Sunday, 24 November 2013

Week of training Sunday November 17th - Saturday November 23rd + some VO2 max training thoughts and questions.

Hey guys,

Well, that's one more week in the books. I wanted to say thank you to everyone who has stopped by to read this blog and leave comments and feedback. I was overwhelmed with the support and amount of views I've been getting so thank you so much. (Thank you to NLrunning as well)

I'll chat briefly about some questions and thoughts I have about training the VO2 max energy system all year as well as break down last weeks training.

VO2 max training all year long? Smart for development or playing with fire?


First off lets define what VO2 max really is, 

According to Wikipedia -  VO2 max (also maximal oxygen consumption, maximal oxygen uptake, peak oxygen uptake or maximal aerobic capacity) is the maximum capacity of an individuals body to transport and use oxygen during incremental exercise, which reflects the physical fitness of the individual. The name is derived from V - volume, O2 - oxygen, max - maximum.
VO2 max is expressed either as an absolute rate in litres of oxygen per minute (L/min) or as a relative rate in millilitres of oxygen per kilogram of bodyweight per minute (i.e., mL/(kg·min)). The latter expression is often used to compare the performance of endurance sports athletes.

So without going to in depth in the science department, VO2 max is the key energy system that fuels our aerobic power. And running is an aerobic activity. But when training to increase or improve our VO2 system should we only target it during a specific training cycle? Or at a given time during the preparation for a goal race? We see allot of the top running coaches when putting together a training program to prepare and athlete for a "championship race" or season most will use periodization in their approach. A typical training plan for a runner training for events like the 3000m - 10000m will start with a base period, then a strength period, typically followed by a sharpening period and finally the championship racing period. Where the athlete is peaking for goal races.

When we look at the different types of training we know that VO2 is by far the most difficult and is supposed to be the most stressful. We hear top coaches such as Dr. Jack Daniels talking about how these bouts of VO2 training should be the only ones that feel hard. Rep paced running should feel "fast", threshold running should feel comfortably hard but VO2 should feel hard. Personally I find this training the most strenuous and takes me the longest to recover from. I generally do repeats of distances between 800m - 1 mile, with the goal of running them about 3000m race pace and taking half the time it took to run the interval in recovery. Needless to say when you start increasing the volume of these sessions to 5-6 miles of work, your really taxing the body and burn out can occur. So my question is, can we run these types of workouts year round to try and improve this crucial energy system, and maybe back off the frequency or volume during our less important training cycles? Or should we stick with the idea of periodization and only incorporate it when its time to build aerobic power at that given time in our season? How do you guys approach this? Do you do strait VO2 sessions? Mixed workouts? Let me know what works for you and what your thoughts are. I'm curious to know what works for different people!

This week in training.


This week was successful for sure. I was solo for 85 percent of my runs so it was mentally tough getting after workouts and a long run with the weather getting colder and the wind. But its this work and dedication that will hopefully help me gain lots of fitness in the next 5-6 months. Hopefully I will be able to get out with the speedy Adam Snow when his training resumes (5km specialist and real fastwitch runner).

Sunday

9 miles - AM
10 miles - PM

Monday

Workout - 16 X 400m @ Rep Pace. This is a standard repetition workout. I did it on the Tupper loop by my house as I didn't want to head all the way to the track. I took full recoveries of 2:00/rep. Enough time to jog back to the start of the 400m. I started them at 71 seconds for the first 4, and tried to work down the pace each subsequent 4. The last 4 averaged 65 which is good for this time of the year. The workout average was around 68 seconds.

12 miles with workout - AM
6 miles - PM

Tuesday

10 miles - AM
10 miles - PM

Wednesday

Workout - 3 X 10 minutes with 4 minutes active recovery. This went well, I started very conservative and did the first rep at 5:21 pace, the second was a bit faster at 5:08 pace, then for the last rep I ran myself into the ground and just hung on the last 3 minutes and averaged 5:00/mile pace. This was encouraging, though I wonder if the slow first rep was smart. Perhaps all of them run at goal 10km pace would have been smarter. (Done on Tupper loop).

11 miles with workout - AM
5 miles - PM

Thursday

8 miles - AM
8 miles - PM

Friday

11 miles - AM
9 miles - PM

Saturday

Long Run - 20 miles @ 7:00 pace average. Unfortunately this was done solo and it was a grind. I left my house and went down around quidi vidi lake for 4 laps then added some miles at the end. It was a decent run though. I started running the first 10 miles really easy about 7:30 pace then ran the last 10 in the 6:20-6:30 range. I find the last 3-4 miles of these runs are brutal. I need to work on my strength if I want to be running good times over 10 miles and the half marathon distance so I hope this is helping.

20 miles - AM
Off - PM


129 miles total on the week.

