Feb 1, 2010

January Recap and February Goals


Ran 31/31 days in 32 distinct workouts.
Total Mileage: 112
Longest Run: 6.18 miles
Shortest Run: 1.02 miles

What Worked
This last week I ran 30 miles, which is the highest weekly mileage since the week I ran the RBC 50K, back in early October. I had one mild cold and I ran through it by going short and easy. Learned a lot about myself in that experience, and I have much less of an excuse to skip a run now.

Back in September, I made a decision that I had been focused too much on going long and slow, and my ability to run fast had suffered dramatically. I could barely hold a ten-minute pace for a mile. In December, my training turned a corner as I resolved to work on speed during the cold weather under the controlled conditions of a gym treadmill. As a result, my speed did improve dramatically. Biggest success of the month:

I broke 25 minutes at 3 miles. At a weight of 300lbs.

What didn't work

With all that speedwork, I neglected outside training, long runs, and hills. And, predictably, my ability to run long and especially to run hills has suffered. With Umstead looming on Palm Sunday weekend, February goals must focus on running long and running hills, because Umstead has both.

Going Long

I recover quickly and can get away with doing long runs as late as the Ides of March, so that gives me enough time to get 2-3 solid 20 milers and a 40 miler. Tony is planning on doing a group run of the entire Croton Aqueduct on February 15 (click here for info), which is pancake-flat for 41 miles. That is an outstanding opportunity for me to get that very-long run in. Additionally, I'd really like to get a 6 mile super-easy run on Tuesday, just to get my bones used to running while tired.

Then, the 20s are just a matter of getting them done. Tony and his friends always have extended a warm invitation for me to run with them at Rockefeller State Park in Sleepy Hollow. They run 20-30 milers there on weekends and I look forward to getting a couple of them done with him. The nice thing about "Rockies" is that the surface and topography are identical to the surface and topography at Umstead - a "specificity of training" opportunity that I'd be stupid to pass up.

Becoming Immune to Hills

Going long at Rockies is going to give back a little bit of the hill fitness I had last summer, but if I really want to get solid, I've got to do some specific hill-climb training runs. Without a doubt, the best place to do that around here is Bear Mountain, where I can get a solid 1000' vertical feet of gain in anywhere from 1.5 miles to 4 miles, depending on the route. As the days get longer, I intend to climb Bear at least once per week, preferably on weekdays, so I can save the weekends to long runs.

The Goals for February

Having said that, here are the goals that I intend to accomplish in the month of February:
  1. Run at least 1 mile every day
  2. Complete 1 run of 40 miles
  3. Complete 2 runs of at least 18 miles (not counting the 40)
  4. Complete 4 ascents of Bear Mountain
  5. Run at least 6 miles the day after both the 20s

I have nutrition goals as well. But since this post is getting long, I will post that as part 2, on Wednesday.

New entries for Steve's blog are published every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 10:00am NY time and can be seen at http://www.tursi.com

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