Most athletes would be best served by doing the “warm-up” – the aerobic benchmarking – then hit the trails for a relaxed hour of running.
When I did this workout, I’d run a 2:51 marathon (off the bike) ten weeks earlier at Ironman New Zealand. My LT1 numbers were creeping ever closer to LT2… Scott Molina wanted to give my run training more “headroom.” Scott was right.
What would I do differently? Test lactate: baseline, LT1, LT1+10bpm and end of every 2nd 800. The La- data would have give pace/HR more context.
If you read to the end then you’ll see we were thinking about “the next trip” – Clas and I never got that done.
When YOU get the chance to take the “trip of a lifetime,” I hope you take it.
Take your shot.
gRAAM – Trans USA Day Sixty-One aiken, south carolina
Wasn’t sure how this workout was going to go. I was feeling pretty good for most of yesterday. Had a false start at one school and also had to negotiate with the facilities manager mid-session. Went like this…
FM – Ya’all CAN’T be here! B (rippin’ it) – Talk to him, I’m running. G – I’ll be right there, sir.
FM – Eye, got signs everywhere. No Tress-passin’ G – Well, that big sign says open to the public. FM – Eye, don’t care what that sign says, I put up them other signs yisterday. We be sprayin the grass tamarra!
G – Oh sorry about that. That gate over there was open. FM – That was the mower man. Told him to leave it open last night. G – We didn’t want to cause any problems.
FM – You ain’t from ‘round here, are ya? G – Nope, we’re from Canada. FM – That’s a long way. Just passin’ through, eh? G – Yep, riding to Hilton Head tomorrow. FM – Well, ah guess it’s OK. Just head out that same gate. Ya looked liked ya needed a break anyhow. See ya.
My session went like this..
Concrete Track Low 80s, moderate to high humidity, light to moderate winds Two Miles Easy Two Miles AeT, 3:51/3:55/3:57 — avgs 141/142/143 Three K AeT+10, 3:46/3:46/3:46 — avgs 151/152/153 Four Strides
Not sure why I popped the HR on 5/6. It was pretty hot, maybe I was dehydrated RI was mid 50s to around a minute on the 200, HR might have got a little under 150 but not all the time
2:44 is 34 min 10K pace, I think. Pretty solid aerobic numbers. Morning weight was 78KG. You know, I am aerobically faster and more powerful than I’ve ever been. I know that light is useful but it can’t be the whole story. Baron thinks that I am lighter than I think I am (not sure what that means, it’s the same scale as last summer).
A little bit about why I like this session so much.
First up, I need at least a mile to warm my legs up. During big IM training, it can take a 30 min spin plus the two miles for me to get rolling. Even though I was shelled a couple of days ago, I was pretty fresh (on my standards) for this session.
The warm-up is 10.6K including the strides (and their RI). It lets me check in on my key metrics of AeT Pace (steady state) and AeT+10 Pace (what I like to call max steady state). It also gives me a big dose of running that is at (or above) IM pace/effort. It does it in a way than supports and enhances my run endurance, cardiac capacity, and leg turnover. Also, if I have an inability to get to LT then that is a clear indicator of a substantial training fatigue.
I’ve been doing this session (in various forms) for over a year – I two years ago, I used to do Yasso 800s at a much faster pace but now feel that protocol is sub-optimal for IM (too fast, not enough volume, too stressful). The numbers above represent my best yet performance for this workout.
While a variation of this workout is useful. When I review most athlete’s training performance vis-à-vis their workout performance, they would simply be best riding more and doing the 10K warm-up section as a week day aerobic test set. Why? Because most folks are running IM so far from their AeT pace that their true limiter lies in steady state bike fitness. So they are simply getting themselves tired for no benefit if they did the main set above.
The track also provides a good opportunity to experiment a bit with cadence and body position – quick light cadence, controlled speed, relaxed speed, long spine, tall balanced athlete.
I’m glad that I have some sea-level data to benchmark against my Boulder numbers.
