Monday, January 18, 2010

Use It or Lose It

2009 was a lousy year for me as far as running was concerned. I unexpectedly ran a pretty good road 50 mile at Ruth Anderson on November 1, 2008 - 7:42 for a course which we were told was a mile long. After that, I got a coach for 3 months who I thought wasn't having me work very hard. But the problems started before that. I used to work where it was convenient to run hills before work. It wasn't unusual for me to run hilly workouts 4 of the 5 weekdays. The other thing was that work location had showers and lockers which I used all of the time, sometimes getting in 4 quick miles (sub 7:00 pace) at lunch. Then my company moved their location to brand new buildings in which they declined to build any locker room, health club, etc. So the result was that I ran a lot less vertical and couldn't stop off for a run before work. This coincided with an interest of mine to run a road 100k. This prompted a mistaken belief in me that I could run lots of road workouts. The results suck. I ran 2 50k's in 2009 and that's it. I have been struggling with sore knees for the year.
OK - I am resolved to
  • Run more vertical. This includes what has been 2000' of gain on stadiums on Tuesdays.
  • Work on strength in general. I've picked up some good exercises and drills from a Shannon Rowbury video on Flotrack.
  • Put in double workouts. Riding a stationary bike qualifies as a workout.
  • Stay off pavement. Current plan is to limit it to no more than one 18-22 mile run per week or possibly a 30 to 35 mile run every other week. Run on grass and later dirt tracks.
  • Ignore my weekly miles and even ignore weeks. Concentrate instead on getting in good workouts with recovery - first vertical and other strength related, then start working in intervals and tempo. Include work on the bike.
  • Base workouts on previous workouts. Try to improve on only one aspect of a workout from one to the next. So add work without going faster or keep the volume the same at a faster pace. List limitations encountered with a particular workout and figure out how to improve on those limitations. Setbacks/injuries also will feed into lessons learned. So for instance, I did a high intensity hill workout the other day and strained my hamstring on the third time up. So next time I plan to a) only go up twice and b) use The Stick to loosen up my hamstrings.
  • Don't over-do the high intensity work. Watching elites on Flotrack, I'm impressed by how little they do during these workouts, anywhere from a little over 2 miles to less than a mile. And stay relaxed.

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