Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Speed/Quality workouts per week

The Runbayou philosophy is to do two (2) speed/quality workouts and one (1) long run per week.

The most important of the speed/quality workouts is designated as the primary workout (and is usually the first workout of the week). The other speed/quality workout is designated as the secondary workout. What is actually done in each of these workouts depends on the phase of training. See the runbayou website for phase details (www.runbayou.com).

For example: Suppose we're in Phase 2 of the program (repetition phase). The primary workout might be 6x400s at repetition pace. The secondary workout might be a 20 minute tempo run. And the long run might be done on Saturday or Sunday. We'd do the primary workout early in the week (to make sure we get it in), run easy for a day or two, do the secondary workout, run easy for a day or two, and then do the long run.

Okay; so far, so good. Now the exceptions.
  • If circumstances dictate you can only do one speed/quality workout during the week, do the primary workout.
  • If you're going to race on the weekend, skip the secondary workout during the week.
    For example: If your race is on Saturday, you might do your primary workout on Tuesday or Wednesday. Take it easy for a few days and then race. Skip the secondary workout.
  • What about back to back speed/quality sessions during the week?
    For example: Suppose your schedule says speedwork on Tuesday and Thursday and a long run on Saturday. What happens if you miss Tuesday? Can you do a primary workout on Wednesday and secondary on Thursday? This is a tricky situation and requires a lot more individual information. That said, this can be done in some situations but certainly not on a weekly basis. With very few exceptions, I would not recommend it. It would be better to put an easy day between the speed sessions and move your long run to Sunday.

That's it for now.

Good running and have fun.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Overdoing it

Today's workout was tough. Not on it's own mind you. But, when combined with the last two days of running, it took me over the top.

Okay. I overdid it this week. Hey, it happens.

Here's the story
Tuesday, we worked out on the track. 6x200s and 6x400s at repetition pace (~5K race pace) with full recoveries. The workout went well and life was good.

Wednesday was supposed to be an easy day. Well, I got a new position at work and was a bit excited. So, instead of taking it nice and easy on my evening run with the BCRR folks, I ran about 30 seconds per mile too fast for just over 6.5 miles. Again, it was easy to do and life was good.

Thursday morning came darn early...4am early. Hill bounding. Somehow completed the workout but it was not fun. In fact, it hurt. Hurt like in race hurt. No fun at all.

The thing is. The hill bounding should not have been hard. But with no recovery run on Wednesday, the body was not quite ready.

So...I'll rest on Friday...and maybe even on Saturday. No point in taking any chances. Boston is only 8 weeks and 4 days away!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Why hill bounding?

What good is hill bounding?

The short story is that hill bounding will make you faster. The longer story requires reading my boring diatribe.

First, hill bounding builds up your ankles and quads and helps you focus on form. This, in turn, allows you to "leap" a bit higher/further on each stride. In other words, it helps you lengthen your stride. That means you have the strength to go further with each step...with no increase in effort.

Wanna hear an interesting perspective? If you normally run a 5K at a 7:00/mile pace, you can shave 25 seconds off your time by doing the hill bounding workout for ~6 weeks. Think about it. You can go from a 21:36 5K to a 21:11...just in stride length! How you ask?

Okay...follow me here. Suppose you are able to increase your stride length by 1 inch. At 180 steps per minute (the "rule of thumb" turnover rate), that's 180 inches per minute; which is 15 feet. At a 7:00/mile pace, that's 105 feet per mile. Over the course of ~3 miles, you'll go 315 feet further...about 100 meters. How fast can you run 100 meters? Well, at 7:00/mile pace, it takes you ~25 seconds. At a 6:00 pace, you'll shave ~18 seconds off your 5K.

THAT'S why we do hill bounding! The late Arthur Lydiard knew something about training! Now, of course, your mileage may vary, but a 1 inch increase in stride length is not unrealistic if you've been used to doing the long distance runner shuffle.