Thursday, March 25, 2010

CM Half Hype 3: Training Plans

Normally, a post about training plans would come whenever a runner decides to sign up for a race. I can't/don't do that, though, because I feel like my body's status is too unpredictable. If I tried to stick to a training plan, I'd veer off of it easily. Other commitments and my level of injury could easily keep me from a run. While it's good that a plan usually adheres to something like a 10% rule for gradual build-up, maybe even 10% is too much. Maybe the plan would overall be too hard for me, with too much initial mileage, let alone whatever buildup they have planned. Training plans vary so much, and while the injury-free version of me could take on one plan, the current one (which isn't even in a stable state - sometimes, things seem okay, then other times, they don't) may not be able to take it on. And peoples' ability to recover varies a lot. I think the best plans specify a pace, because hobbling over 9mi is different from speeding over the same distance, in terms of stress-adaptaion/injury potential.

Anyway, now that the time until the race is limited, and now that I've held a fairly consistent mileage. Over Jan, weekly mileage varied a lot (17.8, 14.1, 10.0). In Feb, my legs were stronger, so injury was less of a limiting factor, so I was pretty consistent (16.4, 15.2, 13.1, 15.4). In Mar, I started doing double LR weeks. An LR is a relative term, but it's long compared to the past 9 months. Weekly mileage varied a lot depending on injury level (from ultimate, then post-LR pain, then a race) and where the 2nd LR fell. The numbers... (21.7, 12.6, 20.7, 11.6). It's interesting that the monthly average is about the same, maybe a bit higher, than the average from the previous month. It's just that naturally, when I had a high week, the next week would be low. Consistency is generally a better rule, because the body adapts (or potentially gets injured) and unadapts (no need maintaining lots of muscles, etc, if it's not needed).

Anyway, 4 weeks left. Generally, the last training phase is about some speedwork and maintenance. Strength and endurance isn't as big of a deal, since that should've been built up already. I'd like to do speedwork to build up running economy and VO2, which would be super helpful. Speedwork is risky, though, and my achilles and shins/calves are already somewhat damaged. We'll see. Maintenance, fine. I may have my last LR 1.5 weeks away from race day. Since it takes me about 5 days to fully recover from a strength session, I'll probably do my last one 5 days from race day. I'll keep mileage generally low in that last week, but upping intensity is key if you're going to do that. Now that I've done 12.2, I'm feeling very good about handling 13.1 okay. I was carrying the extra weight of a headlamp, a heavy tech tee, a visor, and a pack of Shot Bloks. I'll need far less race-day. I'll also have the benefit of on-the-run fuel that day. It's encouraging that I didn't need any today. The temps today were about the same as they'll probably be on race-day. It was humid tonight, almost raining a few times, which helped.

I'm still working on finishing Runner's Body, which, again, is an excellent book. I'll have more thoughts on topics like carbo loading and other stuff later.

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