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First Workout (Apr 6th 2011, 8:52pm)
Midnight Run (Apr 6th 2011, 5:58am)
Temperature Change (Apr 4th 2011, 6:52pm)
Training Plan Outline (Apr 4th 2011, 1:53pm)
Technical Difficulties (Apr 1st 2011, 9:14pm)



First Workout

Published by
Coach Matt   Apr 6th 2011, 8:52pm

Though last Friday I threw in three 400m surges at designated times throughout my run, I would hardly call that a workout. That's the same as when I prescribe 4x200m at the end of a warm-up for my athletes; it's more about just waking up the legs than being part of the actual workout. And since my legs had been in hibernation for a few months, I felt like a 5-day warning may be necessary before attempting my first workout.


Just as with any workout/race day, I'm a big believer in getting in a morning activity before the primary workout. Without getting too much into it now, and to simply repeat the last paragraph, it's just a good wake-up to the legs. Even though I've only been averaging about 2.5M a day, I felt like a real easy 2M run this morning (8:00 pace) would be better for me than just jumping into the workout this afternoon. I took a couple mins to stretch and did three 50m strides. I was planning on doing one or two more, but even with the short length and relative ease of the stride pace I was running I could tell my form wasn't too great and I didn't want to reinforce bad habits.


I'm not nearly at a point in the training yet to be able to plan specifically what kind of workout I need. There's not a great need for 'x' amount of miles at 5k pace, 'x' amount at tempo pace, etc. In fact, I don't even think there's any accurage way of discerning what those paces would be. So my focus in deciding what to do with my workout today was centered around these two key facets: 1) something that would be measurable, 2) something that I would finish.


With that in mind, I didn't want to just go do a fartlek, even though to others I would generally suggest doing those types of workouts until their fitness grew to better levels. (Do as I say, not as I do.) While I initially wanted to do a test soon, I think that the better "test" is going to be getting in a measurable workout and repeating it later. If I can do that a couple times in the upcoming week or two then I may be able to determine whether a more specific test would be useful to me. And to meet the second criteria -- finishing the workout -- I gave myself a couple different options for the workout, depending on how I felt following the warm-up and first rep or two.


I headed back to the Eastlake Reservoir Trail, as has been the case nearly every run so far since I started back. Last week I did 3x400m w/400m jog between in 1:35-1:32-1:32... I felt like I wanted to do two loops today, so I would start the first loop repeating that workout, then if I felt "strong" enough I would do a longer rep or two, and if I didn't feel great I'd just repeat the first loop pattern again. While I could feel just the slightest fatigue from this morning's run -- my strength isn't to a point yet where I can completely shrug off a 2M run in three hours -- the legs were still moving pretty good and I felt under control. So I ended up doing the following:


.75M warmup - 5:53

400m - 88

(400m - 1:57)

400m - 91

(250m - 1:07)

400m - 90

(400m - 2:14)

1200m - 4:53 (96-97-100)

(250m - 1:13)

400m - 92

(400m - 2:06)

.75M cooldown -


1.4M fartlek loop 1 - 9:49

1.4M fartlek loop 2 - 9:46

2.8M total - 19:35 (7:00 pace)


Pretty excited about a few things regarding this run: 1) longest continuous run to date (4.25M), 2) two loops as fast as last week's one-loop fartlek, 3) 400m on sections were a little quicker than last week. But, as I've mentioned before, I still think it's too early to attribute anything to any dramatic increase in fitness... though it's well documented that the fitness curve grows faster at the beginning of any workout plan when coming from scratch.


One thing I did notice, though, throughout my run today was that while I know my strength isn't anywhere near where it can/should/will be, my lungs aren't anywhere even close to where my legs currently are. Especially during the 1200m segment I could tell that my legs were feeling significantly better than my lungs/breathing were suggesting. I'm pretty sure my breathing sounded like I'd just finished off a pack of cigarettes and held my breath underwater for a minute before the workout. And while my immediate training schedule is still a little bit we'll-do-what-I-do-as-the-day-arrives, I need to be mindful of this fact and try to pay more attention to developing my lungs at the same rate as my legs.

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