Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Back to the Track #1

I finally feel like I am back to a reasonable level of fitness. The last 2 weeks were both in the mid 40's mileage wise, and I did a couple of OK tempo runs (6:30ish pace for 4-5 miles). So this evening I decided it was time for a trip to the local high school track, to see if the legs still went quickly.

Plan was to start easily, with just 3x1200 in 4:30 (90 seconds/lap), with a walk/jog lap in between. At my fitness peak (pre-Chicago) my fastest was 6x1200 in 4:18, so this workout wasn't supposed to be too strenuous.
  1. Started fast (82 seconds), got under control (89), finished OK (88) for 4:20 overall
  2. Started better (85), OK 2nd lap (89), tough last lap (89) for 4:24 overall
  3. Started OK (86), OK 2nd lap (89), strong, but hard last lap (87) for 4:23 overall
Average was 4:22, which is 5:51 pace. I was happy to be just doing 3 of these, and I'm sure that #4 would have been ugly. Next time (either next week, or week after), I'll go up to 4 reps with a target time of 4:25. Plan is to get back to 6X at 4:15 (5:42 pace).

Now that I am running somewhat properly again, I have worked out a basic plan for the rest of the year.

The big goal race is California International Marathon, in early December. Assuming things go well for the next 6 months I will be aiming for a solid PR (under 2:58:13 - 6:48 pace), with a stretch of sub 2:55 (6:40 pace). Weather can be dicey, but if it cooperates, and I don't kill myself on the downhills in the first half, it's a good course.

On route to that race, I hope to get a half marathon PR (under 1:23:47 - 6:23 pace), with the stretch goal being to get as close to 1:20 (6:06 pace) as possible. I'd love to go 1:19:something but that seems a long way off from where I am right now, given that 6:06 is faster than my best 10K pace, so that will have to be a 2011 goal. I have 2 halves picked: 1st will be San Francisco (the 2nd part of the full course) at the end of July. I won't be in PR shape by then, so that will be a race to see where I am fitness wise. Then the big half will be San Jose Rock'n'Roll in October. It's a fast, flat course so I'll be going for it.

I have the training plan laid out thru end of July (SF half), then I will be about 19 weeks from Cal International. I will do something similar to Chicago, peak around 80 miles/week, with a heavy emphasis on longer (7-8 mile) tempos.

I'll slot in some 5/10K races as the schedule unfolds to assess fitness. First one is a company 5K in 2 weeks. It's not a great race, it's almost always hot (lunchtime run in June), and is usually a long course - but it will give me another data point to see where I am in terms of recovery.

Right now, I feel that I am starting this cycle with more speed, but less endurance, so we'll see how that turns out.