As ski season winds down I like to start the year gradually building up miles while incorporating threshold runs, where I gradually increase the distance and decrease the pace as May approaches. However, as always the first competitive race of the season, the Chena River Run, comes up about a week or two earlier than I'd like to see it.
Over the past month I've had weekly mileage of 26, 34, 40, and 44 plus about two-three hours a week on skis). I've also done a threshold-type workout each week.
3/28 - treadmill 4 X 4 min (1 min recovery) average pace 6:14/mile
4/4 - treadmill 4 X 5 min (1 min recovery) average pace 6:11/mile
4/10 - treadmill 4 X 1 mile (1:25 recovery) average pace 6:10/mile
4/16 - outside 8 X 3 min (1 min recovery) pace not measured
4/23 - outside 2 X 10 min (2 min recovery) average pace 6:05/mile
Last week I joined up with Stian Stensland's training group. His sessions are quite close to what I do. It was so different (and fun) to be running with adults instead of teens/kids. I rarely do tempo runs with the kids, maybe a few times early in the summer when other coaches aren't lurking about.
I hope to do some more sessions with Stian and his group over spring/summer to break up the routine a bit, but alas with a busy family going different directions on weekday evenings, logistics sometimes get in the way.
I meant to bring the heart rate monitor today but forgot to wear the chest band. It was a pretty good run (9.5 miles total with 3.3 at threshold effort). I started the faster part along the Parks Highway bike path from Geist Road to Miller Hill (1.6 miles), and then from Miller Hill to Lawlor Drive at UAF (1.7 miles). I hit the first one a little faster (6:03 pace) even though it had a 100+ ft of elevation gain, while the second repetition was at 6:07 pace but with a 70 ft drop. There was a light breeze so that may have been a minor factor. Anyway, a decent effort for early season and it puts me right were I have been in recent years for early spring training.
Now I'd just like to have the temperature to be warm enough so I could wear a shorts and long sleeve shirt. No hat, gloves, ski pants, under armour, vest and all that! I won't hold my breath, forecast is for more snow tomorrow and then a week of mostly highs in the 30s, with just a foray or two into the 40s.
Oh yeah, I have a season plan! To be announced at a later date but it involves a race I haven't done yet, and it would be in August.