Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Future plans - spring season

I am taking 3/4 days off from running for a mental recovery before tackling the last part of the local running season (because of the heat, there are no more serious races from April onwards).

All the race in March, April are not longer than 10k, so it is time to hone my speed and tweak the training plan. The target of this training cycle is to improve leg strength and leg turnover and increase the anaerobic capacity..

therefore for the next 5/6 weeks, I will base my training as follows:

3/4 weeks of strength and speed:
- 1 workout of hill charges/ hill intervals + strides
- 1 workout of aerobic threshold (either tempo run or long intervals) + strides
- 1 long run, but without hammering down too much
- other runs: easy, but I will try to make strides at the end of each run

other 2/3 weeks more focused on VO2max and speed:
- 1 VO2max workout, distance raising from 4k to 5k
- 1 slow tempo run + fast repetitions
- long run (easy pace)
- other runs: easy (I guess I will be already tired enough)

I am curious to see what will happen: having a good endurance base, I should improve further, but maybe the increase in exertion may backlash against my excellent aerobic form of the moment. It is an experiment worthy to do, since feel already very satisfied for this season and nothing to lose.
My next "great" target is to tackle 2h35'/2h36' at a fall marathon: I prefer therefore to reach an higher level of "basic speed" now, to reach a 10k pace of 33'40" that should be a good base to work later on endurance, strength and longer AT intervals.

Small note: this blog got an unwanted spike in the number of visitors last week-end, due very mis fortunate "cyber-debate" over someone's training plan. I feel very unease about talking again about this, but still I do not understand why my critical comments created so much discomfort in the blogger.
If you post a running blog and leave the "comments option" open, you must also ready to take some criticism, if not done in vulgar or offensive tone. Otherwise "cheer leading comments" alone can get quite unconductive after a while. Said that, incident close and you are free to write that I train like a donkey and I better hang my shoes.


Mike said...

I think you're in great shape for the spring season. Like you said, you've gotten excellent results from your base work, so you know you're solid in that area. It also seems from your recent half marathon that you're well rested right now which should help bridge the gap to your speed work putting you in good position to tackle this tough workload.

I also like your plan to go back into another base phase after sharpening your speed to go for that PR in the Marathon. The methodology sounds solid to me. . . good luck!

running faster with the ALIEN LIZARD said...

please tell me how you will do your vo2 training sessions ?
will you be running them at a set percentage of max pulse or at a set pace ?

by7 said...

to "running ....lizard":

I will base on a set pace, because the HR takes too long to reach such high values.
I will keep an eye to the HR mainly during the recovery, to check that the HR will go down at least at 130/140 (less than 70% HRmax)

for the pace, I base on my 5k race speed and/or tables in Daniels' book. for me should be ok to stick to 3'11"-3'15"/km.
I think that the 1st session will be a 5x800m, to make it easier and reach 4-5x1200m

Mike said...

This conversation regarding VO2-Max Interval training is very interesting. . .

I too am working w/ Daniels book, and I find if I use the correct pace (based on VDOT) I simply can not get my HR up to 98% of Max within a 3-5 minute interval. . . it just doesn't get there. And that's even on the 3rd or 4th rep.

I mention this because I see you saying a similar thing here: "I will base on a set pace because the HR takes too long to reach".

So what does that mean? Are Daniels' paces somehow "wrong" for us, or are we just not supposed to get to more than say 94-95% of HR? Because Daniels says 98%, but it doesn't happen.

Also, if you're going to do 800m repeats for example - is your "rest" period then 1/2 that - in this case a 400m jog, and do you do it at Daniels "Easy" pace or do you do it sower/faster than that?

Sorry there's so many questions - I have done Daniels Threshold workouts and Rep workouts w/ seemingly good success, but when it comes to Intervals my results haven't been as described in the book so I'm very curious when I see someone else having the same experience w/ them.

Any info greatly appreciated.

by7 said...


the HR is listed as the "maximum sustainable" at that pace.
An example: I recorded the HR, using the R-R function during a 5k race.
60% of the time, my HR was ABOVE 95% of the max and reached 98% easily.
But the HR reached the Vo2max zone only after 3'30" (in my case, 185bpm).
My conclusion is that keeping the recommended pace would bring the HR to 95%-98%max, but maybe only after 5/6 minutes.

So, if you stick to the recommended pace (3/5k race pace), you are training at the right intensity and reaping the benefits without anyway over-exerting yourself.
I read on different sources anyway that these VO2max workout must be used with parsimony during the season, because very demanding, and that only 4/6 workouts (at weekly basis) are enough to reach the maximum trainable effect, without affecting negatively the aerobic base.
So make a good aerobic base with long runs and long tempo run, etc and use the Interval Workout only when you want to peak the form for some important shorter race.

Mike said...

Thanks a lot for the feedback - I understand what you're saying.

I am preparing for the summer track and field season for Master runners, so I won't plan on getting into the Intervals until Phase-3 which should be around May. I'm still trying to decide whether to do more of the 800m program or the 1500m program as I will be competing in both events. I would have expected the 1500m program to be more demanding , but Phase-3 of the 800m program looks really, really tough!

Eric said...

Did you get some negative feedback for posting criticism on Lydiard Mike's blog? If you did, don't worry about it.

I consider myself a good friend of Mike's, but he was out of line in telling you that your criticism was not valid because your PR isn't 'fast enough'. He said a few other rude things that didn't address the valid questions you asked.

Anyway, good luck with your training. I think your plan is a good one. Cheers!