Fitz’s Training Journal: July 5th – August 8th, 2010

This training block went very well and I’m starting to feel very good running at faster speeds. As I come closer and closer to my peak race on August 14th – a 10 miler along the Jersey Shore (yes, that Jersey Shore) – I have started to reduce my mileage and focus more on faster workouts.

I ran one race during this training block, the Rockville Twilight 8k on July 17th. I wasn’t too happy with the race, but a lot of factors were working against me. It was mostly the heat and humidity even though the race started at nearly 9pm, but I had also not done any faster workouts to prepare and I was fatigued from the volume of my training.

Admittedly, I’ve done a poor job of record keeping since the race so I am a bit fuzzy on what I ran day to day. I know that the workouts, long runs, and weekly totals are accurate though. This is a great example of not practicing what I preach: keep a training log! Training journals are great ways to document your running so you can learn from your mistakes and go back to see what worked before a great race.

There were no weddings or bachelor parties this training block, in case any were wondering. Five of these parties in the last 3 months was enough…

Here’s the summary:

7.5 – 7.11: 80 miles total with an 18 mile long run. I ran a 13 mile workout with 3 loops of my “tempo loop” in Rock Creek. With the heat and humidity, the total tempo time of 22:56 was slightly slower than usual. I also had a good double day, running 10 and 5 miles.

7.12 – 7.18: 79 miles total with an 18 mile long run. With the 8k race on Saturday, I cut my Thursday run to rest a little more so my total volume is a bit lower. I got on the track for a workout, running a 2 mile in 11:01 and 4x200m in 33-34 seconds. Thankfully I wasn’t sore after the race so my Sunday long run went great (didn’t hurt that I pounded a lot of coffee before I left!)

7.19 – 7.25: 84 miles total with a 19 mile long run. I incorporated some faster running into my long run this week, doing a 5 minute progression (probably around marathon pace of 6:15 or so) at 2 hours and then 4×20 second surges. My workout also got faster, as I ran 3 loops of my tempo course separately with 2 minutes recovery in 7:29, 7:16, and 7:09. The workout was during a 13 mile run and I also did a 10/5 mile double day.

The coolest part of this week’s training is that on Friday I ran a VO2 Max test at U-Maryland. My result is 69.1 (I believe it’s mg of oxygen per kilogram per minute) and this measures the maximum amount of oxygen I can deliver to my muscles during hard running. I’ll be posting soon about the complete results when I receive them.

7.26 – 8.1: 80 miles total with a 19 mile long run. I did the same long run as last week except I did 4×30 second surges near the end. It felt pretty easy. On Monday I had another test at U-Maryland – a 30 minute workout with 25 minutes at 75% of my max heart-rate, which ended up being at 5:42/mile pace. I barely warmed up so it felt a little harder than I was hoping.

The workout this week was 5 intervals of half of my tempo loop during a 14 miler. I normally split my watch at about the halfway point during this loop, so what I did this week was just run back and forth across this stretch of trail. It was the slightly longer half and one direction was definitely more downhill than the other. The times were 3:40, 3:31, 3:40, 3:30, 3:42.

8.2 – 8.8: 60 miles total with a 13 mile long run. The tapering for my race has started and I’m running significantly less. I’m already feeling very good and itching to run fast. I did the same workout as last week except I only did 4 intervals: 3:27, 3:42 (slowed for a dog), 3:28, 3:39. During my long run I ran 15 minutes at about marathon pace with 4×20 second surges near the end. I’m ready to go!

Total miles for June: 250

Total miles for July: 364

Total miles in 2010: 1,883

I’m on auto-pilot for this next week, probably running easy every day except for Tuesday which will be my workout day. I’ll travel to Sea Isle, NJ on Friday and the race starts Saturday at 5:30pm. If it’s not very hot and humid, I’ll be running a PR attempt to break my current best of 54:50 set in 2007. Wish me luck.

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