to 2010-11-28

Sport Total Distance Total Time Min Pace Ave Pace Max Pace Pace Units
Bike 90 km 3:00:00 30 30 30 kph
Run 32.75 km 2:55:00 6:15 5:21 4:45 min per km
Swim 3500 m 1:26:33 3:00 2:28 1:39 min per 100 meters
Weights 0 mi 1:05:00 na na na no pace units
Yoga 0 mi 0:40:00 na na na no pace units
Total Time 9 hrs 6min

During this period of time I’ve also done a few things worth noting here on the blog. I signed up to ski the 55km Birkebeiner with a 5.5kg pack like I did back in 2009. This was a very difficult challenge that last time I did it but overall it was a good time. You can read all about that adventure in the world of suffering [here]. To be completely honest, right now I’m in pretty poor shape skiing-wise, certainly no better than the last time I did it. So I’ll be putting in a bit more of a concerted effort in that regard as the race approaches to ensure that I’m not going to be knocking myself out by doing this, I still don’t think it will be easy (nor should it be easy, that’s the point. Borrowing from the theme of a recent post I’ll refer you to Rule #10). I’ve got some company along for the ride on this endeavor as at least Jan and Dave have also signed up for the ultra-long version and I’m sure Stefan, Emily and many others will be joining us for the faster versions of the race in mid-February.

I’m hoping to use XC skiing as a way to improve my aerobic fitness with relatively low impact demands, because doing that on the bike requires too much wall-staring while sitting on a turbo. The fitness has been dropped significantly during my time away with zero physical activity. This was no surprise, but because I want to be careful how I rebuild I’m going to use this form of low impact cross training to beef it up before I expect to be running 50 miles per week. This isn’t an abnormal strategy for me. The following picture is an interesting plot of how the three sports of swim/bike/run (green/blue/red) respectively have helped to total up to 100% of my fitness (y-axis) over the past few years (x-axis). It’s obvious from this chart that each winter there’s a significant amount of cross training that occurs to keep me from going crazy, and then as the cross-training fitness fades away the specificity of the other fitnesses for triathlon rises. The black vertical bar indicates the present time. Remember here that this has erased the information of my overall fitness by normalizing to 100%. You can see that I’ll be developing about 1/3 of my fitness outside of the sports of triathlon before really pouring focus into the run in a way that I never have before (red band gets THICK!). For interest sake I slapped in a bunch of big but totally achievable bike weeks following the marathon to show what would happen if I really focus on the bike during May, by early June I’m likely able to be a pretty focused cyclist again, but it will take almost a month to do it. Patience, patience, patience.

Photo from gallery: Performance Management Charts

I’ve also elected to use a Pfitzinger style training plan for my running in the lead-up to the marathon on May 1 (I’ve elected to race the BMO Vancouver Marathon) and so have back-calculated all the dates and plugged in the running sessions along the way with relatively reasonable hypotheses for the training duration and intensity of each. For my first marathon I followed a plan more closely based on the FURMAN FIRST strategy, but based on watching my response to training in the past year I am quite sure that I will respond better to a program with a different style. The Pfitzinger plan is composed of four mesocycles (parts) with different focus along the way and I’ve elected (at least right now – I may change my mind) to try and do the final three stages as close to the plan’s guide as is possible. I have however opted to use a slightly prolonged version of the endurance building phase that is based more closely to what has proven successful during the past year of my running than is set out by the running plan. I’m also very interested in continuing to track my MAF Heart Rate during training to monitor it’s progress as I believe this metric is an extremely important indicator of potential success at long course triathlon. I’ll be tracking this very specifically during the endurance building phases of preparation and then tracking it perhaps a bit less directly when I have to get into the later phases of the Pfitzinger plan. There is a lot of marathon pace running that will occur and if I select run courses intelligently I’ll be able to find myself some periods of good testing along the way during that training. It means training for the sake of testing in the endurance mesocycle and testing for the sake of training in the final three mesocycles. It means I won’t be doing the MAF tests in as controlled an environment and for a full 5 miles as I did this past year. My observation in retrospect is that, even if you try and be controlled, your data is going to be perturbed by all sorts of factors. I’m better off to be more frequently recording data regarding my MAF pace than to be relying on occasional testing metrics. I hope I have recorded my season-worst MAF result of 5:18/km or 8:32/mile during my first (rather short but I believe accurate) test last week since the running has been underway. It’s a far cry from the 4:04 or so I got to at my season’s best pace, but it leaves a lot of room for improvement which in some sense is satisfying. It proves that I am a human being, in discussion with swim coach Matt, this is actually a really healthy thing to learn when your fitness doesn’t immediately matter.

All in all the running program if completed as planned will result in me hitting a running fitness metric approximately 40% greater than I have ever achieved in my life before. I can do that without getting anywhere near the levels of training stress that I endured this past season (because I’m doing it with single-sport focus) so while I sounds like I’m really planning to stretch myself, I am pretty confident that I can do this while maintaining a lot better life-balance than some periods of 2010. My run-training stresses should not exceed what I have done in the past and my overall training stress balance will be significantly easier than this past year. The chart seen here indicates the plan if I am successful in hitting every workout along the way, and because the chronic load (red) is somewhat cumulative in nature, I know that due to the times I come up short in training and have to skip things that this is a best case scenario.

Photo from gallery: Performance Management Charts
click image for larger

Planned training for the next four weeks has been laid out: [in this .pdf file] if you’re interested in looking at it. Rather simply, I’m slowly building a long run on Saturdays, and the first of the runs came up short this past week so it might be the case that this plan is a bit ambitious, I reserve the right to lay off a bit with that progression and not make it up to 20kms before Christmas. Although, if I keep hitting frequency in a similar way to that which I have in the past two weeks (10 runs in 15 days) I think comfortably getting that long run out to 20kms is not going to be an issue. All my running is subject to a strict MAF cap with the exception of the Tuesday night club run where I am free to run as I feel. Cycling is twice weekly along with swimming, and I am hitting the gym twice weekly to work with light weights at 20 repetitions, two or three sets depending on the movement and emphasizing a full range of motion with preference for multi-joint and free weights. This is going well, and is designed to allow me to hit a few weeks of high strength focus in early January prior to the running volume starting to take off. Whether or not these strength gains can be maintained through much of the running focus is questionable but doing this feels like an appropriate response to establish confident and balanced muscles following a period of limping and being lazy.

The performance management chart metrics calculated for this period of time are as follows:

Photo from gallery: Performance Management Charts

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