Wednesday, September 29, 2010

3x1500 @ I pace

This morning I did: 3 x 1500 (4:52 - 4:57 - 4:57). For some perspective, in the summer of 2008 a similar workout went like this: 3 x 1600 (5:05 - 5:08 - 5:08).

What does this mean? I have no idea. It's almost impossible to judge my fitness level from workouts because once I start rolling, it gets fun, and I do them too fast. But in the spring of 2008 my 5K time was right around 16:15 and at this point my goal is to get back to that by the spring of 2011.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

6x400 @ R pace

Which is, of course, my favorite workout at the moment. Splits were: 69.1, 67.8, 68.2, 67.0, 67.6, 66.9.

It's been a long time since I've raced but I'm guessing that my VDOT is 59 or 60, which means my 400s should take 75 - 76 sec. In other words, this was way too fast. So it was really more of an 'F' workout (Fast reps) and JD reserves those for middle distance specialists: 800, 1500, 3000 meters. And my excuse for doing it is, um... because I love it?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

5.6K tempo

Ideal running conditions this morning. My target 800 split was 3:00; my actual splits were --
2:56.37 (too fast)
2:57.65 (better)
2:58.42 (better)
2:54.32 (walkers in lane one, so I had to drift out, then I over-compensated)
2:55.14 (rolling now so go with it)
overall = 20:31.43
average lap = 87.96
average mile = 5:54.7

Thursday, September 9, 2010

full recovery

As I was doing my 3 x 5min VO2max intervals this morning, I realized something a little odd about the way I do speedwork: I always use full recovery in between the hard phases, regardless of intensity, duration, or specific workout purpose. As this sounds like it could be counterproductive in some situations I'm going to rationalize my approach here.

For short fast intervals -- JD's "R" training -- I think full recovery is the only sensible choice despite the notorious 60 x 400 workout portrayed in Parker's Once A Runner. In JD's own words, "you recover until you feel you can perform the next run as well as you did the previous one... if mechanics suffer because of a cut in recovery time, the purpose of the session is lost." Anything less is a bad idea.

For medium-length VO2 intervals -- "I" training -- I again think full recovery makes the most sense as long as the hard phase is at least five minutes long. Well, I don't go less than 5:00 anymore (or more than 5:00 for that matter). JD again: "When running at proper I pace, your body takes about 2 minutes to reach the point where it's operating at maximum oxygen consumption (the purpose of the workout)." Furthermore, you will still get three quality minutes, i.e., five minutes minus the two minutes of build-up, "even if you completely recover between each of the 5-minute runs." So why make it more difficult?

Finally, for longer cruise intervals -- "T" training -- I agree that full recovery would be a mistake. But I don't do cruise intervals; I do continuous tempo runs. And this really is just a matter of personal preference. I've tried cruise intervals and found the recommended one minute recovery duration to be more maddening than helpful. In other words, I prefer no recovery over very short recovery.

So there it is: Full recovery for R and I, no recovery for T. Which leaves hills...