Thoughts


I'm pretty happy with this week. It wasn't out of this world or anything but there was 3 good days of quality running. Just keeping this going is all that needs to happen. I'd like to run about 5 miles more per week but it was nothing to complain about. On a side note I didn't get a chance to wear the Saucony Cortanas this week as I'm still waiting on a shipment of winter gear and shoes but I'll for sure wear them as soon as they come and give everyone my thoughts.

That's all for this post, back to the grind,
Run happy
Dave

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Week of training Sunday November 10th - Saturday November 16th. + LT training thoughts and questions.

Hello again,

Before I kick off this weekly update I wanted to talk about something I've been thinking about that's training related. I would love some feedback or even get a discussion going.

Lactate Threshold Training?


We know it's one of the most important energy systems to develop, but when training for primarily the 5km-10km distances how long is the optimal tempo? I mean there is always more then one way of doing things and achieving the same goal. But I feel that Lactate Threshold training is something allot of people see as confusing, myself included. The principal of the training being to improve our bodies ability to clear lactic acid accumulation while running. What I'm wondering is, for 5km-10km specific training what is the most effective sessions to use? For me this season, my tempo runs have been between 4-5 miles (continuous) at paces between 5:15/mile - 5:25/mile depending on the course and distance. But I'm beginning to wonder if perhaps longer tempos are necessary? I say this as I've been following some runners recently who have been training for the marathon and doing very long LT sessions during their buildup and they have run new personal bests over the 5km and 10km during their buildup so it has me doing some thinking. I'd love to hear what you all think and what works for you so leave a comment and let me know.

This Week in Training.


This week was excellent as I was able to do my quality workouts and long run with Kate and Peter Bazeley. Kate is one of the top female distance runners in the country and is a fellow Saucony Hurricane teammate. She is in a buildup now for her marathon debut and is really rolling. Her husband, Peter, is one of the top runners in the province and is super consistent, so having them there for the workouts this week was excellent and I think we all made some great progress. Hopefully we get more workouts in as the fall moves along. 

Sunday 

8 miles easy - AM
8 miles easy - PM

Monday

10 miles easy - AM
10 miles easy - PM

Tuesday

Workout - 7.25 mile tempo run. (This was a great session done on the always hard mundy pond course. Peter and I started nice and controlled at about 5:40 pace then worked it down until we started running 5:20's. Our average for the tempo was 5:25/mile which I was very happy with. Kate had a great workout as well and ended up running faster then her prescribed pace).

13 miles with workout - AM
7 miles easy - PM

Wednesday

12 miles easy - AM
8 miles easy - PM

Thursday

Workout - 8 minutes (3 minutes rest) 3X2 minutes (2 minutes rest) 8 minutes. (Very good workout as well. I don't normally do time based session but I really enjoyed this one. We did it on the Tupper Laurier loop. Peter and I talked about running the 8 minute segments @ 5:15 pace but we got a little jumpy and averaged 5:02 pace for the first 8 minutes, 4:47 pace for the 2 minute segments, then 5:06 for the last 8 minute segment. All in all great session)

12 miles with workout - AM
7 miles easy - PM

Friday

13 miles easy- AM
8 miles easy- PM

Saturday 

Long Run - Kate, Peter and myself got after a 35km/22 mile run out and back on the old railway bed. (We averaged 6:42/mile pace on the run, my legs felt tired coming back the last 3-4 miles. We got to run about 30 minutes with Colin Fewer mid way which is always a nice treat (the provinces top runner, 7 time tely 10 winner, fellow Saucony teammate and 30 minute 10km performer))

22 miles - AM
Off - PM

138 miles total on the week.

Thoughts

Tremendous week of training, plenty of miles and the workouts went without a hitch. That's one more done and written in the log. Time to regroup and get after it again next week. I'm going to be trying out the new Saucony Cortana 3's  this week for all my easy miles. So I will let everyone know how I find them. I'm looking to get into a more plush daily trainer as the majority of my miles will now be on the roads in the winter. I normally like to run all my miles in the Kinvara 4 but I'm going to try this out and see how it goes. Stay tuned!

Until next time keep your stick on the ice
Run happy
Dave

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Training the week of Sunday November 3rd - Saturday November 9th 2013

This is a little late for posting last week's training but I'll have this week's up on Sunday, Work has been busy as I've been staying later on account of trying to get longer lunch runs in.

The approach I'm taking with this fall and winter is that I'm not going to try and hit home runs and kill every workout. But rather, focus on the quality of the entirety of these next 5-6 months before I target 2 Spring 10kms (The Sun Run and Yonge Street). If I can make small gains in fitness and be even 0.1% better today then I was yesterday I'll be ready to run some fast times this spring and hopefully roll out a sub 31:30 on one of those first two 10km s.

This week of training went well with 2 workouts and 121.5 miles run in total.

