Saturday, May 19, 2007


Friday AM- 3 miles- walk
Friday PM- 8 miles- easy (no watch)
Saturday- 17 miles 8 w. up, 8x mile 6:18 on 60sec, 1 c. dn

Another workout utilizing one of my favorites: cruise intervals. Or one mile repeats done at your lactate threshold with a short one minute recovery between intervals. I seem to really benefit from workouts lasting in the 90+ minute range and have been progressively adding longer warm ups to my speedy/tempo workouts to simulate what happens in marathons and ultras. That general body fatigue that makes it hard to both focus, and turn the legs over quickly.

Why run so many repeats and not just do 20-50minutes straight for a steady tempo? Well the way I run ultras is not steady. I take literally 50-150 breaks during a 100 miler. There are shifts in tempo due to terrain, to stop when nature calls, to stop to eat, to grab this or that at an aid station, for a walk break, to step over a poor footing area, to power-walk a hill...and after each and everyone of them I have to get the legs going again with a restart to get back up to a quick cadence and pace. Additionally, constantly choosing to attempt another repeat is good practice. As Dr. Horton always says you have to suffer (in training) to be able to suffer (in the race).

The last three months I have been working what Renato Canova (a great coach of several African Olympians) calls EXTENSION training. In the 8 week endurance phase I am now in, I am not trying to get faster...merely trying to extend the period of time that I can hold a hard pace. When I first did this cruise interval workout I did only 6 repeats after a mere 2 mile warm up. The second cruise workout was 3 x 2mile but again with short warm up. The third workout was 8 x one mile reps like tonight but with only a 3 mile warm up. I hope to do this workout again in 2-3 weeks with a 10mile warm up and 10 miles of repeats. And the final workout before my taper will hopefully be 12 miles of repeats after a 14 mile warm up. I bet I can run those 26 miles in less than 3:15 despite the time out for recovery between reps.

Tonight's run went well despite it being 116 degrees, sunny, and almost no wind when I started running at 4:30pm. That is hot boys and girls. I did two 4 mile loops for 8 miles in 63minutes then began 8 x1520m loops with 1 min rest. I ran 6:04, 6:04, 6:03, 6:00, 5:55, 6:00, 5:56, 5:51 and felt pretty smooth throughout. The goal of this type of workout is not to run hard, but to run relaxed and at a steady clip. Only on the last two did I even come close to struggling. I am pleased with my progression.

This finishes out a strong week of 77 miles for the VT 100 draws closer

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