Time to pivot

Time to pivot this blog again. It serves the purpose of biweekly reviews, but nothing more. I’m going to have to think what kind of content I’d like to put here.

Feeling very tired, but in a good way

%Subj%. I still have a master swim workout in about an hour and then this week will be done.

I think I successfully used up all my restored vacation power. All workouts completed as planned and I feel tired. The subjectively measured values so far show that I’m not overtrained. The only one signal is the weight drop. I’m around 153 and I should be around 155 ideally.

But HRV is fine, sleep, performance and mental state are fine. So I’m proceeding as planned. The plan for the next week is to dial down on the druration. But at the end of the week I am going to do a short tune-up race, as Pfitz suggests in his training plan. At the end of the week our club is doing Amherst 10-miler. I’ll shift the workouts in the way that will allow me to have some rest before the race.

Feels like winter

I think I’m having a slight training overload. Running is going OK if I can get to it. But mentally its not that easy anymore. It’s not the training that is hard, its everything besides the training. But as I already know, its not true. I don’t have much more stuff to do than usual. This is the normal resistance.

I’m trying to squeeze as many workouts as I can in the first week after the vacation in order to profit from nice recovery. So far I’m on the third double day, if you count half hour of yoga in the morning.

I think I’m starting to notice and isolate the moments, when anxiety overwhelms the will to train. Its primarily the 5:25 morning wake-up call for the swim workouts and long commutes in the evening. Logically its strange, because we’re talking about 30 min difference between stressful situation and relaxed one.

I hope the noting the difference will help to remove this problem.

First winter run in Boston

And finally the Boston weather has shown us that it still can deliver. A big storm hit the North East last Thursday. Plus another 4 inches of snow on Friday. Plus another foot is coming as I write it on Sunday.

I managed to put a 18-miler yesterday. The Carriage road was not cleaned from the Friday’s little snowfall, so it was very slippery. This didn’t discourage hundreds of charity runners or me. It was very very slow, with average pace 7:39 and some miles slower than 8 min/mile. It has been a while since I did 8 minute miles. But I consider it another type of workout  – a stability exercise. During the run the average heart rate was 145 bpm, which is lower than my recovery rate. So I’m in great shape after the snowboarding week. I just don’t have a chance to show it yet.

The next week is the last hard week before tapering. 70 miles, but only one hard workout on Monday. The rest is aerobic. Sounds totally doable.

Running in Salt Lake City

This week’s running workouts are supposed to be hard. The reasons for that are:

  • I’m doing them after 6+ hours of snowboarding. This should be possible. If I train for Ironman triathlon, I’m not supposed to be tired after 6 hours of a light aerobic activity.
  • Salt Lake City is 4300′ above sea level and usually I train at 0 altitude. I’m lucky to have some altitude training 3 weeks before the marathon.

The first couple of days were really hard. Those were day 2 and 3 of new physical activity and my legs hurt in unusual places when I started my run. I guess it was DOMS. On the second day I’ve done a 15-miler with 7:35 pace. I’d prefer to have the aerobic runs at 7:00-7:10.

Day three is surprisingly good. I had a challenging day on Snowbird. This resort is still above my abilities, so almost every run was a workout. But after that I had a 6-miler with practically the same level of performance as in Boston.

Tomorrow Pfitz recommends a 10-mile tune-up race, but I’m not going to do that. I will not even do a 10-mile tempo run. It sounds horrible even without snowboarding and altitude. It will be just an aerobic 12-miler.

5 days of physical bliss

And its this time again. I’m in Salt Lake City for 5 days of snowboarding during the day and running in the evening.

This time I made slight adjustments. Every day will start with 30 min of yoga. I think it really helps to warm the body up for the snowboarding. Today I felt great on the slopes after a year long pause.

The running part will be less active than last time. I have a kind of recovery week, just 66 miles of running, down from 70. Also, the first day is Sunday and I haven’t done any workouts today.

My only concern for this week is Saturday. It will have a 18-mile long run on the next day after travel. And last time it didn’t end up too well. But last time the running week was harder and the long run was 21 miles. So hopefully I’ll be OK.

Pareto principle in the peak weeks

Peak weeks are hard. They supposed to be. The most important part of this training session is the running. My first priority is to do the 70 mpw during  3 weeks and this includes different types of workouts, not just the mileage.

So far I’m OK, with the exception of 18-miler with 12 miles at MP. In addition to that I’m doing every week:

  • 2 master swimming workouts
  • 1 hour long spin session
  • 2 30-min yoga recovery sessions

Those things are within 20% I can skip if I feel too tired. In fact last week I did just one swim session and one yoga. This week I might skip some as well, we will see.

Failed MP-run

I was not able to do 12 miles at marathon pace during the long run yesterday. The legs were just not up to it. Also, usually I have a tailwind in the first half, if I run the Boston Marathon course towards the start, but yesterday it was the opposite. For the first half my pace was decremented by a strong headwind. But this excuse is not enough. The main reason was the leg muscles. I tried to keep something close to my goal MP pace adjusted for the headwind for the first 2-3 miles, but than gave up.

As a result, I had a very decent 18-miles long run, 7:07 pace with just 2.2% PA:Hr degradation. Despite of a lot of pain, the heart rate was relatively low, 156 bpm on average.

It wasn’t a test run and I successfully done all other workouts of this long 70 miles week, so I’m happy with the overall week result.

I don’t think I have more long MP-pace workouts during this cycle anymore. I do have tempo-runs and even “tune-up” races. Next week is a 70-mile week as well with 2 hard workouts and a 21-mile run at the end. After that I’m off to Salt Lake City for a week of snowboarding!

Peak weeks

The next two weeks are the hardest ones. 70 miles per week in each of them. It is mostly long slow runs, but sometimes there are monster MP or LT runs.

I am still trying to run my slow runs at 7:00-7:10 pace. Heart rate stays relatively low, about 150-160 with peaks at 165 on the Heartbreak Hill. But the legs are trashed. I think I am going to keep doing it and insert rest days for legs as needed.

I am showing the first signals of long term fatigue. HRV is constantly low as is weight. But sleep is stable and I don’t have horror of the workouts. So this is probably a good fatigue. I need to survive another week and a half and then I have a vacation!

This week 70 miles end up with an 18 miler with 12 at MP. Taking into account that I have already done 18 MP, it is not a test workout. I have nothing to prove and if I do it slower, its OK.

Rest week or hard week

I supposed to have a rest week, but instead I feel very very tired. The main reason was the 18-mile race I did last Sunday, of course. I had to do some shifts in the training and move medium-long run to the end of the week. As a result I had a beautiful three day streak: 15 mi – 7 mi + swim – 17 mi. I did the last 17 mi at around 7:12 pace and I’d prefer it to be close to 7:00.  HRV is dropped to ~7, weight dropped to <156. But psychologically I feel fine and ready to continue after some rest.

So today I’m having a full rest today. No snowboarding, no spinning, just sitting at home, doing easy chores. May be catch up on some youtube videos.

The next two weeks are 70-mile weeks, but there is not so many hard workouts. Just two per week. It looks doable.