Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Less than 5 weeks to the US Outdoor Track Champs: Last week's training

Summer seems to be finally peaking it's head out in Portland, making it a lot easier to get out the door for some of the more daunting workouts ahead of me leading up to the 10km at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at the end of June in Eugene. I've also been fortunate to have training partners for a few workouts lately. Tuesday consisted of 10 x 500 meters with short rest, and I was helped along by local Derek Scott (8:31 Steeple, 3:39 1500) through most of the reps. I haven't done this particular workout with help since college, and it made a big difference to be able to tune out for a few reps. Derek brought me through in 74 seconds for the final rep, which is as fast as I've ever closed that workout, leaving the average at 78.6. I'm just a few big track workouts away from being where I want to be in terms of fitness before the US Champs. These efforts will have to be carefully spread out, however, and I'll have plenty of lighter workouts in between. Friday was an example of this with another 4-mile tempo with 100 meter surges at 15 seconds each lap. Obviously the pace changes make the tempo more difficult, but it also makes the workout go by faster as there is something to focus on and look forward to (or dread) about every minute of running. It also puts me into a different mindset with recovery pace being 72 seconds per quarter as opposed to the overall goal pace. The overall time of the workout ends up being similar, but the experience is very different. The goal is two fold: First, continue becoming more comfortable at sub 4:00 minute mile pace. Second, preparing the body for pace changes in a championship race, which is almost always the case. It's one thing to be in shape for a 27:40 10km, but it's something completely different to be ready for hard surges or a hard finish at the same distance. Like the other competitors, I'm doing my best to balance overall fitness with race readiness over the final month.

I found out this week that Aaron Braun will be joining me in Portland for the final 10-14 days leading up to the USA Champs. He'll be coming down from altitude to get some final rust-busting sea-level training before the 10km. While we will be competitors come race-day, we both have an interest in having a fast pace set in order to hit the IAAF 'A' standard as neither of us have hit the mark this year. Hopefully the trip will be a time to focus and plan. We will likely be helping eachother keep the pace hot midway through the race, and the last couple of miles will be every man for himself. We'll battle, shake hands, and likely grab a beer. With only 3 spots open for the World Team in Beijing, it is probably that at least one of us will be very disappointed, but that's the nature of the sport.

Thanks again for reading. Feel free to check out last week's training below, and follow me here on Twitter for more updates.

Week 25 AM PM Strength/Drills Mileage
Monday 11.5 5.5 40 minutes 17
Tuesday 5.5 10 x 500 meters w/40 seconds rest, avg. = 78.6 16
Wednesday 14 off 14
Thursday 11 5 1 hour 16
Friday 5.5 4 mi tempo with 15 second 100 meter surges each 400 meters. Total time = 18:45, 6 x 200 @ 28-29 seconds 12
Saturday 12 off 40 minutes 17
Sunday 10 + drills and strides 6.5 17

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Less than 6 weeks to the US Outdoor Track Champs

It's safe to say that I'm fully recovered from Payton Jordan with a week of solid tempo running under my belt. I started the week conservatively with a 4-mile tempo on the track, restricting myself to 19:00 and throwing in some 200s after to get the legs moving after the 10 days of easy running. I took advantage of a visit by fellow marathoner Scott MacPherson and had some company for this one. My luck continued when I was invited to join the Dan Browne's WCAP team for a 10-mile tempo on Friday. It was refreshing to take advantage of training partners for the second time that week and switch leads every mile or two on the way to a 49:28 finish. With two tempos under my belt, I'm looking forward to getting 4 weeks of aggressive track workouts in leading up to the US Outdoor Track Championships in Eugene at the end of June.

Tonight I'll be joined by another extremely talented runner for a tough 10 x 500 meter workout at Roosevelt High School in Portland. Check in next week for the details. Thanks again for reading, and follow me here on Twitter for more updates.

Week 24 AM PM Strength/Drills Mileage
Monday 11.5 5.5 40 minutes 17
Tuesday 5.5 4 mile tempo @ 19:02 + 6 x 200 meters @ 29 17
Wednesday 14 off 40 minutes 14
Thursday 11 5 + drills and strides 16
Friday 10 mile tempo @ 49:28 off 18
Saturday 12 off 40 minutes 14
Sunday 5 10 + drills and strides 14

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Less than 7 weeks to the US Champs

I took a little break from blogging after my disappointing performance at Payton Jordan. I will keep this recap brief as I don't want to rehash what I already have in mind in great detail. I went into the Payton Jordan 10km looking for a PR (27:44). I had an off day, which I have nothing concrete to attribute it to. The pace was slow through 5km, so the only way to hit my goal was to have a huge negative split, which should have been doable given my fitness, but my body was not ready to go with the pace change. Training had gone very well, my mind was in the right place, and I put myself in a good position tactically, but I just didn't have it on the day. It's very normal as an elite runner to have off days, but I have been unusually consistent throughout my career, so this one stung more than it should. I am, however, mature enough to realize that the fitness is there, and I don't need to change anything. I need to shake it off and get ready for the next one. This was my first trip to Stanford in which I haven't PR'd, since 2005. I knew it couldn't last forever, but based on my fitness, I didn't think it would end this year. The good news is that because the pacing was so poor at Payton Jordan, very few Americans have the necessary standard to qualify for the World Champs. This means that given good weather, the US Champs in Eugene should go at IAAF World Champs standard pace, so it's very possible that I will have another chance.

I'm looking forward to hitting a 1500 meter race at the Portland Track Festival in June as a tune-up for the US Champs. I think I have one more PR in me in the mile range! With my fitness, great base, and experience at US Champs, I'm confident that I'll be able to redeem myself in Eugene at the end of June. I'm also in the process of finalizing my summer and fall plans leading up to the Olympic Trials in the marathon, and I will share those shortly.

The last few years Dave has forced me to take 10 days easy following Payton Jordan as we have had disastrous workouts if we try the week after. The timing was perfect, as I didn't really feel 100% until this last Monday. The last week entailed just easy running and strides. The volume was high, but the pace was slow. Workouts are now back in full swing, and I look forward to sharing them next week. Thanks again for reading, and feel free to check out last week's training below. Follow me here on Twitter for more updates.

Week 23 AM PM Strength/Drills Mileage
Monday 9 off 9
Tuesday 11 5 16
Wednesday 14 off 40 minutes 14
Thursday 11 5 + drills and strides 16
Friday 11.5 5.5 17
Saturday 11.5 5.5 40 minutes 17
Sunday 18 off 18