Tag Archives: fartlek

Training Log: 6 weeks until LA

I was able to get in 3 workouts over the past 7 days and thought I’d walk you through each one in detail for this week’s entry. Enjoy!

Workout #1: Long Run on Alter-G (Monday)

The plan was to run 18-19 miles on the Alter-G in Richmond with the last 10 miles or so progressively faster if my ankle was feeling good. I started at 92% of my body weight and then added 1-2% every 2 miles to where I was running the last 9 miles at 100% of my body weight.

I ended up getting in 18.25 miles with the last 10 miles in 56:55. Other than getting two pretty nasty blisters I felt good. I began the final 10 miles at 6:00 and worked it down little by little to 5:10 by the end. Overall, I was pleased with the run and excited to get in nearly 20 miles with no pain.

P.S. The following morning my quads were super SORE! Welcome back to training they said.

Workout #2: Treadmill Progression Run (Wednesday)

The goal for this moderate workout was to run 35 minutes on the normal treadmill and then hop on the Alter-G and run a 30 minute progression run at 94% body weight starting at 5:45 pace and working down to 5:05 pace by the end.

After getting in 5 miles on the treadmill I hopped on the Alter-G and began the progression run. Like I said last week, even 6% less body weight feels amazing and I ended up getting in 6 miles in 32 minutes (5:20 average) with the last 10 minutes at 5:00 pace. Despite the reduction in weight I was happy that I was able get this workout in after the 18 mile long run 2 days before. Baby steps forward!

Workout #3: 1K repeats at Bass Lake (Saturday)

K workout on Bass Lake. (photo credit Tim Meigs)

K’s on Bass Lake. (Photo Credit Uncle Tim)

After the progression run on Wednesday my ankle was slightly sore so I opted to forgo my scheduled morning 10 mile run and instead did a light spin in its place just to be safe.

I’m in a weird place now recovery-wise as I know my stress fracture has nearly healed but I still notice sensations of pain radiating through my ankle at times. I have read that “phantom” pains are common but with this being my first stress fracture I am finding it difficult to distinguish real and phantom pains. Based on what I’ve read the phantom pains are either the result of calcification in that area or a mental fear that I could re-injure myself again. I certainly hope it’s one of those 2 things and not re-injury.

On one hand, I want to be careful not to take any steps backwards with only 6 weeks to go until the OTM but I also need to be running outside and taking risks.

With all of this racing through my head I was both excited and apprehensive for my 11x1k workout on Saturday morning at Moses Cone. I was pumped to be back in the park working out but really nervous I was going to get 5 reps in and have to stop due to pain.

In the end, I ran all 11 reps and while I certainly felt some pain and awkwardness during the run it was intermittent and didn’t get worse as the workout progressed. Pace-wise I was slower on every rep that Pete had hoped but I don’t think either one of us was overly concerned with that.

Initially, Pete had suggested I try to run 3:12-15 per kilometer or aerobic threshold effort (roughly what I could run for an hour). Once I began, I fell into running 3:20-24 and stayed there the entire workout.

I’m well aware that 3:20 for a 1,000 meter repeat is NOT impressive but I don’t care one bit. Talk to me in 6 weeks. You’ll see a different animal, I promise you that. Gotta start somewhere.

Thanks for reading!

K's on Bass Lake. (Photo Credit Uncle Tim)

K’s on Bass Lake. (Photo Credit Uncle Tim)

Here is my last week of training (12/27-1/2):

Sunday: AM: 5 miles   PM: 5 miles

Monday: AM: 18.25 miles Alter-G 92%-100% (last 10 miles 56:55)

Tuesday: AM: 7.5 miles    PM: 4.25 miles

Wednesday: AM: 11 miles (w/30 min in 32:00)

Thursday: AM: 70 minute spin   PM: 7 miles

Friday: AM: 13 miles Alter-G 94%   PM: walk

Saturday: AM: 13 miles (11xk workout)  PM: 6 miles Alter-G 88%

Total: 90 miles, 10 runs, 7 outside, 3 Alter-G runs, 1 spin session

 

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93 miles for the week! (12/20-12/26)

We are now less than 7 weeks to go until the Olympic Trials and I had another solid week of training. I ran 93 miles for the week with 43 miles on the Alter-G and 50 miles outside. Each run has felt better and better and I am truly excited for the next few weeks.

