The Long Run
Since I did all of my riding indoors for IMNZ, it was hard to practice bricks because I tried to do most of my running outdoors. I felt largely at risk for getting sick going from the computrainer (wet and sweaty) to the outdoors for my run. A treadmill near […]
Since I did all of my riding indoors for IMNZ, it was hard to practice bricks because I tried to do most of my running outdoors. I felt largely at risk for getting sick going from the computrainer (wet and sweaty) to the outdoors for my run. A treadmill near the computrainer would have been a good option!
While training for Kona, I am doing much more of my cycling outdoors and more of my weekly running volume has been part of brick workouts.
I participated in AG Nationals (Olympic Distance) right at the beginning of my peak IM training period which encouraged me to focus on quality speed workouts at the same time I was building volume for IM.
Lisa performed a running Blood LT test a few weeks before Nationals, which was extremely helpful, especially training for 2 distances of races. It enabled me to dial in to my training zones for both 10k and marathon distances. More info about Blood Lactate Testing in a future blog!
My main running objective for the build and peak periods before Nationals was to increase endurance speed. I did this with long LT intervals with short recoveries, plus 1 track session per week with max effort intervals ranging from 200- 1200 meters.
My “test” race was Yankee Homecoming, which was about 12 days before Nationals. Based on the LT test that Lisa did, my Z4 was HR of 140-146 or 7:25 to 7:35 pace. Since it is rolling course, I chose to pace myself by HR. I kept my HR between 142-146 for the first 8 miles. The last 2 miles I pushed a little harder because at that point I was comfortable and knew I had enough gas in the tank to get to mile 10. The avg. pace was 7:32 so I would say the test was a big success and the LT numbers were right on
Once Nationals were over I focused on increasing weekly volume with max of 70 miles/week (that was during a week of long runs falling on Sundays and Saturday).
As weekly volume increased, it became harder to include runs outside of Z2. My priority focus was endurance until taper so I wasn’t overly concerned about including speed work as long as I was on pace with the long runs.
An example big volume week my total run mileage was 55 miles according to plan. I was able to include some tempo and speed work to keep fast twitch sharp. I am trying to make sure the long slow stuff doesn’t slow me down.
Sunday -20 mile run
10 miles with Steph Brown, without her that 20 would have seemed like 30!
For the second 10 miles I ran towards Smolak Farms, and back, resisted a cider donut break, and had much needed water stops provided by Sherpa Rich.
On my 12 mile recovery run I had another private Sherpa accompany me on her bike. She carried extra water, gu, and provided entertaining conversation. I should also mention pacing; it’s intuitive to work a little harder running downhill when your Sherpa is coasting along with brakes on! What doesn’t kill you makes your stronger. 😉 Regardless, I felt very catered to, having full support the entire run. Amy, I owe you!
Having someone to run, ride, swim, or even do burpees with makes it FUN.
Finished the week with a 90 tempo run. Running legs were not cooperative for the first 15’ and I was thinking of calling it a day. But I channeled that IM spirit and found my running legs to finish the planned 1:30 run.
I would remiss if I didn’t mention how important maintaining focus on good technique has been. During all of my higher intensity and volume workouts I worked hard to remain focused on technique trying to avoid getting sloppier as I got more tired. Whenever I had a “Sherpa” or running partner, I asked them to check out the gait, it’s very valuable to have someone check in for feedback.
On 3 separate occasions I asked people, all of whom are friends and coaches that I work with, and have a great deal of respect for as coaches to take a look at my gait. I asked Lisa Corbett when she was doing my LT test. She actually videoed and used slow motion play back to highlight the pointers. I asked Amy Quinlan when she was riding next to me as my sherpa, and I asked Scott McGrath when he was coaching MVS track with me.
All of the things they pointed out helped with my running efficiency and economy immensely. It is not easy to change a gait but if you are patient and willing to work on it, there’s big payback.
And don’t forget to leave time for rest & recovery!