Training: Dec 11 – 17

Now we’re in the home stretch. There’s a month to go before my goal 5K race in Houston over Olympic Marathon Trials weekend. The emphasis now is on (in this order):

  1. Staying uninjured
  2. Making tweaks to training to address weaknesses
  3. Determining what a reasonable goal pace would be

I’ve managed to remain uninjured since July. Since I’m not going to be doing anything radically different in the next four weeks, I don’t see that as being an issue. But I am being careful to warm up properly before speedwork or shorter races and do proper cool down runs. I’ve slacked off on rolling and massage, though. I like to live dangerously.

As for the second point, I will be doing more work that’s specific to race pace, while reducing the amount of pure tempo running in the original Daniels plan. I have a big workout planned for Christmas day — not in terms of length, but in terms of workload. I am hoping to learn some things from it. All of the rest of the workouts are typically a mix of 5K race pace running and tempo running.

For the pacing question, between the next 5K test race — two weeks out from race day — and a session of 1K repeats five days out, I should be able to arrive at a range of paces in which to run on race day.

This training week’s Tuesday session is typical of the weird shit Daniels assigns for late-cycle 5K training. I get what he’s doing: he’s put together a workout that taxes the spectrum of your system and works everything. While I think these are good to do, I have to consider that I have dropped his third workout every week (because I’m old), usually in favor of doing one very speed-focused session and then one like this one, which hits the tempo end of things. Other times, I’ve dropped his plan entirely, going for 1K repeats. These just work for me — I like the immediate feedback they give me, answering the question: how’s it feel to run goal 5K pace now? By doing the same track workout every few weeks I can see if there’s progress because I’m in a venue that removes the many variables introduced by, say, racing 5Ks on different courses.

My recovery run times are dropping too.

I ran a decent race on Saturday, nabbing a small (but psychologically important) PR, breaking 21:00 at last. On New Year’s Day I will again try for a 20:30.

In other news, I tried out a pair of Skechers Go Run shoes. Skechers is courting my running club and they gave out a coupon for free shoes at the Harriers’ holiday party. I ordered a pair and I have to say that they are good shoes. They are very light (maybe ~6 oz each?) and flexible. They are meant to promote a mid-foot strike. I already land on my mid-foot, so they’re comfortable to run in, but I suspect that if you’re a heel striker they might drive you crazy. My one issue with them is that the heel area is very wide, although the rest of the shoe fits very well. I like them enough that I will probably buy some heel inserts to try to fix the problem. I would love to try racing in them, but I’m afraid they’d slip off at the heel if anyone steps on me.

5 Responses

  1. Can I do the “dailymile” cliche thing, and just post “nice week?”

  2. The shoes sound like they’d be good for racing. I can’t ever recall having my foot trod on and losing a shoe. Does happen though — I recall it happening to a Kenyan (Olympic or World Champs final) in the last few laps of a 5 or 10k and him kicking his shoe off and sprinting one-shoed in anger.

    I’m with you on the feedback offered by repetitive workouts. 1k repeats was a favourite session and easily related to 5k race pace.

    • Your countryman Collis Birmingham lost his shoe almost immediately in the Penn distance relays a couple of years back. He tore up his foot racing on that surface. Imagine flying all the way somewhere, lining up for first leg of a team relay and your shoe goes flying off? He still managed a decent time, considering. But it screwed up his race a few weeks later at the Healthy Kidney in Central Park.

      Merry Christmas!

      • Ah. I like Collis. He’s pretty laid back on Twitter. Likes a good coffee (which is bloody hard to get in the States).

        There was also the Aussie 1k track cyclist a few years back, favourite for the gold, foot wasn’t strapped tight enough to the pedal. Slipped off at the gun and he went half a metre.

        Merry Christmas! Watching the boxing day test at the moment. You’ll be interested to know that Australia is batting v India and is 2 for 67.

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