Thursday, January 24, 2008


My plan has worked! All this outside running, hours of fresh air and winter sunshine each week, has really got me back in a good running groove. I have actually been looking forward to running lately. Although, today I almost stayed in to run a tempo on the tready but once I was changing in the fitness center and saw all my cozy winter gear I realized how silly that was and I put on the fleece and headed out for a fartlek instead. On my way out I even ran into mrp and convinced him to join me for old time's sake.

After an 18 minute warm-up on my own out there in the windy, snowy and frigid 18 degree air, I met mrp along a nice 1200ish meter loop in the now-desolate-except-for-the-Hustler-Club-and-some-other-gross-bar-that-refuses-to-cow-to-threats-of-eminent-domain Eastbank of the Cleveland Flats with slight uphills and downhills and not too tight turns. And then, around that loop we ran a fartlek ladder of sorts: 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 2:00, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 2:00, 1:00, 1:00 at (my) 10k effort with 1/2 time recoveries. I really liked the variety of the rep length. The 3:00 reps were relative bears, not just because they are longer but also because the rest in between the 3:00 reps and the ones before it were shorter too. Also, I like a little longer rep because I can get into a groove with the faster pace. With shorter reps, I feel sometimes like I just get comfortable and then it's time to stop. Another nice thing about them too is that the 3:00 reps made the other reps seem so short and the workout just flew by. And have I told you how much I love fartleks? It's just so nice not to feel pressure to hit a time target. You just run hard and go by feel. It's fun and relaxing for me and that's what running should be right about now.

And speaking of fun, I've been thinking about jumping in a 4 mile race when I'm in New York visiting my sister in a week and a half. I'm not in my best shape, but maybe I could put on a halfway decent performance on my halfway rested legs? And two weeks after that is a local 5k that I might just have to run too.

I am really not sure what to expect from myself off of this low mileage diet I'm on. I am feeling good the last couple of weeks and I am almost feeling confident that I can get in some speedy shape on my low mileage plan. I am skeptical and I suppose it's because since I've been seriously running, I've done nothing but train for marathons. In my mind, it's all about the mileage--run as much mileage as your body can take! But I'm sure there are other strategies. Do you guys think I can make a serious dent in my 5-10k pr's on just 40-45 miles per week? Any idea how to structure my training to do it?


Joseph P. Wood said...

Do you guys think I can make a serious dent in my 5-10k pr's on just 40-45 miles per week? Any idea how to structure my training to do it?

Depends on how much speed you got, but I'm inclined to say yes, defintely on the 5k route.

If it were me, I'd work the speed angle of the workouts once you get past the initial build-up phase. Not sure what Tinman has you do (though I am familiar with his CV reps and the such), but my feeling is if you want to run an 18 flat 5k, you've got to train to know what that feels like--your basic concepts of over/under/pace work.

To me, this means really working the VO2 angle and even touching the anaerobic capacity aspect of things. Something like, in your workouts:

week 1: 3k, 10k>tempo
week 2: 5k, mile pace, tempo

Or something like that. The point is developing VO2 max and getting in touch with your wheels, things in training that are not that crucial to marathon as they are to the shorter distances.

Moreover, it seems to me you've really developed a real aerobic base these past few training cycles, why not now use it and work on speed to some degree?

Finally, I know Simmons formerly of VAI had his in-season tempos be preditor tempos: where you start @ tempo and work your faster (to simulate race conditions), and then there's the good Ovett Tempo of 2-3M@LT, 1M@MP, last mile fast--like put you in oxygen debt fast.

By-the-by, the Hustler Club--what a delightful place for a fartlek. Perhaps you and Mrp could do your fartlek in the club next time: that would certainly add a different dimension to your training.

The Salty One said...

Ouch. That sounds hard :) But I always noticed when running with more experienced runners that they had a kick at the end of workouts that I just haven't developed yet. I can run a bunch of 200's at the end of a workout in 37-38 seconds (not that fast, but something to work with). I just need to bridge the gap between the more moderate paces and that speed somehow.

And yeah, we actually have a game called count the babyseats in the cars parked in front of the Hustler Club. Today there was none, but on Tuesday I counted two separate cars with baby seats and one minivan with a soccer sticker out front. Fun times.

joe positive said...

I know what you mean when you say it seems all about the mileage. But I see lots of logs and blogs by very fast people who don't run megamileage, so I'm sure you can smash your short-race PRs on 40-45mpw. Just don't ask me how :-)

Quinto Sol said...

The latest issue of Running Times has an 8-week 10K program by McMillan...

What happened to the Tinman?

E-Speed said...

I definitely think you can get faster on that mileage. Maybe throw in a few higher weeks but not too many. That mileage can give you plenty of workouts to focus on speed. I think Joseph is working towards things right. I remember in high school you pretty much ran 3-4 hard interval/fartlek type efforts or races in a week. I think with the lower mileage you can get in more speed than you could on the marathon plan, since you don't need to recover from an extremely long run every week :)

DaisyDuc said...

Glad to hear the outside running has been going so well. I have really been struggling to get behind it.

It will be fun to watch ya at these shorter distances. I can only imagine with a little focus what you may be able to do!

The Salty One said...

I talked to Tinman about it too and he's agreed to help me. Stay tuned!

Chelle said...

I've been on the fence about that Gridiron 4 miler...maybe I'll come out and join you!

- Chelle