It’s hard to believe that a week ago I ran for 62 minutes in Asheville and felt absolutely TERRIBLE. I would liken it to a baby giraffe first learning how to walk: awkward, ungainly, and really any other word that means the opposite of smooth.

On Tuesday, I did a mini-workout at ZAP before heading to Richmond to spend Christmas with Esther’s family. The workout was 2×3 miles with one 3 mile piece on the normal treadmill and one 3 mile piece on the Alter-G. Pete wanted to get in some slightly faster running at full weight and then hit the Alter-G for the second rep to be cautious. Here’s how it went:

2×3 mile treadmill workout:

*1st 3 mile piece on normal treadmill: 5:42, 5:39, 5:35
*4 minutes rest
*2nd 3 mile piece on Alter-G at 92%: 5:15, 5:10, 5:07

Overall, it was a good session and I felt stronger as the workout wore on. I do have one takeaway: 8% less body weight feels AMAZING. After getting off the normal treadmill I was shocked with the ease I was able to run the 2nd rep. Regardless of the reduced weight I was happy with the effort and to feel that familiar workout ‘burn’ again.

In-Law game strong.

In-Law game strong.

After the workout I hopped in my car and made the trip to Richmond to spend the Christmas holiday with the Erb clan. It was a full house with her parents, 2 sisters, and various friends popping in and out but also very relaxing. Esther’s 6 month old niece Rae and 3 year old nephew Lee were in town as well which was great. Esther and I got in daily naps, lots of great meals, and a few nice runs with current Boulder resident and Richmond Native Guy Alton!

It was great running OUTSIDE with Guy and Esther in Richmond.

It was great running OUTSIDE with Guy and Esther in Richmond.

I will spend the next 10 days in Blowing Rock and then I’m off to Tallahassee, FL for the final 4.5 weeks leading into the marathon trials. Thanks for reading!

Here is my last week of training (12/20-12/26):

Sunday: AM: 3.5 miles (Asheville)    PM: 12 miles Alter-G 87%

Monday: AM: 8 miles    PM: 3 miles

Tuesday: AM: 11 miles (2×3 mile workout, treadmill and Alter G 90%)

Wednesday: AM: 14 miles Alter-G 90% (Richmond)   PM: 4 miles

Thursday: AM: 6 miles Alter G 90%   PM: 9.5 miles

Friday: AM: 7 miles    PM: 5 miles

Saturday: AM: 10 miles   PM: 45 min spin

Total: 93 miles (43 Alter G, 50 outside), 12 runs, 1 spin session

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My last week of training (12/13-12/19)

I spent much of today traveling so I will keep this week’s entry short and sweet. I increased my mileage on the Alter-G to 60 miles for the week and got the weight up to 85%. I did some moderate portions during a few of the runs with no pain to my foot and ankle. Things are moving along nicely and within the next week I will begin workouts in full force.

Right now, I am 8 weeks out from the Olympic Trials and things will need to do everything within my power to get fit. Pete has already warned me that the next 4 to 6 weeks will be HARSH. We will not be reckless but we will be very aggressive with the intensity and frequency of my workouts.

In a perfect world, I’d be 12-16 weeks out from the OT and able to slowly ramp back into intensity and volume, but that is simply not the hand I have been dealt. In athletics as in life, you must do the best with what you’re given.

I will be doing a 2×3 mile workout this week on the treadmill and tossing in a greater number of outside runs. I suspect that in 2 weeks time the Alter-G will become a complementary training tool as normal outside runs will take over the bulk of my training.

My only wish over the next 2 months is to remain HEALTHY and POSITIVE each day in my running. The fitness will take care of itself.

Last but not least, I learned last week that a family at HCSA just had a litter of lab puppies that need new homes, so I went by the house to check them out. Esther, for those that don’t know, has DESPERATELY wanted a dog for the last few years. I’m not joking when I say that at least 2-3 times a week I either get sent a link to Pet Finder or a picture of her doing some activity with the neighborhood dog Lucy. She’s got it bad.

With this in mind, I met Tess (the runt of the litter) and am now considering bringing her home. Check out this picture of one of her brothers (I couldn’t get a picture of Tess; too camera shy):

I have no words.

I have no words.

Thanks for reading!

