Thursday, July 19, 2012

Track Workouts and I Don't Mix

This year I have added speed workouts to my training portfolio.  As mentioned in my previous post, I'm juggling it with hill workouts on Thursdays.   Unlike most of my other workouts, this requires some planning.  I live near Parkville and work downtown in Kansas City.  In between those two locations is the Park Hill South High School and a very nice track.  So I will leave from my house, arrive at the track in the 5am hour.  Once complete, I drive to work and shower at the YMCA that I use when I bike commute to work.  Simple enough?  Of the 5 planned track sessions, I have had issues with 4 of them.

The first track session went great!  Everything went as planned and I got to work with plenty of time to spare.

My second track session? It was a huge cluster.  First it was storming on my way to the track.  I waited about 5 - 10 minutes in the truck before starting while the rain let up.  The session went quite well but it started raining again as I finished.  I was soaked and ready for a shower.  Drove to the YMCA and as I handed over my card to the receptionist. he said they had no water.  I was completely dumbfounded.  I found another YMCA about 20 blocks away but it was actually some children center and didn't appear to be open.  I ended up driving up to the Vivion YMCA, which is another 20 minutes away.  I ended up being over an hour late to work.  Oops.

The bonus to this trip was I found the Vivion YMCA.  It has a 50 meter lap pool that I can be used when start focusing on swimming again.  Sweet!

Third times a charm?  Not really. Overall this workout session went well from house to work.  Fortunately, I have an awesome neighbor who is a co-worker.  He texted me as I was leaving the track to inform me that our office didn't have water again, which likely meant the YMCA didn't either.  I went directly to the Vivion center.

FYI... during the 7 days between the 2nd and 3rd session, the water department was ripping up the streets doing some sort of maintenance causing the outages before the work day started.

A cold I had been fending off come on in full effect.  Track session cancelled.

Today was the fourth track session.  As I've been recovering from the cold last week, I struggled a little to get up this morning and got to the track session about 15 minutes later than I wanted.  During my first 800 I noticed a bunch of cars descending on the high school.  As I was finishing up my second 800, about 20 members of the high school women's track team flowed onto the track and started their warm up.  I was only halfway done with my planned session.

I am sure I had every right to finish  and share the track(I do pay taxes in this school district), I really didn't want to become the pervy 34 year old dude who runs on the track with the women's track team.  So I finished up my 400 meter recovery, hopped in the car and took off.  Fortunately no shower issues downtown.

Bonus Story
The day that sent me driving around for an hour and half looking for a shower reminded me of my favorite pre-work adventure.  I'm cheap about certain things and parking is one of them.   I park on the street instead of paying $50 a month for a swanky parking garage slot.  This one particular morning it was storming and raining like crazy.  I was parked on the street, listening to the radio while waiting to make my break for the office.

The rain subsided a little and I took my chance.  I opened the door, slammed it, and took off running.  After about 3 steps I realized I wasn't the only thing running.  The car keys were still in the car.... with the engine idling. Not a big deal except I had locked the car doors on the way out.

By the time I finally got in the office I was soaked.  I had TKB bring me a change of pants and my spare keys.  Fortunately, any would be car thieves decided to stay in due to the rain as well.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Are you there, Blog, It's me, Scotty Tris.

It's been way too long since I've visited the "Create Post" functionality of Blogger, so I am back at it!  I've been busy trying to avoid the heat.  It feels like it's been two weeks since temps stayed under 100 degrees.  The nice thing about preferring AM workouts is it has not a huge adjustment avoiding the heat.  I just roll out of bed like normal, put on the shoes, reflective vest, and hit the streets.

Here are how my training weeks are going:

I have made one adjustment to do my Tuesday.  Since it is my shortest run day of my training plan (I think it hits 5 miles at most), I go to the gym and do about 50 minutes of strength training before I do my run (about 40% upper body, 40% core, and 20% legs to save them for running).  The treadmill is set at a minimum of 1% grade and I run about 60 seconds slower than race pace.

I will say that every time I hop on that treadmill I think I still good do my run outside but continue anyway.

Wednesdays are still outdoors.  I started doing 7 miles on my Wednesday runs this week and they will continue to increase up to 10 miles by August/September.  I try to mix in a few nasty hills on these routes to strengthen the legs.  Although Wednesday I went down to English Landing Park by the Missouri River for my run (read: FLAT). I didn't sleep very well Tuesday night (maybe 2 hours due to poorly timed caffeine consumption) and so I decided to go for the flat lands of English Landing Park.  I set the mind on cruise control and just ran.  No concern for pace and I managed to hit miles 2 - 7 within 3 seconds of 8:40 split the entire time.  These runs are generally 30 - 45 seconds faster though.  I just needed a mental break.

The plan calls for my Thursday runs to also be at a slow and easy pace (60 to 90 seconds slower than race pace) with a distance equivalent to Tuesday; however, I have decided to switch this up.  I will always get the prescribed distance but I will do speedwork instead. My plan is to do two weeks straight of track work and then a week of hill repeats.  The track workouts will focus on doing Yasso 800s.  The ultimate goal is to do 10 Yasso 800 repeats at a specific speed.  The idea is this:

Run 800 meters (2 lap) in a "minute" time that is equivalent of the "hour" time of your goal marathon pace.  So if trying to finish a marathon in 3:00 hours then the 800 should be completed in 3:00 minutes.  Then your rest interval is a 400 meters at that same time.  So once the 800 is completed, run a 400 in 3:00 minutes (which is painfully slow when you were running at twice that speed).  One of these sets is called a Yasso 800 (named after Bart Yasso, the Chief Running Officer of Runners World).   The goal is that if you can complete 10 of them at the correct pace, you should be able to run a marathon at that target "hour" pace as well.

I'm up to 3 of these intervals.  I plan to add one each track session until I get to 10. So far it has been successful.

The hill repeats are just as "exciting".  I run up one of the hills on 64th street next to Riss Lake.  It's about a third of the mile (although I usually just do .25 miles) at a pace that I can do consistently through the entire workout.  Once I hit the top I turn around and jog down.

Friday (and Monday)
Friday is a rest day, as is Mondays.  The training plan actually calls for cross training on Monday but I have taken on some much needed sleep instead.  I'd like to get back to the gym for some pool time though and more strength training.  We'll see.

Saturday has been either a marathon pace run (where I target around 7:10 miles) or an easy run that is about half of what Sunday's long run is going to be.  The idea is that your legs are tired for Sunday's long run.  I have definitely been doing the marathon pace runs at English Landing Park because it is flat (just like Chicago is suppose to be).  I've been pretty successful here.  A few seconds behind the pace but I may be forgetting one or two runs that were further off, likely due to the heat.

Sunday is the Long, Slow Distance (LSD) run of the week.  Joe and I completed a 13 mile run this past week and these will get up to 20 miles three times over the course of the 18 week plan.

Well, I actually have a few stories to tell from the past few weeks but I guess this has turned into an overview of my training plan.  I'll get to those soon. As you can see, there are no planned Bike/Swim days.  I'm full on running mode right now.  This does make me yearn for 2013 which I plan to pick the triathlon events back up but for now I'm enjoying the single sport mentality.  This has allowed me to focus on doing speedwork sessions which I knew I should have done last year but never did as I was trying to figure multisport out.

Otherwise it's been a busy summer working on other projects around the house and by that I mean computer geek related stuff.