Thursday, December 5, 2013

Aranjuez 10K Week 4 / 6

(Oops, must have hit "publish" while this was still a draft!)

Monday: 1 x (2' @ 3:00, 2' @ 6:00) + 12 x (1' @ 3:00, 2' @ 6:00) (lunchtime) + 40' @ 4:00 (evening)
Tuesday: 45' @ 4:00
Wednesday: 1K, jog 1', 3K, jog 3', 2K, jog 2', 3K, jog 3', 1K @ 3:30
Thursday: 3 x (800-400-200-1,000) @ 3:40, jog 2', 3:25, jog 1', 3:10, jog 30", 3:40, jog 4'
Friday: 45' easy with hills (Asturias)
Saturday: - (ill)
Sunday: 45' easy with hills (Asturias)
Total kilometres: 69

Looking forward in my training plan, I realized that I would soon be attempting to run 5 lots of 3' (1,000m) at 20 kph so I thought I would see what it was like to at least run 2 minutes at that pace. I definitely did not feel ready to step up from the 1 minute on / 1 minute off to 2 minutes on / 2 minutes off, let alone 3 minutes on / 3 minutes off. The good thing about this workout is that more time is spent at VO2Max (i.e., with your muscles demanding the maximum O2 your cardiovascular system can deliver) than is actually spend running hard. As this training plan is a bit of an experiment before a "B" race (Aranjuez 10K) I'm going to stick at 1 minute on / 1 minute off for a few more weeks - perhaps upping the number of intervals - to see if I start to respond to the training. Then I'll know what is a more realistic goal for my training before the "A" races I have next year. I also expermimented with taking Sodium Bicarbonate before this hard workout. I realized that last time I miscalculated and took about 6 times too much! If I didn't get stomach cramps or any of the other purported side effects that time, then I'd say I am pretty much immune to them.

Another experiment has been to start taking creatine again. I can't say I have ever noticed any benefit but I have certainly noticed a difference: I tend to put on weight, whether this is "lean muscle" as the label on the tin promises, water retention or good ol' fat, I'm not sure, but I was getting bored of my starved marathoner look. In any case, it's a good moment to bulk up a little - hopefully that promised extra strength will help my interval training be that much more effective; I can always slim down again in time for the next important race. And, let's face it, December is not the best month in which to be "fighting the fat".

This week I reduced the rest times between the fragments of the 10K at goal race pace and it still felt relatively comfortable. I did, however, have to squash my training up to make space for a bank holiday weekend in Asturias: this meant that I ended up doing two "quality" days in a row. In spite of the 1K intervals being run 10 seconds slower than the 3K intervals the night before, the innocent looking 200m "sprints" at 3:10 (19 kph) with only 30 seconds to recover immediately before made them feel very difficult. In fact, the intensity was so finely judged that I very nearly completed the whole set without incident, if it were not for having got completely out of breath (literally) with 400m to go. I stopped, caught my breath and finished the workout.

Running in Asturias is a bit of a double edged sword. The scenery is spectacular - and even the weather was perfect this time - but, being on holiday with the family I'd rather lie in, spend time with them, eat and drink heartily and then sleep the siesta than be out running up and down hills. On Saturday I felt ill all day and certainly not up to running. These days I don't seem to get "properly ill" (which is a good thing) but rather to feel listless, without appetite and a bit down in the dumps. My theory is that I am fighting something off which is presumably much worse. As that "something" doesn't get a chance to present itself, it's a little difficult to know what the cause is. Whatever the case, I was back to normal the next day and hardly skipping a beat in my training plan.

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