Friday, January 6, 2012

Going to the well...and coming up dry

I'll preface this post by noting it has been 6 years since I ran a 3k and 6 years since I ran on an indoor track at all. I've forgotten 3 things: 1) how you get that annoying indoor track cough after the race, 2) how much non-banked tracks suck, 3) how to go to the well. I'll explain...

It was a disappointing night for the Sub15 duo at Cornell's Southern Tier Collegiate Invitational. A 3k time trial which we expected to land us firmly under 9:00 paid off no such dividends. Sam set a good pace through 1200meters (splitting 35's and 36's), but the wheels began to come off from there and we proceeded to drop to 37s and 38s. The mile was 4:52 and I realized just before 2k we needed to shift gears to have a shot at 9:00. I took over the pace-setting from Sam and was able to bring the splits back to 35's and 36's, but the damage was already done. I rolled in at 9:04, and Sam clocked a 9:15.

I will let Sam recount his feelings about the results in his own post, but I do believe both of us are feeling frustrated. There was some grumbling on the cool down about re-learning how to race. Sam referred to it as "Going to the well". I like this metaphor. I think it describes what we have to do in the coming weeks. Its time to relearn how to dig down when things start to hurt and muster a gutsy last 1,000meters. This is something I tried to do tonight actually, but when your middle 1k sucks it doesn't matter a whole heck of a lot what you do for the last 5 laps. On a positive note, I felt that I had the stamina to hold this pace for another 1k. What is lacking is the extra gear to go 8:50. Hopefully we'll develop it in the next month.

If anyone has some good workouts they think we could use after this dismal performance we'd love to hear 'em.

1/10/11 Edits (Sam's Notes): After the race, Natalie and I drove down to New York City for a rejuvenating weekend of seeing friends and, for me, doing some AMA and work-related activities. After the dismal 3k, I appreciated the change of scenery, particularly where running was concerned. Saturday I did a short run over the Brooklyn Bridge, and Sunday I did 16 miles--mostly loops around Prospect Park.

As for the race, there's not much good to say about it besides the fact that I don't feel like I'm that out of shape. I was expecting to run about 8:50-8:55, and obviously that didn't happen, but if I had to guess, I'd say it was more a result of not being used to the whole indoor track environment (I've run zero laps on an indoor track) and being way too focused on the number of laps we had left. Compounding the latter issue, I didn't have contacts in, so every time we came around the finish line, I was squinting at the clock. This is not the best way to run a race. Basically, I've moved on rather than looking at this race as an indictment of our lack of progress. Looking forward to doing something hard on Thursday.

71 miles last week for me.

1 comment:

  1. Those times are not so bad. You're bodies are just getting used to the mileage and consistent running. Keep the mileage up but you can do two things I think may help.

    1) Start training your brain to run 4:48 pace. Part of running fast in distance events as you know is getting used to "going to the well" or suffering. If you are afraid to suffer this is the wrong sport. However, instead of waiting to do pace work start it now because you can teach your body and brain to get used to the pace and suffering won't happen so early or at a slower pace. You guys are ready! You can progress through pace work two ways and I suggest you try a little bit of both every 2 weeks.

    A) Reduce the recovery between sets. (ie 20x200 @ pace with full recovery then next week do it full recovery minute 5-10 seconds for 200's.

    B) Then you can slowly increase distance @ race pace (ie 200's then 2 weeks later 400's, 500's 800s etc.)

    I'd start with 200's do as much volume as it takes to get you into the pain you felt during the middle k of your 3k then go to work!

    NOTE: Start workout with 1k or 3 min push to prevent wasted intervals in the beginning of the workout (ie 1st interval too fast, next too slow then you get in the groove -- the push will help this).

    Also, no one listens to me on this but, developing power and speed can increase running economy up to 7% and its just as important if not more so for distance runners than sprinters.

    7% is huge!

    Do this the day after a long run or the day before a tough workout to flush the legs out. No matter how shitty you feel do it - every time post speed work you'll feel great plus you'll get a release of some HGH into your system so do the workout in the AM if possible.

    15 min w/u then

    2 sets of 4x 7seconds fast (not hard!) w/ 30 secs SHUFFLE jog

    5-8 min jog (not run!) in between sets.

    It ends up being similar to Fly 30's. Goal is to have the first set get you up to speed then you recover. The last two of the last set is where your legs are turning over fast. The visual cue is to make your legs feel like you are pedaling a bike when the gears are to barely can keep up!

    Another goal is to keep the arms, hand, shoulders and face relaxed. Just focus on the feet going quick!

    For you techy folks this workout uses creatine phosphate for energy instead of ATP. I used to say it fell in the Atlatic system but it might spread into the Glycolitic system. Whichever it works! Ask Rolek and Walsh about it...