Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Week 2 in Flagstaff

After nearly two weeks in Flagstaff I'm slowly becoming more confident in my training at 7000 feet. That's not to say that I'm not exhausted, but I'm learning to pick my battles by creating a greater distinction between easy days and hard days. Altitude has forced me to take my easy days significantly easier than I'm used at sea-level. It has also forced me to take recovery and rest more seriously than I have in the past. Without the usual distractions of home, I've managed to get into a healthy rhythm of training, eating, napping, training, eating, sleeping. It is helpful to be in a town where it is the norm to be in bed at 9:00 PM in preparation for the next morning's run. I've really enjoyed exploring the town and getting to know the hangout spots and dining options such as Diablo Burger, Martanne's, and Bellavia. I have quickly learned that Diablo Burger exclusively employs elite runners, Martanne's breakfast/lunch should only be eaten if you don't plan on running again for at least 12 hours, and Bellavia is the only restaurant in Flagstaff where you won't have to wait an hour on the weekends. There is still a great deal to see, and with trips planned to Sedona and the Grand Canyon in the near future I will be able to check a couple major sights off the list.

Last week included my first two structured workouts since coming to Flagstaff. I introduced myself to Lake Mary Rd. with a fartlek consisting of 10 x 4 minutes hard and 90 seconds rest. I started off a bit too quick and suffered the last couple of reps, but that was the reason for starting with a fartlek as opposed to specific intervals or specific paces. This was followed by a 12 mile tempo run on the same road Sunday morning. Fortunately I had the opportunity to jump into the workout with the Northern Arizona Elite crew and tag along with more experienced guys like Scott Smith, Ben Bruce, and Matt Llano. Coach Ben Rosario was also on hand with splits and fluids. Being only my 11th day in Flagstaff, I was still nervous about overdoing the workout, so I was grateful to play the part of the rookie and let the NAZ athletes set the pace. While 5:16 pace was certainly challenging, I didn't dig myself a hole. The effort was right, and it gives me confidence heading into this week's workouts.

I took a big leap in volume this week, although it didn't feel as big as it looks on paper. After taking only a short break after the track season, I'm entering this marathon training segment with a great base, so I didn't feel the need to slowly build back up. I also knew that the intensity last week would stay somewhat low, so I wanted to take advantage of the altitude by putting a good deal of time on the legs. After 145 miles last week, this week will bump up slightly to 150 before backing off for a week and upping the intensity of workouts. With only 2 and a half weeks left in Flag, I'm anxious to get more quality in before heading back down to sea-level and resuming my normal marathon training.

The day before heading up to altitude I had my blood drawn by Dr. John Howell at Portland Integrated Health and Medicine. I will will have it analyzed once again immediately after returning to sea-level in order to determine the effectiveness of the trip to 7000 feet. While this blood work is common among athletes, the response to altitude is extremely individual, so the specific results will be meaningful. I will post both the initial and follow-up blood work on my blog as soon as I return. Feel free to check out last week's training below, and follow me here on Twitter for more updates. Thanks again for reading.

Week 2 AM PM Strength/Drills Mileage
Monday 15 6

Tuesday 14 7 + drills and grass strides 40 minutes 21.5

Wednesday Fartlek – 10 x 4 minutes hard, 90 seconds easy 6

Thursday 14 7 40 minutes 21

Friday 13 + 8 x 200 meter hills 6

Saturday 10.5 6 30 minutes 16.5

Sunday 12 mile tempo @ 5:16 pace 4 mile shakeout



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