Friday, October 19, 2012

My Training Schizophrenia

A quick note on some of the contradictory impulses that I have right now. Basically, as I head out the door each day, I have a strong desire to do three different types of runs:

1) Marathon Pace (MP) runs. As I've mentioned, I'm trying to get in a good number of MP runs before the December 2nd Macau Marathon. These are difficult, but always satisfying when done. Yesterday I did a modified workout from Jack Daniel's Running Forumla (he had this in his Elite Marathon plans with miles as the distance, but I changed it to kilometers): 2K Easy; 8K MP (my goal is 4:22, I used the treadmill setting of 4:20); 1K Threshold (4:07K pace for me); 4K MP; 1K T; 2K MP; 2K Easy. Very tough, but satisfying. I've also been struck by one of Running Times's recent articles on Renato Canova, trainer of champion Kenyans, who advocates doing a lot of slightly faster than goal MP running. I'm fairly convinced that, over the long run, doing lots of MP-based workouts is one of the best ways to boost running economy at MP speeds, and hit realistic time goals.

Of course, there's a limit to how often one can do MP runs, but I generally try to get in either an MP or a Daniel's style Threshold run each week.

2) Easy runs. This is basically like my daily commute runs. If I had more time, I'd probably do more easy miles, just for the joy of it.

3) Trail runs with lots of steep ascents. I've basically fallen in love with steep ascents, especially after training for the Lantau 2 Peaks, and especially since I've been using my Black Diamond poles more. Doing steep climbs with poles gives me a chance to use my arms and lats a bit more, and for whatever reason, it's really changed my attitude towards steep climbs, whereas before, I'd generally prefer more runable trail routes. Perhaps, subconsciously, I feel that using poles gives me a chance to utilize all the muscles and efficiency gained over decades of swimming, and in a strange sense, going up a steep hill can have the feel of doing butterfly in swimming.

Thoughts? What types of running do my readers (if there are any) prefer to do these days?

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