Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Less than 10 weeks to the TCS New York City Marathon: Last week's training

The same week I post about being patient and ultra-attentive to any odd forms of tightness is the week that I must put it into practice. After completing a 12 mile tempo on Thursday, in which I was still feeling the lingering fatigue from the previous Sunday workout, I felt an odd, slight pressure in my left quad when sitting down. It certainly could not be described as pain, but after three stress fractures in a row, my instincts were telling me that it was time for some pool work. I have been aqua jogging for a few days now, and I am happy to report the everything feels normal. The slight pressure that I felt in that muscle was something that would not even register in my brain in the past, but I am more fragile now than I have been due to the required time off this last year, and I can't ignore anything. I will stay in the pool for an extra day or two just to be on the safe side, but I am confident that I am being paranoid and overcautious. Because the previous weeks of training have gone so well, I am not bothered by a few extra days of cross training at this point. I know my fitness is already at a solid level and I still have over two months to get it where I need it to be to have my best NYC Marathon.

I was thinking back to the Sunday workout from the previous week (4 mile tempo, 10 mile run, 4 mile tempo), and I had trouble understanding why such a high volume workout could possibly go so well with the missed training and lower volume base. There are most certainly permanent physical changes that occur throughout decades of intense training that do not disappear within a matter of months (or years). It is necessary to rebuild fitness after time off, but these physical attributes that have been forged allow you to return to a previous level of fitness much quicker than I could expect based off the initial first few weeks of running. This realization is giving me the strength to stay patient at this point in my build up. This idea is something I have preached to my own athletes, but it can be much more difficult to impose it on yourself. Fortunately I have my own coach to enforce this concept.

Thanks again for reading, and feel free to check out last week's training below. Looking forward to sharing my return to intense marathon training next week.

Weeks to go: 10 AM PM Strength/Drills Mileage
Monday 11 5 1 hour 16
Tuesday 1 hour run + 6-8 x 200 meter hills 5 17.5
Wednesday 11.5 5.5 40 minutes 17
Thursday 12 mile tempo @ 5:02 50 minutes aqua jogging 16
Friday 90 minutes aqua jogging 45 minutes aqua jogging 0
Saturday 90 minutes aqua jogging off 1 hour 0
Sunday 2 hours aqua jogging off 0

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Less than 11 weeks to the TCS New York City Marathon: Last week's training

It feels great to have NYC locked into my schedule again after a rough year of repeated injuries. I hope that I am on track for a healthy November return, and I am doing my best to be tuned-in to my body and feel out any signs of concern. I believe I am doing everything I can to make this comeback last and get back to racing. I have consulted with an orthopedic surgeon, checked my bone density, met with an endocrinologist, added more specific strength training, and most importantly, I am ramping up volume at a much slower rate.

With that said, it's been difficult to stay patient the last few months. Aqua jogging continues to amaze me in it's ability to become more boring just when I think it has hit a low. It will continue to be a part of my life for quite some time still, but fortunately it is minimal compared to my running now! When I was able to return to workouts, they were mostly fartleks and hills, and a decent level of fitness felt far away for a couple months. That has definitely changed over the last few weeks, and this last weekend in particular was a surprising break though given my low volume and only a few solid long runs under my belt.

For those who have followed my training in the past, the workout has become a staple during marathon training. 3 mile warmup, 4 mile tempo, 10 mile moderate-easy run, 4 mile tempo, short cooldown. My quickest 4 mile tempo over the last couple months has been 19:17, although that has been several weeks, so a reasonable goal in my mind was to try to match this in my tempos on Sunday. I ended up being able to run 19:05 and 18:56 feeling much more comfortable than I thought was possible at this stage. I'm not sure where the strength came from to run miles 17-21 for the day so well, but it's motivating to see that I can match some of my best marathon workouts with lower volume than normal. The goal will be to keep the volume below 120 miles per week for the entire build-up, but maintain the same level of intensity on workout and long run days. At 95 miles per week (in 6 days), I still have a ways to go, and now is probably the most likely time to get hurt as volume continues to edge up and my fitness level may be beyond what my bones are ready for. I have to stay vigilant and be ready to take off days and pool days as necessary, throwing my mileage goals out the window when needed.

Being in Czech for the past six weeks has also been helpful to mix up the environment and get some aqua jogging in outdoors along with some great biking. The terrain near my in-laws is hilly and at some elevation, making it a great place for me to ignore times and go by effort early on. I just returned to Portland on Friday and will be here for the remainder of my build-up.

