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A Tale of 2 Tempos
by on Sunday, April 14, 2013  (6 comments)

I am excited for tomorrow morning as I get to track four friends racing Boston. This definitely brightens up what has been a very gray couple of weeks. All of them are prepared to run great races and I will be so happy to watch them do so from my computer screen. Plus I think that either Shalane or Kara will come through in a big way. Hopefully there will be lots of me cheering like a freak all morning.

Last week was a very good week of running with an excellent tempo run of 6 miles @ 6:32, a 5x1000 workout, and a 15 mile long run to total up to 60 miles for the week. I was feeling really good about the direction my fitness was going and excited enough to sign up for Crazy Legs for the first time ever. In the past I have not ran this race due to the lack of seeding for those who have not ran the race the previous year. This year it appears that they will seed the newbies so I can only hope I will not start behind a wall of walkers.

This week was a crappy week of running. It was a cutback week so I aqua jogged with a friend on Monday, ran easy the next 2 days, took Thursday off, ran a crappy tempo run on Friday, ran on the TM on Saturday, and was blown around like a kite today for a total of 41 miles (plus an hour of aqua jogging) This endless stretch of cold damp weather really makes me a bit depressed and achy. The tempo run was crappy as I just was missing a gear and could not run fast as I averaged 6:57 for 6 miles. I think the effort did feel much more like an aerobic threshold rather than a Lactate threshold. I was not hurting in any way but just could not speed up. I did think about lengthening it out from 6 to 8 miles but the cold drizzle just was not convincing me that I wanted to be outside any longer than the cool down home. I have not yet mastered dressing for cold rain/30 something degree weather. My outside layer is always soaked with rain and my inner layer is always soaked with sweat.

Today I am trying to keep down the negative thoughts that occur after a week of poor running. It is hard to be excited about an upcoming race after a workout fail. One bad workout does tricks on my head and even leads me to wonder if all the good workouts this year have been flukes. I also think that this cutback week just did not do what it should have for me. This may be because I always choose a certain week of the month for a cutback or because each day had the crappiest combination of weather possible. Give me a dry 20 degrees any day over 30s and rain. I read on a blog today about taking two consecutive days in a row off instead of a cutback week. I kind of like that idea so you will have to all weigh in and tell me what you think.

This next week is gonna be better though as I WILL get my groove back and my poor sister is now 41 weeks pregnant so that means that I will be visiting a new baby boy this week.

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6 comments
Ryan:

I remember in college a coach telling me after I was beating myself up over a bad workout that good workouts are the signals of your fitness. Bad workouts are either a fluke or a sign that you need to change something about how you went into the workouts.

You're still as fit as that 6 mile tempo run at 6:32 pace. Maybe it was something about this past week. The cold, damp weather can affect our workouts. Maybe the day off immediately before the workout wasn't the right thing for you. Personally, I always feel like crud the day after a day off so I never plan a day off the day before a workout or race.

Personally, I like a full week or very close to it (at least 5 days for me) for a cutback. Two days off sounds nice but is it really long enough to get all that residual fatigue out of your legs? Maybe it works for some but, after weeks of hard training, I figure a single week of more moderate training isn't uncalled for. I will be interested to see what others say, though. Always interested in different opinions and ideas.

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Charlene:

Cutback weeks are something that I have been wanting to ask about. I did do 2 days back to back last fall after a minor medical procedure and I remember it really being nice and my 1st day back I had a great run.

Also the #1 woman that I am tracking this morning finished before the ladies at Boston got to 20k. Hello Baby Boy!!!

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Ryan:

How did you feel 1-2 weeks later? 2 days off may work for some people as an adequate cutback. When I tried it, within a week I was right back to dragging. This is what most people tend to find. It's just not long enough to fully overcome the cumulative fatigue of a hard training phase.

Congratulations to your friend!

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Double:

About 9-10 days from a key race I like to do a 2 mile barn burner during taper just to get the Kentucky windage. About 5 days out I do the same workout at projected race pace to see how it feels. Two mile warm-up, two mile effort, two mile cool down. To me it is a good indicator of how I should race. Nothing fancy, it gives me confidence, it's a good workout, you can recover with simple runs between, and it is a good indicator for multiple race distances. Plus I don't dread that it's only two miles, but I make it hurt. I seem to remember Pre like to do this with the one mile distance for the 3m/6m.

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Charlene:

Double My last half marathon I also did the 2-2-2 workout 2 different times during my taper and thought it was a perfect taper workout.

Ryan- I admit that last fall I was kind of shutting things down for the year so I was not really in the middle of hard training. Part of me just has to convince myself that I am not slacking when taking a down week.

This cold damp weather does seem to do a number on my body. I notice that past injuries that are healed tend to ache during long periods of this type of weather.

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Charlene:

I noticed at the end of last week that went I bent over or squatted that there was pain in my lower back or sacrum area and it progressively was getting worse til my lower back actually hurt while I ran yesterday. I went to the chiro today and she worked her magic and I feel much better. She thinks that this was what was affecting my tempo and turnover and I think she is right.

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