I've been helping out with the NLAA cross country meets over the last few weeks and it's so awesome seeing kids ages 9-18 out there getting after it and having fun running for their schools. Dare I say I've lost a little bit of this enjoyment over the course of the late summer/fall training? I'm sure once I take some downtime and get some friendship runs in with guys and girls I don't normally get a chance to run with I'll get rejuvenated and get that fire set under me to run fast.
Check out the fun these kids are having!
I've been looking at 2015 and trying to make tentative plans. I want to hit Yonge Street again as I think that's a course where I'll have my best chance at sub 30:30 to get full Elite Hosting (i.e my travel taken care of, etc) for the 10km National Championships that will be held in Ottawa next May. (Ideally 30:17 if training goes well for Yonge Street, so a minute faster then this year.)
I've made big gains in fitness this year and taken a minute off my 10km PB (31:17) and 25ish seconds off my 5km PB (15:15). But I've also felt the effects of overtraining and trying to hold a peak for too long. Next year I'm going to focus on 4 races in the spring from early April until late May then shut things down for a full 2 weeks before building back up for September. I'll adopt the two peaks/year approach that Alberto uses with his athletes. This may leave me not in the shape I want to be for the tely 10 but I'm ok with sitting it out for a year or two to focus on long term development and working to get my personal bests down. I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to win the tely, but I think if I become a really good 10km runner then when I do target the tely 10 as a goal for the season it will take care of itself so to speak. Also, let's not forget Colin Fewer isn't going anywhere so a 50-51 minute tely if I'm at that fitness next year still won't be good enough for the win so why beat up the body for the sake of lowering my best over that distance when in reality I only want to win it regardless of the time I run. As of now the Tely 10 goals will be put on hold for a while. I haven't decided what races I'll look at next fall as it's too far down the road but for the spring I'll be looking at 4 races on the mainland. 1 in Vancouver and 3 in Ontario.
Yonge Street 10km - April 19th, Toronto
Times Colonist 10km - April 26th, Vancouver
Sporting life 10km - May 10th, Toronto
Ottawa Race Weekend 10km - May 23rd
I wanted to get that off my chest as I've been thinking about next season pretty much all week on my runs and this is the plan that I've chosen to ensure I peak properly and run as fast as I can. I'll take some down time after scotiabank in two weeks then build up the volume again focusing on long runs and tempos through November and December before getting back on the indoor track and working on my speed to try and bring down my 1500 and 3000m PB's. The approach I took last year worked great so I see no need of changing it too much. What I'll be sure to do however is make sure I'm taking at least 2 days between workouts. Mike pointed out that this has been one reason why I'm feeling so drained.
Anyway, sorry for the rant, I've got two more races I want to hit this fall. The turkey tea 10km next week as a hard effort before Scotiabank in Toronto on the 19th. I'm feeling really fit right now and workouts are rolling well. I just need to make sure I get to that starting line fresh. If I can do that I'll run fast.
JJ's Weekly Training Wrap Up
JJ is back once again for a breakdown of his week that was in training. That's a heck of a workout he had Saturday! 7 miles at an average well under 5 minute pace! Thanks as always my friend.
My week in training.
Race/Workout - I went out to the Harbour Grace Blueberry Harvest 10km. They put off a great event out there and the new race director Jonathan is an awesome dude so I had to make the trip out and snag myself a blueberry pie for first place. I did this race at half marathon effort. I took the pace out a little quick to get some separation and making sure I could just focus on hitting my own splits without having a race on my hands.
12 miles with warm up, race and cool down - AM
8 miles easy - PM
4 miles easy - AM.
17 mile medium long run - PM
Workout - Jason and I met up for a session of 4X2miles. I wanted to hit this about 10km effort as I knew my next workout was going to be at half marathon pace. It went well I was hitting 10 minutes each rep.
14 miles with workout at lunchtime - AM
3.6 miles - PM
5 miles really slowly in the morning - AM
8 miles (I wanted to do at least 13 but I was just too tired....) - PM
Workout - Half Marathon prep session. 2.5 miles (90 seconds rest) + 2 miles (90 seconds rest) + 2 miles (90 seconds rest) + 2.5 miles. I didn't want to go overboard so I made sure I stayed right around half marathon pace. The average for the 9 miles of quality was 5:15.5/mile pace. I worked for it but that's because I have a lot of fatigue in the system. I'll be cutting my mileage and intensity in half this coming week and barely doing anything race week.
16.3 miles with workout - AM
OFF - PM (wanted to double up and get at least a 5km in but my body was too depleted.)
4.6 miles easy with strides - AM
15 miles with some 60/30's tossed in to feel a little quicker - PM
Workout - I heard the University Cross Country team was doing 3XLong Pond off 90 seconds rest which is basically 3X3km on the brutally hilly long pond. I figured I would jump into this and run it at half marathon effort on tired legs and see how I felt. At the very least I'd draw confidence from hitting the effort tired and I'd also help Conor and Mark who would be running their intervals at about this pace as it was an LT session for them. It went incredibly well. I didn't feel that tired at all and cruised the workout barely going over that line where I was breathing too hard, which only happened on the uphill sections. Ran them in 9:45/rep with the boys.
14.4 miles with workout - AM
6 miles - PM
So that was my week. Looking back on it now I know exactly why I'm feeling the way I am. Mike is definitely right about always taking 2 easy days between harder session. I'm going to be using my heart rate monitor from now on to force myself to run slow enough on easy days and check my morning pulse to make sure I'm not over training and am recovering enough after harder session.
But basically all the work is now done. I'll do something fast mid week like a set of 400's just to inject some speed into the legs but then it's the turkey tea 10km next sunday and resting up for Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half.
Time for this kid to get some sleep, see you guy's next week!