Monday – June 7, 2021

Today’s Focus

Be Safe

Planned Workout Description: 

Workout: Today, I will take what the weather will give me. It is supposed to be very hot, and the AQI already has an alert out about how poor it will be. I originally planned to do this workout on the Rail Trail in Augusta, but I am unsure what I will actually do based on today’s forecast. Safety has to be my primary consideration, and I definitely am not acclimated to 85 to 90+ degree weather.

  • 5:00 Warm-Up
  • 20:00 comfortably hard
  • 5:00 easy jog
  • :30 very hard effort
  • 5:00 cool down

Purpose: The session today focuses on a few key things.

  • 1 – Practicing warm-up/cool down as well as a recovery portion in the middle of the workout
  • 2 – Threshold running at a steady effort.
  • 3 – Being able to run fast and relaxed after your body has a bit of fatigue built up from threshold running.

Morning Prehab

  • 2 x 15 Straight Leg Eccentric Calf Drops each leg on the ladder
  • 2 x 15 Bent Leg Eccentric Calf Drops each leg on the ladder
  • 30 – Calf Raises both legs on the ladder
  • 30 count stretch on the ladder

Warm-up: 

No warm-up

Run #1

  • Course: Philbrick Laps
  • Type: Intro to Stryd Day 8 
  • Distance: 3.83
  • Duration: 35:39
  • Power: 211
  • Running Streak Day #: 4

What I Actually Did Today: 

I ran.

This kind of day makes me more confident of my ability to work through a challenging situation. I know that I wasn’t thrilled about doing a hard workout with the temps in the mid-’80s, but then again, it was my choice to run or not. However, I knew that I needed to do this workout to get where I want to go with my running.

I did listen to my race playlist and feel that I would not have done as well as I did without it. I also decided to not wear my glasses (Yes, I am blind as a bat without them) since they become a pain-in-the-butt in hot/humid weather. I have busted, bent, or scratched more than few pairs when I accidentally knock them off my face while wiping the sweat out of my eyes.

Once I thought about it, I decided to do the run at home versus heading into town. It wasn’t the kind of weather I wanted to drive into town to do. So, I did laps on the shady side of the road from the house to the top of Philbrick. I quickly found out that it was pretty miserable running in the direct sun to accomplish any kind of workout effectively, so I stayed in the shade when I could.

  • 5:00 Warm-Up – 210 Power — This went pretty much as I figured, well over what Stryd wants based on my current Critical Power (CP). Although I was pleasantly surprised that my average H/R for the 5:00 minutes was only 117 bpm.
  • 20:00 comfortably hard – 224 Power – I started out conservatively in the 230’s just because of the heat. After the first half I struggled to stay in the 220’s, the heat really got to me during the last 5:00 minutes of this segment, and while I kept moving, it certainly wasn’t the quality effort that I had wanted.
  • 5:00 easy jog – 178 Power – I walked for a minute after finishing up 20:00 -minute segment. There wasn’t a lot of choice in the matter. When I started up again, it was at a very easy jog.
  • :30 very hard effort – 281 Power – This one I wasn’t looking forward to. I was pretty well done from the heat, and the sun was taking over the shady sections. Initially, I was able to pick up the pace pretty well, but the Achilles was starting to grumble a little, so I did push, but probably not as hard as I could have, and before I knew it, the segment was done.
  • 5:00 cool down – 189 Power – TheWife and SD2 were walking and met me just as I finished the 30-second segment and wanted to talk to me about the rashes they both have. They think it was exposure to the Browntail Moth, which is becoming a problem around us. After talking with them, I jogged to our mailbox and drank the rest of the coconut water I had stashed in there. Yeah, it was warm, but it was wet. I finished my cool down jog at the upper gate and then walked back to the house.

Needless to say, when I got home, I didn’t bother with more Achilles rehab or beating on the tire. I simply wanted to get inside, get out of the sweat-soaked clothes, get some water in me and relax.

It was a challenging workout that in the past I would have bailed on after about 10:00 minutes of the hard 20:00 minute segment. However, there is something about doing a workout that has a purpose to it, and wanting to finish it as planned will make me work harder than I would otherwise. While I didn’t achieve the Power numbers I was looking for, I did finish the workout.

This doesn’t mean that I will be unsafe or do stoopid training for a 63-year-old because Stryd’s plan says to do it. If I believe a workout is not safe due to unforeseen reasons (like the weather) or stoopid, I will change it. Like I did this morning when I modified the effort levels in the face of mid-’80s temps with higher humidity. 

Even though today wasn’t a max effort day, my Critical Power number increased from 209 to 214 due to the challenging workout. 

Variables that impacted the run:

Injuries/Niggles: The left Achilles doesn’t like the more challenging efforts and got a bit grumpy towards the end of the 20:00 minute harder effort. During the 0:30 second push, it began to bark again, so I focused on finishing, and once I slowed down again, it went back to my new normal.

Weather: Clear sky, 84°F, Feels like 86°F, Humidity 54%, Wind 7mph from SW. With the temps in the mid-’80s, I didn’t push the effort levels as hard as I had planned, but I still felt the effects of the heat, and it did diminish the quality of the workout.

Shoes: ASICS Magic Speed – No issues with them at all, but they don’t have that “wow!” factor I felt when I tried out the OG Nike Vapor Fly a couple of years ago. I guess my high expectations of what a carbon-plated shoe should feel like are different from what the experience of running in the Magic Speeds is. 

The Magic Speeds feel closer to being great trainers than race day shoes, and I think that ASICS marketing does not match my perceptions. That is probably the disconnect I am feeling with these running shoes.

Other Stuff

I am re-reading Make the Leap, and below are some of the quotes that made me stop and think for a minute:

“Use your “road run” time to focus on your form, your stride, and your breathing. The goal: understand your body and how it feels at the pace you are running. This will lead to the longer-term goal of developing a habit of intense focus.”

“Have an optimal training mindset. Approach every workout with the right mindset and attitude. Engage in your training. Take responsibility. View everything through the lens of your effort and preparation. Build up your self-efficacy and develop strong mental habits.”

“Practically, this means doing what you need to do to feel good at the start of every workout. Eat well, hydrate, rest, recover. Understand the hidden curriculum and identify 80/20 activities. Maximize the ones that drive the most improvement, and minimize the ones that don’t.”

“Know what specific skills you are aiming to improve and what a high-quality workout looks like. Set clear Next Step goals and stay hyper-focused on achieving them. Build better feedback into your training by asking better questions. Get out of your comfort zone, both physically and mentally.”

Excerpts From: Bryan Green. “Make the Leap – Think Better, Train Better, Run Faster.” Apple Books.

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