Tuesday, March 3, 2015

February Training Wrap and Training Update

Historically I have used this space to regurgitate my weekly training with some periodic updates and random thoughts, much of which anyone that cared could get just by following me on Strava. So, I think I am going to try to use this space as a space to "reset" every few weeks instead. I am self-coached, which is both great and confusing at the same time. Instead of week-to-week thoughts, this space would be excellent for grading my past few weeks of training and planning my next few weeks. You see, planning an entire training plan 20+ weeks in advance is crazy. Life happens. Things change. I get bored and think of new run concepts I want to try. By week three of a twenty week plan I am really just ad-hoc. Of course there is a main theme (specificity) and general direction (namely weekly time/mileage), but the specifics can and do change week to week.

So, a brief catch-up....

Back in December, I wrote down my goals for my WS100 Training Plan. Those high-level goals are as follows:

  • 2 - 3 good night runs on trails
  • 8 - 10 heat runs up to 2 hours in length (Update: I used sauna training instead)
  • Consistent mileage above 55 miles (8-9 hours for me)
  • Peak mileage of 70+ miles, 4-6 times (10-14 hours for me)
  • Lots of light quality: Fartleks, Progression
  • Modest amounts of true quality: tempos/threshold, intervals, hard longs
  • Don't over-do trails and vertical
  • Don’t fight winter
  • Emphasize body weight training for XT

January Training

212 Miles
16K of vertical gain
33 Hours

I started January pretty unfit, having been injured and really demotivated as a result. The injury turned out minor and I am on a path to healing. Nonetheless, the lack of fitness is always hard to start from and figure out how to get going again. As is typical, I started out feeling really eager to get going and follow a well-thought-out-highly-detailed plan that was a fusion between Relentless Forward Progress mileage and structure borrowed from Eric Orton's book. As a result, I did quite a bit of quality for such an early month in training -- 29.3 miles of short intervals (workouts, not the intervals themselves). The structure was nice so I had some options for the treadmill when the weather sucked. I still spend well over 50% of my miles on "easy" runs.

As I look at the above goals the things that mostly stand out is getting my mileage back to 55 miles a week, which I accomplished the last week of January. Not surprisingly, my fitness made a huge leap too -- from 10:15 pace to 9:30 pace on a typical recovery run (by HR). Given that I was so early in training, not many of the above goals really applied.

February Training

223 Miles
20K of vertical gain
36 Hours

You can see there was a modest increase in all the stats from January to March. This is slightly more impressive given that the month is three days longer. The month was shaped by my review of Dr Maffetone's work and a return to some base building. (See what I mean about my attention drifting...) This wasn't just a coincidence though; the weather was good the first few weeks of the month and I was able to spend lots of time outside, where it is much easier to go easy. I even managed a few almost dry trail runs -- a win in the "don't fight winter" category! Another positive was spending most of the month near 60 miles/week and several long runs and mini-B2Bs. And, I did my first night run of the cycle. That night run was a real struggle, reminding me why I made that goal. Overall I am really happy that I was able to get back to a reasonable mileage base and continue to improve my overall fitness and health.

In the context of my goals, I think the biggest negative was going 180 degrees from January and doing almost no structure. I need to find a happy-medium with the light structure and periodic true quality days (every 7-14 days). And, while I would give myself a passing grade in the cross-training department, I would say that I can improve slightly in this department.

So, recognizing that it is still winter and too soon for some of my goals, the mini-goals for March are:

  • Continue consistent mileage and weekly build up of B2B long runs
  • Add more "light quality" to my routine
  • Refocus on cross-training
  • Seek opportunities for Night Running and possibly B2B2B runs

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