Sunday

9 miles easy - AM
9 miles easy - PM

Monday

Workout - 3 mile sustained high end aerobic tempo + 10 X 250m hills (4:56 pace for the tempo and ran the hills hard, about 5:30 pace on average with 5 minutes rest after the tempo and jogging 250m down the hill after the 250m hill reps.) - Great workout, really hurt the last mile of the tempo, but that was well outside my lactic threshold pace so that's understandable. 

13 miles with workout - AM
7 miles easy - PM

Tuesday

10 miles easy AM
11 miles easy PM

Wednesday

10 miles easy - AM
10.5 miles easy - PM

Thursday

Workout - 4 mile tempo on the Tupper Street loop 21:12 total time (5:18/mile average pace) - This was a great effort and shows me I'm fitter then I was a couple months ago. It was very controlled, the first mile was slow, ran in 5:29 and each subsequent mile got faster while remaining in my target zone and finished with a 5:12 mile.

10 miles with workout - AM
7 miles easy - PM

Friday

12 miles easy - AM
6 miles easy - PM

Saturday

7 miles easy - AM
(single run day, legs needed a break)


So all in all I'm happy with this. I like hitting 20 miles each day and running 140 miles/week but I won't complain about this at all. I've got to keep telling myself, stringing weeks of training like this together will make the difference next spring. Patience is key.

Until next time,
Run Happy
Dave

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

And so it begins.

Hello world, or whoever is out there reading!

I must confess I never figured myself as a blogger, but why not start. If nothing else it will serve as an outlet to document the journey of my running as I attempt to progress in a sport that has been very good to me and one I'm very passionate about.

This blog is going to focus on my training and the journey that I'm embarking upon as I try to improve as a distance runner and make the jump to the next level.

A little introduction before I kick things off. I'm David, or Dave, I'll answer to either and I'm from St. John's Newfoundland, Canada. I'm 27 years old and took up the sport of running in 2010 to try and get myself into shape after leading a fairly sedentary university students lifestyle from the time I finished high school and stopped playing hockey.

So to make a long story short I jumped into a local 5km race and got my behind handed to me. I figured I was still in halfway decent shape but that was not the case. I ran a little over 20 minutes and was not happy about it. Looking back now it was not a bad performance as I was carrying allot more muscle and some non essential mass at the time and was roughly 200 pounds which wasn't that bad on my 6 foot 1 inch frame but certainly not good for an aerobic sport like running. After the race I got that runners high and wanted to beat the time I had just run. So one thing led to another and I began racing every road race in town that year and running allot of mileage without even realising. I was putting in about 80-90 miles a week (135ish km's) with no training structure to speak of. Just running for the pure enjoyment of the sport and the feeling it was giving me. By the end of the year I had dropped down to my current weight of about 145 pounds and was somewhat competitive on the local level setting personal best of 16:50 for 5km and 34:56 for 10km. I was hooked from that point and knew I wanted to keep training. The next couple of years from 2011-2012 I continued in my high mileage ways but was doing little in terms of structured quality running and didn't have much if any road map or method to my madness. I had some training partners that are amazing guys and have helped me immensely but I was not training smartly for what I was trying to achieve. At the end of the 2012 season my personal best had dropped to 15:53 for 5km, 25:47 for 8km, 32:47 for 10km and 54:56 for 10 miles. Improvements were happening and I was becoming competitive but not anything near where I wanted to be. So I decided to seek the counsel of a friend and an AMAZING runner in his own right Craig. A Masters runner from BC whom I had met in 2010 when I participated in the 10km National Championships. I bounced training ideas off him and just learnt from his ways and years of experience. I put in a great fall and winter for 2012/2013 and built a large base with a string of 16 weeks of 125+ miles/week with some quality tossed in once a week to keep the speed close by. I then began to train with some structure and kept running high mileage while doing 2-3 hard sessions a week, mostly on the track. I enjoyed my best season to date thus far and lowered my personal bests to 15:33 for 5km, 25:24 for 8km, 32:08 for 10km and 53:58 for 10 miles. I'm very happy with this season but I'm hungry for much more and I know that I'm only scratching the surface. I feel that I have the potential with the right training to run much much faster and so the journey begins. I plan on doing all the little things now, the stretching, drills, core work, cross training and really dialling in my nutrition as I hope to make much bigger strides towards my goals this coming spring. I would like to lower my personal bests in the 5 and 10km to under 15 minutes and under 31:30 by the time the spring rolls around. No small feat, but as they say nothing ventured nothing gained. I feel I'm in better shape then my current PB's indicate but I need to put in allot of work to progress to my next set of goal.

So in concluding I will be updating this blog about once a week with training updates, random ramblings and possibly some equipment reviews. I'm fortunate to have teamed up with the best running company out there in Saucony and am thrilled to have them as my sponsor. So look for some gear reviews and updates on new things they have coming to running shops near you.

That's all for now,
Run Happy,
Dave