Winter Basebuilding: Week 3

09spr-base-03The rosy fingers of dawn gently caress the Westchester valley stretched out before me, as I reflect on the last week of running and prepare myself for the prospect of a 10 miler with 20 minutes at 10K effort this morning.

Sure, it’s a hackneyed, run on sentence. That’s why this blog’s content is absolutely free.

Yesterday I posted about being soundly convinced that hiring a coach was the right move. This last week was a gratifying and, yes, enjoyable running week.

I’m getting up there in mileage, yet I feel great most days (a little tired on recovery days, but not too). I’d never have believed that I could go out and run 10 miles every morning as a matter of course, but it’s become the new normal. And a lot less exhausting than  doing doubles every day.

Tuesday’s faster run was marred by headwinds, but at this point the emphasis is on effort rather than on specific paces, so it didn’t really matter. Of course, I’m obsessed with paces anyway, so I can’t help but pay attention to them. I’m assured by Kevin that I will be able to focus on paces “exquisitely” soon enough.

I confess that I am a “stride slacker.” I did no strides during summer training. Doing them again feels unfamiliar. I realize just how ungainly I feel running very fast (I’m managing 5:40 – 6:10 on most strides). I’m sure that will get better over time. I hope it will.

Friday’s interval session was a blast, actually. I did it on a local track and enjoyed running fast (stop and go) for half an hour. True, it’s easy to run fast for a minute at a time. I’m sure I’ll be back to my historical hatred of intervals once that turns into 3:00 at a time.

Last, but not least, there was Sunday’s long run — the run that said, “Yes, you’re on the right track.”

Basebuilding Week 4 is a recovery week, in which the mileage goes down, but not the intensity. I needed the day off yesterday, as my legs felt the effort of Week 3. In a few minutes, I’ll head out for the first of the usual three hard runs this week. I’m looking forward to Sunday’s run, a sixteen miler with the last hour at marathon effort. A week after that, I get to race a 15K as a training run.

6 Responses

  1. I’m here for the story, but I would have preferred “the golden fingers of dawn” ;) Is that a “[sic] exquisitely” from Kevin? Very odd.

    You’re keeping my calculator from becoming dusty. I’ve figured out that your unfamiliar strides are as fast as 21secs per 100m. That seems quick enough. With a “stride”, there’s acceleration and deceleration – putting a pace per mile on them seems like too much information.

    My guess is that Kevin will coax you into longer intervals so there’s no hatred – just good value from the faster running becoming more comfortable. Do you know what’s coming up in the way of intervals, or is it a week-to-week proposition?

  2. The fingers were indeed rosy. Besides, how can you argue with Homer?

    Too much information? No such thing! I track everything, and track it based on what Garmin says. If I had to pick up a calculator, I wouldn’t bother to figure out what you’ve figured out for me. I’m not that interested in the week-to-week comparisons of things like stride speeds, recovery paces, etc. Where I find it of value is looking at it one or two years from now.

    Yes, I can see where the intervals are headed over the coming weeks. Right now we’re on two extremes: very short ones at 5K or longish ones (15, 20 minutes) at 10K or 10M effort. The shorter intervals are getting longer (3:00, then 5:00, then 10:00 at 5K pace) as are the longer ones (30, 60, 75 minutes at 10K, 10M or Marathon effort).

    Resting heart rate is now at 44 most mornings, so I can see that I’m getting fitter. Or at least more relaxed…

  3. Actually (I’m not yet awake), those pace notations on Thursday — the 11.3 miler — are not strides. They are in fact 1 minute intervals. On days with strides, I’m not noting the stride paces (which, as you point out, is a bit much).

  4. I think we’re on the same page (if not the same continent). I was referring to where you said “I’m managing 5:40 – 6:10 on most strides”, which I guess you mean the approximate speed you get up to where you say “8 x 20 sec strides”.

    I know the 1 minute intervals aren’t strides. With those, I’m guessing the minutes per mile recorded is just what the Garmin is saying during the 1 minute. Garmins, poor things, aren’t brilliant when measuring short distances…

    You have a fair bit of variation on those – from 6:05 to 6:43/mile. Did your pace vary that much? If you’re running for 1 minute, maybe start at the same spot each time and see approximately how far you run in the 1 minute. For example, if you were running 6:26 per mile pace, that’s 24 secs per 100m, so you’d cover 250m in 1 minute. This would give you a better idea about your pace than what the Garmin is saying. You could run one to see how far around the track you get, then see if you make approximately the same spot on the rest.

    I can see that Kevin might want you to run intervals by time to lessen the “pressure” of comparing times from one session to the next. It’s the effort that’s important. There’s no necessity to compare interval sessions from year to year, but if you wanted to, running intervals by distance is the only way to have an accurate comparison (you have the time of a particular distance).

    Anyway, I hope the rain clears for Sunday. My run this evening will be in the rain – but at least it’s summer rain!

  5. I got what you were saying, of course, right after I posted (and still was not awake). But didn’t have the energy to comment again.

    The wild varations on the 1 minute intervals were somewhat due to the fact that it was very windy/gusty. In some areas I was more protected, and the wind really kicked up for the last two. Add in hills (up and down) and there you go.

    I like doing intervals on the roads, since it’s a lot closer to real road racing than doing them on the track is. But you end up with crazy variations as a result.

    One thing I may do is, as you suggest, pick one flat, straight stretch and just run back and forth as a point of reference. Or not. Right now, these really are about effort and not pace. So I don’t want to overthinnk them.

  6. I know what you mean. Our track has a hill too (a small one) – I try to avoid 200s up the hill. I tend to start longer intervals from the same spot.

    Effort is the main thing. I probably obsess too much about interval times. There are often things that have nothing to do with my fitness that sometimes slow me down. It’s the same with all runs – there are good, bad and everything between.

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