Here is my last week of training (12/13-12/19):

Sunday: AM: 2 hrs spin (hard every 8th minute)   PM: 50 min aqua jog

Monday: AM: 10 miles at 83% Alter-G   PM: walk

Tuesday: AM: 11 miles at 84% Alter-G   PM: 55 min aqua jog

Wednesday: AM: 10 miles  at 85% Alter-G   PM: 20 min OUTSIDE jog

Thursday: AM: 80 min aqua jog    PM: 7 miles at 84% Alter-G

Friday: AM: 11 miles  at 84% Alter-G w/35 minutes at 5:40 pace

Saturday: AM: 9 miles OUTSIDE in Asheville

Total: 60 miles Alter-G, 6 runs, 3 aqua jog sessions, 1 spin session

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My last week of training (10/11-10/17)

On Wednesday, Pete had me do a 6×1500 meter repeat workout at Bass Lake. Tyler was doing the same session but as he is incredibly race sharp (46:47 for 10 miles 2 weeks ago) and much fitter than I am currently, I did the session on my own. The goal of the workout was to run each 1500 meter segment faster than the previous one. It was a fairly windy day along the Aqueduct portion of the lake so the times would be a bit slower had conditions been perfect (more on the wind later). Here’s how it went:

6×1500 meter, 2 minutes rest:

  1. 4:46
  2. 4:45
  3. 4:41
  4. 4:39
  5. 4:36
  6. 4:39

2×400, no set rest:

  1. 67 seconds
  2. NT

Overall it was a good session. My legs felt way better than the week before and even though I got tossed around a bit in the wind, it was still solid. And while I was “fighting” the wind, Tyler apparently didn’t notice it at all! He ended up having probably the greatest 1500 meter repeat workout of anyone in ZAP history. He ran somewhere in the neighborhood of 4:25 down to 4:16…on dirt…into the wind! I guess when you’re really fit nothing really bothers you and the ground just floats along underneath you! Watch out for him at the Pittsburgh 10 Miler and the US 12k Champs!

Now for some bad news…Towards the end of the Wednesday session my left ankle got quite sore to the point where the cool down was mostly a limp. I didn’t think much of it as I often get various bumps and bruises from all the miles I put in. The next morning Tyler and I got in an easy 90 minute run and I could barely move the first 20 or so minutes my ankle hurt so much. I decided to take Saturday off and get my long run in on Sunday to see if a day off would help alleviate any of the pain.

Well, on Sunday my boys team was playing in Winston-Salem so I did my long run at Salem Lake. Salem is a great 7 mile rolling loop where I did many of my first tempo runs while at High Point. To make a long story short, it was an incredibly painful 15 miles. My ankle ached the entire time and there were large portions of the run where it felt as if my plantar fascia tendon was torn (I know what this feels like because it happened to me in 2011).

Salem Lake in Winston Salem, NC.

Salem Lake in Winston Salem, NC.

Suffice it to say, I left Salem Lake depressed. I have no idea what is going on in my ankle/foot but I know that it doesn’t feel right. I have had lots of minor tweaks through the years yet the pain currently radiating through my ankle is something I am not that exactly familiar with. Perhaps a bone spur? Some residual cartilage damage from years of running? A re-injury on my talus bone where I had a small surgery back in 2009? Maybe even a torn plantar?

I have been faced with my fair share of injuries during my ZAP career and although they are never fun I am NEVER one to wallow in self pity. I want to find out what the issue is ASAP so that if surgery or some outside intervention is needed I can do it without wasting weeks waiting for something to heal. After returning home from Winston-Salem on Sunday I immediately got an MRI scheduled. Luckily through the help of ZAP friends I found myself driving to Asheville, NC last night to get a scan.

Not where I wanted to be on Monday night!

Not where I wanted to be on Monday night!

Please think positive thoughts as I will find out my results tomorrow evening! The Olympic Trials are less than 4 months away and I can promise everyone reading this that I will toe the line for that race no matter what. Injuries happen and however long I end up being out I will keep my eyes on February 13. My goals have NOT changed in the slightest.

Thanks for reading!

