Thursday, March 5, 2009

How Fast Is Too Fast?

As I embrace Hudson's training philosophy full-on, I have run more "quality" lately than I have in as long as I can remember. Gone are my regular 9:00+-mile efforts. Instead, I've done hill repeats at 10K pace, lots of short hill sprints, fartlek intervals, progression runs with "hard" finishes and even classic repeats at 5K pace. The way I described it in RWOL is that Hudson seems to get more "gears" into the mix, and it seems to be helping me fill in some gaps in terms of my running strengths (few) and weaknesses (plenty). Since I seem to be tolerating the schedule relatively well, it doesn't seem like it's too much intensity too soon, but I need to remain extremely attentive to how I'm feeling and pull back if and when it's necessary.

This week's 50+ miles will likely end up breaking down like this:
  • Monday - cross-training day
  • Tuesday - 7 miles, with 5x800 repeats at 5K pace with 2:00 rest (repeats ranged from 6:15 down to 5:59 pace, though on the TM those paces are not necessarily accurate)
  • Wednesday - 10.5 miles at an easy pace (9+), plus 3 hours of downhill skiing
  • Thursday - 8 miles easy
  • Friday -4-5 miles, very easy, with 4-5 100-meter strides
  • Saturday - 3-mile race, with possible second loop on the race course at tempo pace; with warm-up and cool-down (including running home from the race), should be 10-12 miles total
  • Sunday - 10 miles, 5 before my running club comes over, and 5 with other club members before having brunch

I'd like to run well in Saturday's race, but don't really know what to expect. I'm slightly sore from the past few days' efforts, but not bad. I can feel the groin twinge every so often, but not during any particular point in terms of distance or pace. So, on Saturday, I'm going to go out close to 6:00 for the first mile and hope to hang on for dear life. I'd be thrilled with 18:30 (this is a 3-miler, not a 5K, and that won't likely even get me an age-group placing) and could live with anything under 19:00, since that would still mean I'm poised for a new 5K PR sooner rather than later, simply off of the overall volume and strength of my recent training (i.e., since I've done very little 5K-pace running). Oh, and I must avoid getting hurt.

Next week I plan to bump up the mileage to mid-50's, and then will likely have to have a cutback week as we take a family trip to DC during the week of March 16th. With two full driving days and possibly limited spousal patience, I'll have to be judicious about when and for how long I run. If the weather is nice, then some early morning long-ish runs may carry me through to a 45-mile week.

Look for a race report sometime after Saturday's race.


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