Ran a 4 mile tempo on the track this morning and averaged 7 seconds per mile faster than I did on this same workout two weeks ago. Most importantly, my overall heart rate was actually a little lower and I never got over 90% max of heart rate reserve. I ran it as a progression, starting slowly and working up to 85% by mile two. Splits were 6:28, 6:21, 6:19, 6:10 (6:19 pace overall). More work to do (I always say this) but I felt strong and in control. Next week I'll probably do 16 x 400 w/ 100 jogs again and that should set me up for my race on June 16.
Here's a snippet from the forthcoming Lucid Dream Object of Reality compilation that will be out on my label, Elephant Stone Records, in a few weeks. The Lucid Dream were from Cheltenham, England and caused a few waves in their too-brief 1990-92 career. Some of their material was released on Echo and The Bunnymen's Euphoric label. Most of what's on the collection, however, has never seen the light of day.
Went to the track today to do an old school strength workout. Back in the day, runners ran on the track a lot more than they do now, but they didn't always just do fast speedwork. On days where today's runners might opt for a tempo on the roads, the 'old timers' would do slower intervals with very brief recoveries. Emil Zatopek was probably the pioneer for this sort of training, often doing as much as 40 x 400 in a single session! With that in mind, one of my favorite 8K/10K workouts is 16-20 x 400 w/ 100 jog recoveries @ 10K effort. You get in tune with race pace without killing yourself, but because the recoveries are so brief, your heart rate stays up. With today's temps already over 80 degrees at 10:30am when I started my warm up, I was thankful to get the brief recoveries while still getting in some quality work. I hit all my reps like clockwork in 91-92, which was a good sign considering the conditions. Probably worth a few ticks faster per rep on a 50-60 degree day. I obviously have work to do, but this week has been better than last week and I felt stronger today than I did on last week's tempo. I'm still thinking June 16 for my first post-injury race.
Since coming back from my injury hiatus, my runs have been gradually getting better but I've still been pretty damn sore from day to day. Decided to run on the trails in Mastick Woods today and what do you know? A perfect run. I get lazy about driving to Mastick since it takes me about 25 minutes to get there but every time I run there I'm glad. I need to commit to running there a few times every week, especially for my longer runs. Today I did 74 minutes - I'll call it 9.5 miles. My tentative plan for my key workouts next week is a longer run at Mastick on Monday, some sort of threshold workout on Thursday on the track (surface is much easier on the legs than the 'crete) and a another trail run on Saturday. Filler runs as necessary depending on how I feel. Right now my plan is not to race again until the Ohio City 5K in mid-June. It's a 7pm race that starts and finishes outside of the Great Lakes Brewery Brew Pub. Can't beat that!
Bad Neil Young pun I know, but I had a good tempo rustbuster on the track today so why not? After a 2 mile warm up with strides, I ran a 4 mile progressive tempo with the goal to start slow and run each mile a little faster than the one before without going over 90% Max Heart Rate Reserve. My splits were 6:36, 6:28, 6:22, 6:18. My heart rate got to 85% by the end of mile 2 and I was able to comfortably hold true threshold pace over the last 2 miles, never in danger of going into the red (over 90). 2 mile cool down made it 8 miles for the day. Wore new flats in the tempo portion, New Balance RC 1400s and I like them a lot. 7 ounces so slightly heavier than some models I had been wearing but much better for my calf and achilles as the cushioning is really good. They're built on the same last as the New Balance 890 light weight trainer, which has been my favorite training shoe over the last few years.
Here's Oasis covering a Neil Young classic!
I realize that when I'm not racing or even doing hard workouts, I get a little lazy with this blog. Rest assured, I've been plugging away and each run has been better than the one before. This week I've done hilly 9 milers at Rocky River Reservation on Monday and Wednesday and I'm feeling almost normal. My pace is a little off from where I'm usually at in my aerobic heart rate zone, but that will come. My right achilles is still a little tender (usually just early on in the run and then it goes away). I have another ART treatment tomorrow, which I know will help. Next week I think I'll be ready for a moderate temp run.
In music news (I've really been slacking on the rock 'n' roll portion of this blog), I have a CD coming out on my Elephant Stone Records label. Visit www.elephantstonerecords.com for more details. It's a reissue of a UK band called The Lucid Dream who were around in 1990-92. If you like Echo and The Bunnymen, Teardrop Explodes, early Inspiral Carpets, you should like this a lot.
A few good runs this week so far, including 8 miles on Monday, 5 on Tuesday, and 8 more today. Monday's run was in perfect 50 degree weather, today was 80 and very humid. This is where the heart rate monitor comes in handy. Both runs were done in the aerobic 60-70% HR zone but today's run was about 20 seconds per mile slower, even though I felt better today. Heat and humidity make a huge difference on your heart rate! The Achilles is a little tender but getting better with each run. I had another ART treatment yesterday and Dr. Keyes thinks I only need 1-2 more. ART hurts a lot but you can't argue with the results. Not sure when I'll try a hard workout but I think I should be good for a short tempo in a week - 10 days. I won't fight it. I'll know when it feels right.