Here is my last week of training (10/11-10/17):

Sunday: AM: 16 miles

Monday: AM: 7 miles  PM: 5 miles

Tuesday: AM: 13 miles   PM: 4 miles

Wednesday: AM: 13 miles (6×1500, 2×400)

Thursday: AM: 13 miles

Friday: AM: 11 miles (8×20 sec)  PM: 5 miles

Saturday: OFF, ankle/foot F-ed up

Total: 87 miles, 9 runs

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My last week of training (10/4-10-10)

Coming off of Applefest I was given a few easy days of running. My hamstring was not that sore after the race which was a nice change. On Thursday, Pete had me to a workout that consisted of a faster 3k to open, 4 minutes rest, then a 6-5-4-3-2-1 fartlek around the 1500 meter long Bass Lake. Here’s how it went:

3k: 9:19 (4:37, 4:42)

6-1 fartlek:

6 (5 min pace)
5 (5 min pace)
4 (4:45 pace)
3 (4:40 pace)
2 (no idea but faster than the 3)
1 (65 seconds for 400m)

This workout was a GRIND. I hesitate to overuse that word but for the purposes of this workout it fits perfectly. From the 1st step of the 3k I was working harder than I would have liked. The opening 3k was supposed to be 9:10 but I struggled to run it under 9:20. After beginning the fartlek portion of the workout I began to feel a bit better but I could tell my legs were still a bit heavy.

In the end, I was pleased with the workout when I learned from Pete that I had progressed on each piece of the fartlek. It’s nice to know that I was getting faster with each piece despite not feeling good at all. These tired and sluggish days are important to get used to as it truly preps you for the pounding of the marathon. Can you still run your goal pace when the legs are dead? Can you still find a good, steady forward rhythm despite not feeling good? These questions need to be answered with a resounding ‘YES!’ come February 13, 2016.

Away from running, I had a very busy weekend of soccer on Saturday and Sunday with trips to Mooresville and Pineville respectively. All in all, the week was yet another solid week of training in the midst of slowly getting back to 100% from my hamstring injury and balancing 90+ mile weeks with lots of time on the soccer fields.

Thanks for reading!

Here is my last week of training (10/4-10/10):

Sunday: AM: 16.5 miles    PM: walk

Monday: AM: 5 miles   PM: 4.5 miles

Tuesday: AM: 12 miles (8×20 sec end of run)

Wednesday: AM: 13.5 miles    PM: 4 miles

Thursday: AM: 14 miles (3k then 6 to 1 fartlek)

Friday: AM: 10.5 miles   PM: 4.5 miles

Saturday: AM: 9 miles

Total: 94 miles, 10 runs

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My last week of training (9/27-10/3)

I had another solid training week. Coming off of my wedding I had a planned day off so entering the Wednesday workout my legs felt well rested. The original plan was to do a segmented tempo run at Moses Cone but the High Country has been absolutely pounded with rain so the lake was too sloppy for a workout.

In fact, local weatherman and ZAP board member Ray Russell reported that as of last Wednesday it had rained for 106 of the past 109 hours (Friday-Wednesday). That stat astounded me but when I thought about it, I couldn’t remember the last time I had completed a run without being soaked. Esther and I’s front porch had quickly turned into a sea of soggy Sketchers and Reebok running shoes!

Because of the recent deluge, Pete decided to move the 3×3 mile workout to the treadmill at ZAP. Often Pete likes to do tempo/climbing workouts on the treadmill because he can more accurately control the pace and incline of the run. Early in my ZAP career I hated seeing a treadmill session on the daily email but I have grown to really like them.

The plan was to run 3×3 miles with 4 minutes easy jog between each interval. Each 3 mile segment consisted of 1 mile faster than the other 2 at 1% incline while the 2 ‘slower’ miles at varying inclines of 0% to 3%. Pete allowed me to control the incline on the more moderate 2 miles within each 3 mile and I moved the incline around every 30-45 seconds to really vary my run. Here’s how it went:

#1 3 mile piece: 5:00 (1%), 5:09 pace (.5%-3% incline), 5:09 (.5%-3%)

#2 3 mile piece: 5:05 (.5%-2%), 4:55 (1%), 5:05 (.5%-2%)

#3 3 mile piece: 5:02 (-.5%-2%), 5:02 (-.5%-2%), 4:47 (1%)

Overall, I was very pleased with the session. The workout was a lot of volume (14 miles total) and I felt very controlled throughout the session even with the changes in incline.

