Training: Oct 30 – Nov 5

Welcome to winter! I wish I had a short memory because if I did:

  • I would forget that we had temperatures around 80 earlier in October
  • I would also forget that it snowed for 5 months last winter

We got about 6 inches of snow the day before Halloween. Much damage, to my training schedule and to my trees, resulted. I’m moving on. I need to be more flexible than my trees were.

Maybe the cancellation of my planned Sunday race was a blessing in disguise, though. I took it easy in terms of mileage early in the week. Then I had a monster day of driving and sitting around in conference rooms. I spent no less than 4 hours in the car. It was a 16 hour day. I was tired on Wednesday.

And yet. My legs were strangely peppy. My recovery runs are now consistently under 9:00 pace, often more like 8:30. This just shocks me. Also, with the exception of the day after a very hard run, I have plenty of energy for strides. While I’m sorry that it took me several years to realize that I do best on two workouts a week, not three, I’m happy to finally be flourishing by following this guideline.

Because of the cancelled race, this was a light week. But. Maybe also a good thing. Because I went to the track on Thursday. And. Sweet Jesus. I’m improving.

But first. About false starts…

We first went to the Edgemont High School track, but discovered something very important. There is a reason a Mondo surface track is better than rubber. When water freezes on rubber it turns into a sheet of ice. A good 50m of Edgemont, the part that gets no sun, was totally unrunnable due to ice. So this track will be largely useless in winter. That is a shame.

But at least we do have a Mondo track up here, and that’s at Bronxville. So we got back into the car and drove there, hoping we would not encounter another Circus of the Absurd. We did not.

My targets for the 1200s were 4:50. I flew through the first one in 4:40. Second one in 4:41. Wind picked up for the third one, yielding a 4:46. Hot damn. I’ve gotten faster. On the fourth one I got totally thrown off by crowds of children, so I cut it short at 800 (3:13). I decided to run a final 400 fast, just to see what my legs could do after this effort. I did an 84. That’s 5:38 pace for those of you following along at home.

8 Responses

  1. weather these days in new york is soo strange…it would’ve been a disaster had that snow storm hit one week later (NYC marathon). There is no longer any definable Spring in NY. We go from Winter through a two week interim right into Summer.
    Sounds like you’re on an upswing on your training!

  2. Those are good times. Can relate, but can’t run them (yet).

    Yes, interesting about the faster pace on recovery runs and running better off the two sessions/week and lighter mileage. Can’t prove it, but I’m sure there’s something going on at the muscular level (what I call ‘springiness’) from the whole training combo. Anyway, hope the weather isn’t a total perfect storm over winter. Looked beautiful on Sunday .)

    • I found it so odd in your race report that they’d mix a 3K and 5K — can’t imagine how disconcerting that is, to suddenly have everyone else finishing “early” while you’re still slogging through. Seems almost cruel.

      We have the same goal! Breaking 20:00. We’ll both get there. I am a true believer in less mileage/fewer workouts/higher quality these days.

      • Yes, very disconcerting. The championship races are the only straight 5s (Feb next year I think), although I could run 5 in the 10,000 for a time-trial. I’m inclined to race the 3000s until then – if I could get down to 11:45-50 for a 3 it would say I’m a hope of breaking 20. Will probably race the 1500s too. Off your street mile time you’d be at about 5:30-35 for a 15 whereas I think I’d be 20+ secs off that at the moment.

        Good 1500 speed is necessary for a fast 5000. I’m a bit torn as to what sort of interval sessions to do (I’d only do one per week + a race). Miler type of sessions or specialist 5k sessions? I’ve been doing 10k paced intervals and can feel in races that speed is a weakness.

  3. that is so awesome. I am happy for you!!! Try doing those split times carrying your box of kitty litter, eh? :-)

  4. Ewen, I’m mixing up distances and paces in my track workouts these days. I’m finding it difficult to move from mile training straight into 5K training. So, as an example, today I did 3×1000 at (by accident) a little faster than 5k pace + 2×600 at 3K pace + 1×400 at mile pace.

    I’d wanted to do 5×1000 today, but that clearly wasn’t going to happen. I just don’t have the endurance yet. My hope is that eventually I won’t need to break up workouts into longer + shorter. Right now I need the “crutch” of doing harder work over shorter distances.

    Maybe this transitional approach is something you can try during your own buildup to the 5K. That would keep you doing speed-focused work without neglecting the endurance end of the spectrum.

    • Thanks. The mixed distances sound like a good option. I have a session this arvo. Might try 6 or 8 x 500 + 4 x 200… I’m wary of doing anything that works the anaerobic system at this point in the season. But I want some goal 5k pace work, so yes, maybe shorter but controlled (not all-out). That sounds better than 1000s at 10k pace in terms of getting the body used to the speed.

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