We threw the Baron on the track this morning. I was a little nervous because he’s a real racehorse and you never know what will happen on the track. However, it was a unique chance for us to get some data when he’s heading into a race.
15 min easy 30 min goal IM Pace 15 min goal IM effort 5 min bring it a little over LT 10 min easy
AeT Pace (140) = 3:40 per K, 5:54 per mile Max Steady State (150) = 3:33 per K, 5:40 per mile Total session was a Half Marathon run in 1:18:40, 145 avg
We said good bye to Ben today – like Barry, he found the track session challenging. Muscular fatigue possibly combining with the beginnings of a sore throat made it tough for him to elevate his HR. I’ll let him tell his story but I will give him _respect_ for making it the whole way!
Well done, Amigo.
I’ve extended an invitation to him to come out to Boulder and hang for a bit. Maybe he’ll come out for more action. He reciprocated with an invite to hang at the spacious Casa del Travis during the September Hell Camp.
After we dropped Ben at the airport. Baron and I headed to the pool. We each had our own lane in a VERY fine 50m pool – Augusta Aquatic Center if you ever get to town. Very nice, $4 for a swim.
LCM with sleeveless wetsuit 400 easy every 4th back 4×100 on 1:30 (1:25 to 1:20) 4×50 on 1:00 (40 to 32) 20×100 on 1:40 (first 10 avg 1:19, second 10 avg 1:17/18 – all three stroke breathing) 450 easy (booted out due to lightning)
No lightning rod on the roof so we were evicted part way through the final 1K steady finale!
Buh-duh-gay! What’s buh-duh-gay? Baron drills gordo across Europe. Even when nuked, I’ve been enjoying this trip. My life might not always be “fun” but it’s certainly rewarding.
At first, we were thinking about Rome to Mockfjärd but that seemed like a long way and I’ve been to Northern Germany in April (wet!).
Next year is Baron’s Zofingen focus year so I was thinking that some climbing might make sense. Also, this trip started getting a bit ‘old’ around eight weeks so, perhaps, that’s a decent length for an extended tour.
So right now, we are considering Gordo’s Latin Extravaganza – start with a swim in the Atlantic (Portugal or Spain) and then rip every major Southern European Mountain Range. Skip the camping and go the pensionne route, perhaps.
I’ve done some riding in the Alpes Maritimes in May before – that would be nice. We could also do Epic France recon and bag most the grand tour climbs (Spain, France, Italy).
Just an idea, for now.
Not much left to go. Hope you’ve enjoyed the ride.
Had a little bit of Krishnamurti run through my head over the last few days. “We can never be deceived if we don’t want anything.” So true, whenever I feel deceived then I try to look to what I was seeking to possess in the situation.
The Endurance Corner Archives are being cleaned out.
Here is an article from a few years ago — the article has helped a lot of people so I’m saving a copy here…
After two running injuries last fall, I asked our team doc, Jeff Shilt, for a running rehab program. He shared his elite athlete rehab protocol, it was an excellent program:
Gradual ramp of load and intensity
Considering the time commitment required for Jeff’s program, I knew there was zero chance that I’d be able to execute it. Rather than fail, I searched for an alternative plan.
So I asked Jeff, “What is the minimum running load to derive a structural benefit?” He wasn’t sure so I pulled 20 minutes out of the air.
Knowing that it takes me four to six weeks to injure myself I gave myself a target that would take at least three months.
My plan was to insert 20 minutes of slow running with excellent technique. I would handle my aerobic fitness via bike training. I would handle my strength training in the gym.
Over 12 weeks, I managed 50 easy sessions of 20 minutes. I ran mostly on a treadmill with a 1% grade and max speed of 10 minutes per mile. My rehab speed was more than three minutes per mile slower than what I can deliver in a 70.3 race. While I have always been willing to run slow to achieve my goals, my previous goals were closer to 100 mile weeks than quarters!