After a few easy days of running I headed to Erwin, TN to run my first race since late May. The Applefest 4 Miler is a tiny race about 90 minutes away from ZAP that I have run on 3 other occasions. With such a long layoff from racing because of my hamstring issues, Pete wanted to me to do a super low key race to dip my feet back into faster running but to also see how my body held up to it. I did not expect to feel that great during the race because of both the long layoff and the workout I did on Wednesday. I ended up getting 2nd place in around 19:40ish to former NC State runner Matt Sonnenfeldt. I was disappointed not to win but in all honesty I was happy I came out of the race with a (mostly) healthy hamstring. I felt flat, heavy, and slow for much of the race but I had fun battling back and forth with Matt until the end when he pulled away from me. Bottom line: it was nice to be back in the ZAP singlet and I look forward to future races.

Lastly, Reebok has outdone themselves! The ZAP Special Edition 3.0 Cushions have arrived and they are sweet. The tongue has the ZAP logo on it, the coordinates of ZAP are on the sole, and a topographical map of Blowing Rock is emblazoned on the removable insole. If anyone reading is interested in learning more about this shoe and/or getting a pair click HERE.

ZAP Reebok 3.0 Special Editions hot of the press!

ZAP Reebok 3.0 Special Editions hot of the press!

Thanks for reading!

Here is my last week of training (9/27-10/3):

Sunday: OFF, REST

Monday: AM: 17 miles  PM: shakeout

Tuesday: AM: 9 miles (8×20 seconds end of run)

Wednesday: AM: 14 miles (3×3 miles treadmill session)

Thursday: AM: 10 miles  PM: 5 miles

Friday: AM: 8 miles (8×20 seconds)   PM: 5 miles (4×25 seconds)

Saturday: AM: 13 miles (Applefest 4 miler+4×2:30 down cycles post race)

Total: 81 miles, 9 runs, 1 day off

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Wedding Weekend

 

Soaking it all in.

Soaking it all in.

Last week was full of both joy and sadness. On Monday, I learned of Cameron’s death and on Saturday I married the girl of my dreams. The contrasting nature of these two things really brought the week into perspective.

Esther and I both struggled to remain 100% upbeat about our upcoming nuptials as we both felt guilt over being happy when so many were feeling pain over the death of Cam. We were both very excited to be getting married and to be officially starting our lives together but felt that gearing up for a party in the midst of so much sorrow was wrong in some way.

And as the wedding inched closer the weather got worse and worse. It has been absolutely breathtaking in the High Country the past month so I guess we were due for some crappy days. The rains started on Thursday and remained steady for the remainder of the weekend.

However, as the week wore on and various family members trickled in Esther and I became more and more joyous about what was to come. Esther’s parents arrived, then my parents, then Jesse, then Alissa and Kyle, and then several HPU college friends and the rainy weather didn’t seem so bad.

On Saturday morning, Jesse, Guy, Jankowski, and I went for an easy 10 mile run at a sloppy Moses Cone and I started to get nervously excited for the festivities to come. This was a big day. This was a big decision that Esther and I had decided to pursue. We had spoken a lot in the preceding months about how important of a commitment we were making to one another and how serious we should approach it. Yes, we were excited about the actual wedding but we were also very intent of making sure we approached the day with reverence and respect.

The ceremony was officiated by Shawn Found, an Army Chaplin who was himself an elite runner finishing 4th in the 10k at the 2000 Olympic Trials. Esther and I got to know Shawn and his wife Jen during Esther’s time in New Jersey. Shawn did a great job and we were both so excited he made the long trip from NJ to NC for the wedding.

After exchanging our vows and sealing it with a kiss, I realized that being surrounded by family and friends after the rollercoaster week was perfect. When is it not a good thing to be supported by family and friends after a tough week? In our case, Esther and I were also celebrating a great moment in our lives. Win-win.

The rains came and it didn’t matter. Esther looked amazing, she said yes, and we got to spend some quality time with those we loved. What’s better than that?

P.S. Oh yeah, I had another solid workout with Tyler on Thursday and got in a cool 100 miles the week of my wedding. Not too shabby if you ask me. There’s also rumors of a small race next weekend if my hamstring continues to progress. Stay tuned!

Here is my last week of training (9/20-9/26):

Sunday: AM: 19 miles (1-1-2-1-2-1-1-2-1-1-2-2 surges)

Monday: AM: 6 miles  PM: 5 miles

Tuesday: AM: 13 miles

Wednesday: AM: 10 miles   PM: 5 miles

Thursday: AM: 16 miles (4500+(2:30-90-45)x3+climb session)

Friday: AM: 8 miles  PM: 4 miles

Saturday: AM: 10 miles

Total: 100 miles, 11 runs

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