We are back in the proverbial saddle and officially starting the fall build up! I'm super refreshed and motivated to get things underway. Those 9 days off with just pool running and some cross training did me a world of good physically and mentally. I was really just hanging onto things since about June. I needed the down time. But now I'm super hungry for two PR's this fall. I want one in the 10km on the Turkey Tea of sub 31 and 1:08:45-1:09:15 at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon. I think I'll have a really good chance at the 10km as for some reason I feel like right now the best part of my running game is right around 5km-10km pace. I seem to be able to rip out repeats and tempos in that zone really well but for the longer races/race paces I've been struggling. My legs can't find the right rhythm, the pace feels really easy for about a half hour then I get tired, my mind wonders and I start to hurt......15 minutes later I'm suffering haha. So we need to remedy this if I'm going to run 5:15 pace for the half marathon. I'll call upon Jeremiah to dispense some of his wisdom upon me and get me ready for that type of pace for almost 70 minutes of running. The key will be lots of longer workouts at that pace. I've been doing long workouts but I go to the well and run them at closer to 10km pace which in tern isn't leaving me with the physiological adaptations in my lactate threshold system that I need to buffer the lactate in the second half of the race. I'll really focus on good tempo runs, hard long runs and experimenting with bringing my easy pace down. I'm a slacker sometimes on easy days and can be found creeping around the trails at over 7:00/mile pace a fair amount. I need to be running more aerobically even on easy days. If that means running 100 miles a week or even 90 rather then 130 then so be it. This build up is all about quality. I don't want to waste a single mile.
I've been talking to the great group at the Canadian Running Series and I'm confirmed to be toeing the line at the Oasis Zoo Run on September 20th which serves as our Canadian National 10km Champs and the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (the half). Thanks Alan and your team for taking care of me I can't wait to mix it up with the best in the country at these amazing races. My Saucony Canada Teammate Kate will be joining me as will my training partner Joe so it will be good fun. In between these races I'll do a fast 5km and 10km here locally and then see how things go from there.
Over-racing and knowing when to pull back or take a break.
I have been thinking about this in relation to my own running for a while now. I don't really think it was over-racing that I was suffering from but more of trying to hold that peak form that runners like to go into a race with for too long without taking a break. I had 3 fantastic races in April and May and tried to hold on all the way through late July which just wore me down too much. I managed to run a really solid 15:15 5km in July but even that took a lot more out of my body then it should have.
I wont go any more into me personally because I know exactly what I did wrong and I could feel it happening. I just felt that it was more important to me to peak in April and chop that minute or so off my 10km rather then start my build then for the tely and not bring my 5 and 10km PR's down until the fall.
But recently I've seen a few runners who I know well racing way too much and I can see that they are becoming stale/stagnant by doing so. Don't get me wrong, I love to race as well and if any of you have looked over the local running results from the last 2-3 years since I started running I was notorious for running almost every race. But with time you realize you need to pick and chose your races. I see all the good runners doing this. Look at Colin Fewer for example. When he's rolling and in top form you'll generally see him run a couple 10km's in the spring, normally the Sun Run and Ottawa Race Weekend, then the Mews 8km, the Tely 10 followed by a break and then maybe one 10km and Cross Country Nationals in the fall. This might not seem like much racing but look at the performances Colin puts forward. Hes running personal bests or very near it every race and is competitive all the time. He knows that you don't get fitter by racing, you get fitter by training.
I bring this up as I like to think of my blog as a place where hopefully some new runners can learn from some of the mistakes I've made as well as some of the things I've done right. I had to touch on this while it was on my mind as I see people locally who have run like 10-12 races already this year, and some of these runners are much older then myself. I'd hate to see anyone suffer an injury or burn out and be sidelined from this wonderful sport. So pick your races, enjoy the process of training as much as racing and stay consistent!
JJ's Weekly Training Wrap Up.
JJ is back after taking some scheduled down time and is back training like an animal. I can't wait to see how his build up goes for the fall and into the winter indoor season. I don't know about any of you but seeing the times he can jump into running after some down time is pretty impressive. Super stoked to have him back and taking the time to give us a look into the training of an athlete on his level. Thanks man!
My Week in training
OFF - AM
OFF - PM
OFF - AM
OFF - PM
Wednesday (back at it after my break)
6 miles with strides - AM
14.2 miles - PM
Workout - 4X2miles with 2 minutes jogging recovery on my road loop. I needed the 2 minutes break where it was my first workout back. I didn't know what to expect but I felt fresh so I tried to run exactly 5 minute pace. The splits were 10:04, 10:00, 10:01, 9:57. This felt really good. It's amazing what fresh legs feel like haha. It's been a while. I could have rolled these a little harder but I wanted to just get a workout under my belt and feel good about it.
4.5 miles - AM
13.3 miles with workout - PM
8 miles easy - AM
12 miles - PM
Long Run - 20 miles progressive. I started really easy like 7:30 pace for the first mile or so to get my aerobic system warmed up then I started to work the pace down as the run went. I dropped a couple fast miles downtown around 5:15 or so before settling into a good rhythm of between 5:50-6:10 pace.
20 miles - AM
OFF - PM
That was my week, I was happy to be able to jump back into 18-20 mile days without any problem. I'm super motivated right now so it's time to get to work and make some fitness gains. The countdown is on I've got 5 weeks until 10km nationals in Toronto and 69 days until #STWM. Lets do this.
Thanks for reading friends. I'll be updating fast and furiously as I train for my fall race season. I hope your all enjoying your training and have goals of your own for the fall.
Stay after it,