20 September 2009

Short Recovery

Still struggling with sore hips, but fortunately the calf strain is improving a bit .

Did 92k for the week (vs coach target of 100k). This means that I continued the trend of never hitting the mileage target set by the coach ;=)

This week, I did 2 workouts:

1) 4 x 5mins, 1min rec. Ran a bit conservatively since I had a deep tissue treatment the previous day. Averaged 3:56 min/km on the 4x5, so it wasn’t very fast. Av HR for last 3 reps was 175, high of 185. Felt refreshed after a down week, still got plenty left in the tank.

2) 6 x 5mins, 1.15 rec. Went to CCAB track and aimed to cover 1300m in 5mins (23secs/100m or 92 per lap or 3:50 min/km). Splits: 5:00, 5:02, 4:59, 5:04, 5:02, 4:56, av HR for last 5 reps was 177, high of 190. Pace range was 3:47-3:53, could have been a hair faster here and there, since the track was crowded with school kids.

I think the second workout is akin to running a controlled 5-6k race in terms of effort. 6 x 1.3k with short recovery (75 secs), total 7.8k @ av 3:50 pace for 30 mins of hard running. Probably I am a good value for low 19 5ks (3:50 pace), but defintely don't think I can do 3:50 for 10 (38:20) even under race condition.

Talking about short recovery, there is an interesting video on Ryan Hall’s 10 x 800m session.


The intervals were done on an out and back route at 2500m altitude. His splits were 5x 2:11-2:12 and 5x 2:16-2:17, so obviously there was an incline on the return leg. Recovery was 1 minute in between.

It seems that Ryan did his 800s at goal HM pace as he mentioned a target of 59mins for the HM. This is about 2:48 min per km or 2:15 per 800m. At sea level, 10x800 at HM pace is an easy session, but at altitude coupled with short recovery, it is a tough workout.

If this was a Yasso session, he would have run it at 2:04-5 per 800m or at 6-8k race pace (2:35 min/km). Recovery would be 1-1 ratio or 2 full minutes.

In summary,
Ryan: 10x800 at 21k pace with 1:2 rest-to-run ratio, in altitude, total 22mins of hard running (plus 9mins rec)

Sling: 6x1300 at 8k pace with 1:4 rest-to-run ratio, in tropical weather, total 30mins (plus 7mins rec)

Question: As a average joe, is my workout too hard or too easy?

In the past, I loosely followed Tinman and Jack Daniels’s guidelines on recovery. Equal rest time for 5k pace intervals (80-100% of rep time), 50% of rep time for 10k pace intervals , and 20% for Threshold intervals. But under Coach, the recovery has now been cut to around 1min.

Another thing that I notice is that I am now so much slower in my easy runs. When I was self coached, I do around 15% of 10k-21k paced running, 15-20% of marathon or moderate paced running and the remaining 65-70% was easy runs. Under Sean, I did 15% of 10k paced running, and the residual 85% is slow poke pace runs. And I really meant slow poke pace (5:30 min/km) since my legs are shot after two intervals per week.

In essence, the main changes from my previous training are:

1) More easy running (85-90% now vs. 70% before) and slower pace

2) Short recoveries for intervals (1min for 5mins of fast running vs. 2-4mins before)

3) Less weekly modulation. The program either has 2 intervals + long run for the week or 2 thresholds + long run for the week. When I was self-coached, I adopt a more varied approach to weekly training by doing 1 interval, 1 threshold, 1 long run for the week.

Question: Will these changes work for me and make me a better runner?

Life is an experiment of one, I guess :=)


Epi said...

Thanks for doing the analysis on Hall's session - I wondered exactyl what it equated to when I saw it posted on Biscuitman's blog but was too lazy to work out the paces. As you say it doesn;t sem too hard a workout. Hopefully Clown and I can do a training session or two in Kathmandu and see how altitude goes with paces. (I doubt we'll go for any runs at the higher altitudes)

A you say, it'll be interesting to see how the new regime compares with self coaching. My only impression, and it may be incorrect, is that you seem to be going in doubting that it will get you better results. If this is the case, it almost certainly won't. If you are able to throw aside your inherent sceptical/analytical nature and truly believe his prgram will make you faster, it is more likely to.

Marathonman said...

This change in training may just be what your body needs to take you to the next level; you will never know if you never give it a go?

Clown said...

Glad to hear the calf is improving. Some nice running on the hard days and a good week overall. Looking forward to seeing how you go in Melb after a few weeks on the new program.

trailblazer777 said...

Thanks for sharing the Ryan Hall stuff here and on fb. Cool!...IMO your recoveries are too short. I think 1:1 or maybe 1:2 like Ryan is the way to go...
Very good to see you analysing and thinking through what works best, at least you are asking the questions and comparing with others, giving a coach a go...so well done...I sort of agree with Epi in a way...even though I dont agree with this coach to some extent, and that is you have little chance of getting the best out of the coaches program unless you embrace it wholeheartedly. That said, its good to question coach and think for yourself as you alone know your own situation better than a coach..., and if you want to keep learning and progressing its important to keep questioninbg,exploring etc...

Ewen said...

That was a good video - worth waiting to download. Some things worth noting - Ryan said it was his first workout back, so he'd probably improve on those times in future workouts. He also said it was just part of the program, no more important than the next day's long run. Also that the purpose was to prepare the legs for the long tempo runs.

All you can do is wait and see. The shorter recoveries for that session make sense, as do the easier easy days (harder hard days). Also, there's the factor that the stimulation from doing something different in training will help.

Ewen said...

Jonathon, Ryan is only having 2:1 recovery. 2+ minutes hard, 1 minute jog.