The 50×20 protocol seems to have worked and my next phase is five-mile runs every other day for 12 weeks. I continue to run slow but have increased my pace cap to eight minutes per mile. I’m off the treadmill and happy to be back outside.
Phase two will take me to June when I’ll shift back to two-mile maintenance runs while I prepare for the Leadville Trail 100 bike.
As an aside, I’m applying the 20-minute target with my reintroduction of swimming. It is early days and a typical workout looks like:
500 easy with pull buoy
4x alternate 100 IM no gear with 75 Choice with pull buoy
I managed to keep my large muscle swim strength in the gym but suspect that my little muscles, particularly around my scapula, have atrophied.
Like most of us, my athletic memories and prejudices can cause me to injure myself. I feel lucky to have the opportunity to experiment with slow and steady rehab. I came very close to quitting running and am glad I kept trying to come back.
When more stops working, remember to try less.
Let’s recap Part One.
Start by completing 50 runs of two miles — took me three months
Shorter of five miles and an hour — every other day for another three months
The above will progress you to 7×45 minutes per 14 days. This works out to about 2:40 per week and will give you a base of about 160 minutes per week that you’ll want to repeat for at least six weeks before adding my tips below.
Once you’re ready to add load, you’ll find that 8-16 minutes worth of threshold/VO2 (combined) per week gives you a performance benefit with very little biomechanical risk.
Adding duration doesn’t give you much — keep every session under an hour. I’ve yet to run 10K.
Adding frequency via supplemental, easy, two-mile runs would make sense if you were a runner, rather than a triathlete. Aside from a couple of back-to-back run days (when traveling), additional running means I swim less. I need my swimming more than I need slow running.
So my recommendation is increase running load by adding intensity wisely. Here’s how:
Create some 5K and 5-mile route options. For my basic running, I prefer flat routes. For my weekly dose of intensity, I prefer hills.
Look for two types of climbs. The first is a climb that flattens at the top. The second is a climb that steepens at the top. Both climbs should be 6-12 minutes long; my preference is 8-10 minutes.
Alternate the climb that you use by week:
For the climb that flattens, build pace with the goal being 90 seconds Very Quick at the top.
For the climb that steepens, build effort with the goal being 90 seconds Very Intense at the top.
For both climbs, be patient, if you’re recovering from injury then you’ve proven that you can hurt yourself. You want to create a new habit of healthy running.
For both climbs and the descents focus on a quick cadence. Achieve speed via quickness — you should feel like you are taking baby steps.
Follow each day that’s biomechanically challenging with a light day. I’ve been traveling weekly so my total volume (SBR and strength) is down. Therefore, my intense running is done on fresh legs.
A weekly dose of 10 minutes of fast uphill running will give you what you need.
Six months of smart rehab will contain five to eight of these sessions in the final two months. At that stage, you should be better off than you started and ready to incorporate intensive aerobic training (Mod-Hard) as well as extending the duration of your longest run.
When I attended the class on contemplative parenting, the teacher mentioned a book on running and meditation. I’ve often felt that exercise is the closest that I get to prayer – so I bought a copy of the book to see what I could learn.
The book makes an interesting observation that exercise doesn’t settle the mind; it merely exhausts the mind. Specifically, the author notes that exercise is episodic in the nature of the assistance it provides, while meditation is cumulative in the benefits it provides (each session building upon previous work). All the explanations, tips and stories are shared in the context of athletic training, which made it easy for me to relate.
I’ve noticed that my daughter tends to copy me and, at three, the #1 issue she’s facing is learning to direct her energy into feelings other than anxiety. When she gets excited, she is frequently overwhelmed. Given that she likes to copy me, and is educated by folks that meditate daily, I figured that learning about mediation might benefit us both. At a minimum, meditation could become a useful back-up plan in case circumstances limit my ability to exhaust my mind!
I’m approaching it like I was coaching myself to my first ever 10K; daily short-duration sessions with very modest expectations.