Feel free to take a look at some of my training and progression from the last several weeks. With about 10.5 weeks to go, I actually think I will be ready for my best marathon yet following my years of big base mileage and feeling more refreshed going into hard training sessions.

Thanks again for reading, and I'll be back to posting weekly training updates all the way to Nov. 6th!

NYC 2016
WEEKS TO GO Miles/days Xtrain
22 46/6 6-Jun 50 min
6 7-Jun 50 + short fartlek
8-Jun 55 min
9-Jun 55+ strides
10-Jun off
11-Jun 40-45 min + hills
12-Jun 65-70 min
21 51/6 6 13-Jun 55 min
14-Jun 20 min warm up, 4 mile 19:29 +4 x200m, 15 min cool down
15-Jun Off
16-Jun 40-45 min +4-6 x 200m strides
17-Jun 60 min
18-Jun 60 min including 15-18 min of fartlek on half recoveries
19-Jun 70 min
20 45/5 6 20-Jun Off
21-Jun 60 min + Strides
22-Jun 25 warm up, 4 mile 19:18, 15 cool down
23-Jun 60 min
24-Jun 30 min + 10 x 30-40 secod hills
25-Jun Off
26-Jun 75 min
19 55/6 6 27-Jun 45 min + strides
28-Jun 70 including  21 min of fartlek
29-Jun 60 min
30-Jun Off
1-Jul 60 min + Strides
2-Jul 25 warm up, 4 mile 19:20, 20 min cool down
3-Jul 80?
18 80/6 4 4-Jul 60 min
5-Jul 10 x 1 mile, 5:14->4:42, x=4:56
6-Jul OFF
7-Jul 70 + strides, PM 30 min
8-Jul 70 min
9-Jul 15 x 200 hills, PM 30 min
10-Jul 1:45, 16
17 55/5 4 hours 11-Jul OFF
12-Jul 30 min warm up, 4 mile tempo @ 19:00-19:10 + 6 x 200m @ 31ish,
20 min cool down
13-Jul 70 min
14-Jul 60 min
15-Jul 30 min + 10-15 x hills, 30 min cool down
16-Jul 80 min
17-Jul OFF
16 75/6 4 hours 18-Jul 10-11 miles + Strides
19-Jul 10 x 1 mile, 5:05 -->4:35, 1 min to 90 second recoveries
20-Jul 8-9 miles easy
21-Jul 12-13 miles
22-Jul OFF
23-Jul 30 min + 10-15 hills, 30 min cool down
24-Jul 15 miles, push 10-11-12 @ 5:00-5:10
15 85/6 4 hours 25-Jul am 10 miles, pm: 5 miles
26-Jul am 13 miles
27-Jul 30 minute warm up, 3 mile@71-72, 2 min, 2 mile@ 70-71, 1 min,
1 mile @69-70, 20 min cool down
28-Jul am 10 miles, pm 5 miles
29-Jul OFF
30-Jul 25 min warm up, Fartlek 1-2-3-4-4-3-2-1 equal recovery,
15 min cool down
31-Jul 17 miles 
14 90/6 3 hours 1-Aug am 10 miles, pm 5 miles
2-Aug 8 x 1 mile on hilly course, 2 min rest (4:50-4:30)
3-Aug 13 miles
4-Aug am 8 miles, pm 7 miles
5-Aug OFF
6-Aug am 10 miles, pm 5 miles
7-Aug 18 miles, push 12-15 @4:56-5:00
13 60/5 5 hours 8-Aug OFF
9-Aug 10 + drills and strides
10-Aug 10 mile tempo @ 5:00
11-Aug 10 miles
12-Aug OFF
13-Aug 30 min + 15 x hill, 30 min
14-Aug 20 miles easy
12 95/6 3 hours 15-Aug AM: 11 miles, PM: 5 miles
16-Aug AM: 12 miles, PM: 5 miles
17-Aug 7 x mile on hilly course (4:50-4:30), 3 minutes rest
18-Aug 1 hour easy
19-Aug OFF-travel from Prague to Portland
20-Aug 1 hour easy
21-Aug 3 mi warmup, 4 mi tempo @ 19:05, 10 miles @ 57:00,
4 mile tempo @ 18:56, 1 mi cooldown