“Real Training”

So I’ve started real training. That is to say, I’m keeping track, I have a goal, I have a plan.

Keeping track: last week I ran 369min, which works out to about just under 50 miles for the week. About 10 of those miles were run quickly. This week I’m at about 273 for 4 days. Tomorrow will be off, then I will race 1500m on Saturday.

The goal: The goal is decidedly NOT the 1500m on Saturday. In fact, if I look at what my goal is, a 1500m on Saturday, or at any point really, is probably not required. But London Runner is putting on a fun meet, and I’m going anyway, so I figured I might as well get in there and see what I’ve got. Then I can calm down and get back to focusing on the goal. The goal is the STWF half-marathon on October 16th. A few people in our group are going to be running it, or the marathon, so I’m going to take the opportunity to run another race on home soil.

The plan: I like to experiment, as a coach. Sometimes I do experiment on the athletes, but I prefer not to get too crazy with them because it’s not fair to their goals or seasons. If I’m helping them, I’m using what I know, and though I do push the envelope, I prefer to be conservative. I have no problem experimenting on myself, however. So, this is not exactly an experiment, per se, but the way I’m going to do it is to run at my goal half-marathon pace as often as possible. The main workout of each week will be at 5:20/mile pace. I started last week with some 400s, and I feel off pace after 10 of them. This week I did 12×500 and was on pace (or slightly faster) for all. So that’s progress. I’m going to keep lengthening the workout until I get to the point where it feels more like a tempo. It’s still aerobic, at the moment (that is, 12×500 at 1:40 did not initiate the anaerobic system) which is a good thing, but it’s certainly on the threshold. I had actually planned to do 16, but I felt really good and I decided to stop. I guess that’s a little counter-intuitive, but it’s part of my plan, too: go by feel as much as possible. I did the last 10 intervals without looking at my watch and they were all within a second or two. I had Glenn leading two out of every four, as well. Next workout will be 800m at that pace and I’ll see if I can hit 10-12 of them. We shall see…

Normally, I would focus more on current fitness, and work on that, but in this case, I’m just going to see if I can’t make my body do what I want it to do. I’ll do as much easy running as I can fit in, and short, fast hills, and every other week or maybe every third week, I’ll do something anaerobic (like this 1500). It’s not really what I would tell someone else to do, but I figure the only person who loses out here is me, so why not? I’m going to race in Ste. Anne-de-Bellevue on August 7th, and then I’ll see how realistic my goal really is.

On the coaching side of things, I’m very excited to see everyone in the group running well. We’ve had some setbacks, but with every setback, we’ve had a good bounce-back, so I’m confident that the runners will continue to improve. We had fun going to Ottawa and Boston, and I’m sure this next trip to Ontario will be fun, too. After all, fun is what it’s all about!