Sunday, December 1, 2013

Aranjuez 10K Week 3 / 6

Monday: 1K, jog 2', 3K, jog 5', 2K, jog 4', 3K, jog 5', 1K @ 3:30
Tuesday: 40' @ 4:00
Wednesday: 12 x (60" @ 3:00 m:s / km, 60" @ 6:00)
Thursday: 40' @ 4:00
Friday: 3 x (800-400-200-1,000) @ 3:40, jog 2', 3:25, jog 1', 3:10, jog 30", 3:40, jog 4'
Saturday: 40' @ 4:00
Sunday: plyometrics
Total kilometres: 56

This is my favourite kind of training: sharp and to the point (and all on the treadmill). Most of it I can do at home which makes it especially time effective, only the intervals with sections faster than 3:25 mean I have to use the more professional treadmills at work. One of the treadmills you can program the whole session and so it is just a question of making sure you don't get ejected off the end of the belt. I'm not sure whether I have adapted better to the heat of running indoors (due to lack of wind) or whether it is just that, in winter, the temperatures maintained in the gym at work are more favourable but I no longer find it a struggle to get to the end of the hard workouts.

My Vibram Five Fingers seem to be attracting more attention than is usual lately: on Sunday last week, at a birthday party of a friend of my kids, I got talking to another parent as a result (and by coincidence it turned out we were already connected on Facebook!). This week was no exception. At the gym a new personal trainer got talking to me about them and, in the course of the conversation, I discovered that his PB in 800m is 1:49 (only 8 seconds behind the World Record!) and the 5th best time in the country (Spain). A perfect opportunity to improve my speed for next year, as I drop back down to the shorter distances. I felt a bit embarrassed to be so tired from having run 12 lots of 1 minute at 20 kph (he found it curious that I said "20 kph" instead of "3:00 pace", showing my preference of treadmills over track). The first few felt very easy but then, bit by bit, the one minute jogs were not quite long enough to recover from the previous effort. According to VĂ©ronique Billat, I should be able to build up to doing 5 lots of 1 kilometre (3 minutes) at this pace (vVO2Max) but the fastest I have run 5 lots of 1 kilometre to date is 18 kph (although it is true that I have also run 4 lots of 2 kilometres at 18 kph without too much difficulty).

Another effect of increasing the intensity is that running at "Marathon Pace" (4:00 = 15 kph) feels like a recovery run in the sense that I actually feel less tired afterwards than before. So far, the training feels just right - that "sweet spot" in between overtraining and the stresses not being sufficient to solicit an adaptation - the interesting thing for me will be to see whether the improvements in training speed translate into improved times in races.

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