Thursday, April 26, 2012

Are we rolling yet?

Not really, but things are starting to pick up. Finally onto six days a week of running and some workouts are rolling in but I don't feel anything like "in shape" yet. As if that'll ever happen again. The last time I really felt in shape was August-September of 1992, and I'm not kidding. That was the last time I ran 32:30 for 10K. Everything since then has been going through the motions, and trying not to be out of shape.

Seemingly off to a good start, however, for a mid-50s geezer. Last week I did 3.5 miles threshold reps on the track averaging under 6 min per mile. The biggest challenge was finding the right pace. Laps of 1:28 and 1:29 didn't feel bad at all. So that's a good sign. The only slightly off thing is that my back has been a little sore, slight lumbar pain especially after sitting for a while, and I've had spring time issues with that in the past. I think my pelvis gets out of whack when I shift to running and lower back and hip flexors take the brunt of strain.

Anyway, Chena River Run is next week and relatively speaking (based on workouts and mileage) I'm at or maybe even ahead where I was ca. 2006 - 2009. First three weeks were just transition, now I'm into a three week foundation phase where I'm just running six days a week at about an hour with some tempo/threshold runs (tempos a little slower and longer than true definition of anaerobic threshold) and hills. I had wanted to do a 5K simulation workout (race pace mixed with tempo-type pace for about 3 miles) but have decided to stick to the original plan and do hill reps at race effort. That will be easier on my back.

After next week, I'll get into race specific training. I was thinking about half marathon at the end of May, but seeing how my main time goals this year are 1 mile and 5K, and of course the Midnight Sun Run, so it would be better to stick with something of a modified "Oregon Plan" for May and June. The fabled Oregon runners of the 60s, 70s, and 80s often had a wide range and could run anything from the mile to the 10K. So I use a similar training program, but modified to suit what's left of my limited ability.

Long reps at race pace, short reps at mile pace, all mixed in with some fartlek and tempo/threshold running. Unlike the runners I coach, I rarely plan out more than a few days ahead. I go by feel and by what I've done in the recent weeks while thinking ahead a little about what I need to work on.


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