Friday, December 7, 2007

Training Transition

I ran the Vermont 100 back in July and then ran two races later in the summer. One of the later races was a mountain race at a local ski resort and the other was a 100 mile road relay, with 5 teammates.

I was really drained after this racing and I was sick for a few weeks. So, I decided to cut back my mileage and not race at all this fall. For the most part, I've stayed around 30 miles per week, although I had one 50 mile week where I did a long run with a friend who was training for a marathon.

As my health returned and I felt more recovered, I started doing some speedwork this fall. As a result, I'm in pretty good shape right now, at least for me and for this time of year. I've been doing tempo or speedwork at least 2x per week for the last 6 weeks.

But, I think it's time to transition to long, slow miles, and start re-building my long distance base. In some ways, it's depressing to do that, because I've enjoyed running some miles at 7:00 pace or faster recently.

For my basebuilding, I follow a Maffetone-like approach. I start my "runs" by walking to warm up, I limit my heart rate while I'm running, and I finish by walking a few more minutes. This morning, I did 5.3 miles in an hour.

The good thing is that when I "run" at this speed, I can do a lot more miles and not feel so beat up. That's where I need to be as I start increasing my mileage.

I also know that by late March or early April, I'll return to some tempo work and interval work. But for now, it's time to relax and just cruise through my basebuilding for a few months.

On another note, tomorrow I start teaching skiing for the season. I've been leading training groups at the mountain for the past few weekends. It's nice to work with other ski instructors, but the real fun of the job, for me at least, is working with the kids. Tomorrow, our seasonal ski programs start, and I'll spend the next 16 weekends with the same group of 8-10 kids - skiing, playing, laughing, and getting to act like a kid myself.

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