Thursday, November 13, 2008

Track Work, No...Hill Work

The last two weeks I was slated to start a schedule of track sessions to get myself race ready for fast winter running. Here is my proposed schedule:

For nine consecutive weeks on Wednesdays @ 4pm run 1000s (or 2.5 laps around the track). Pace between 3:00 and 3:30 (15min-17:30 5K pace). Rest interval moving down from a 400m walk to 100m jog.

11/5/08 4 x 1000m

11/12/08 5 x 1000m

11/19/08 6 x 1000m

11/26/08 7 x 1000m

12/03/08 8 x 1000m

12/10/08 4 x 1000m (goal: adjusted to 100m jog recovery)

12/17/08 5 x 1000m

12/24/08 7 x 1000m

12/31/08 10 x 1000m

Sadly, the first two weeks that I have tried to get on the track the Duke coaches have been unwilling to share the track because their athletes are doing drills and repeats. It's been a show of general inhospitality, but rather than get all worked up over it, I needed to adjust my plan. So last week and this week I ran 4 x 3:30min and 5 X 3:30min on the Wallace Wade Stadium stairs with a two minute walk break in between each hard effort. It worked out to be the same time effort I would have been doing on the track below the stairs and what great workouts they have turned out to be. I ran hard up, across, and down. Not so hard down that I felt like I would fall, but much faster then I would normally move down concrete stairs. I would like to get on the track for some leg turnover, but Duke coaches will likely not share until the holidays. I can wait and now I have an alternative option. Plus, it was kind of fun to jog up to the track and still not know whether I would be doing track work or stairs.

I should have been doing these workouts before the Shutin race on November 1, where I totally blew up and dropped from ninth place to 42nd. Much of the course was more like climbing stairs and stair climbing may be the best simulation for us piedmont folk whose hill references are still really flatlands to the folks of Asheville, Brevard, Hendersonville, Cullowhee, etc. I've been making the excuse that I had a sinus infection, which I did, but maybe I just didn't quite find the best workouts. I love running, because finding just the right workouts for a particular race is always a big puzzle with factors such as weather, health, nutrition, goals, training partners, sleep, work, and the list could go on.

So here is my plea to Duke University--Don't renovate Wallace Wade Stadium. It's a waste of money. It's a beautiful venue as it is and really, are you going to fill 10-15 thousand seats for football? Most importantly, where will I do my stair workouts come next September and October for redemption at Shutin on November 7, 2008?

Yours, George/Monk
Divinity School Alum, 2006

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