Better than Expected – Tuesday – June 15, 2021

Today’s Running Focus

Listen to the body

How am I feeling today?

A little tired and beat up, the leg is doing better than it has, and I don’t have a big day outside of my run planned. It will be a drizzly, overcast kind of day, so not much outside stuff will get done. One of those more leisurely days, I hope.

Planned Workout Description: 

Workout: Stryd 5K Plan Week 1, Day 2

60:00 Threshold run

  • S:1 – 18:30 Warmup
  • S:2 – 15:00 Run – 196 – 211 W
  • S:3 – 3:00 Recover – 111 – 156 W
  • S:4 – 5:00 Run – 211 – 227 W
  • S:5 – 18:30 Cooldown – 145 – 167 W

Purpose:

Your workout today is an easy warm-up with two sections of quality running. Your first quality section will be 15:00 at 88-95% of your Stryd Auto-Calculated Critical Power. You should aim to start the 15:00 between 80-90% and progress to up to 95% by the end of the duration. After a 3:00 easy recovery, you’ll have a 5:00 section starting at 95% of your Stryd Auto-Calculated Critical Power and progressing to 102%. The aim of this workout is to practice running at a steady submaximal effort for an extended duration, then progressing to a harder effort slightly above your Stryd Auto-Calculated Critical Power. After the 5:00 section, run an easy cool down.

Where does this run/workout fit into my top 5 running priorities?

It hits three of them. Getting my run-in while continuing to do the Stryd training plan. This is the kind of run that I never used to really do and is a nice variation of running a little faster, which I do like in smaller doses (than I used to) and getting ready to run a faster 5K later in the summer. The best part is that I am not going to run it thinking I have to run faster for the entire course, that there is a plan in place to get both the mileage and to do quality work without setting myself up for injury.

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
  • 50 – Calf Raises both legs on the ladder
  • 120 count calf stretches off the ladder
  • 20 x steps hip extensions

Run #1

  • Course: Goodhue O/B – One Hour
  • Type: Threshold
  • Primary Surface:
  • Distance: 6.5
  • Duration: 1:00:09
  • Pace: 9:15
  • Power: 212

What I Actually Did Today: 

Leading up to the run, I was a little nervous about how the Achilles would hold up since this would be the longest run I have done since March.

Did that workout go as planned?

18:30 Warm-up (204) – I did use music this morning’s run, and it helped to focus me on my cadence and not get all wound up about how I was running. I did purposely start slower than I usually do and try to keep the easy in easy run. It certainly wasn’t as easy as Stryd would have had me run, but it still was relatively slow compared to where I used to be. 

There I go again, comparing apples and oranges. I have to focus on where I am now, not where I used to be, and stop writing as if there is something wrong with being where I am now. It is what it is, and like everyone else, I have to go from where I am, not where I was or where I want to be.

15:00 run – (226) – I wasn’t pushing super hard, but my pacing is all over the place. Consistency – what is that? That should be the big question? However, I was happy with the effort and didn’t start out like gangbusters and then fizzle to the finish of the segment.

3:00 Recover – (206) – This was supposed to be even slower than the warm-up, but I kept chugging along, feeling pretty strong.

5:00 Run – (228) – A little more effort than the longer segment, but still, I am a victim of my lack of consistent pacing. I am working to keep the effort level reasonable without attempting to go full throttle and then crash before the end of the segment. Towards the end of this segment, the Achilles did start to grumble, but not intolerably.

18:30 Cooldown – (207) – I am not great at running slow the last mile or so to the finish. In this case, it was going up both the Tiffany Bump and Stevens Hill, so it would be slower unless I did some stoopid effort levels. I didn’t.

In a couple spots, it almost felt like I had a stride again, then just as quickly, it disappeared. The Achilles is getting closer to letting me run with my normal stride or the one that is better than I have now, at least. I am making it a bit more efficient and getting the knees up a little more than road level, if for no other reason than to avoid some of the rocks I am kicking with my toes. 

That is how I can tell that I am not lifting up my feet enough doing too much old man shuffle. Kicking too many damn rocks.

Variables that impacted the run:

Injuries/Niggles: The Achilles was fine until the 5:00 minute faster segment. At that point, it did start to grumble a little, nothing serious, just reminding me to not be stoopid. I still cannot do a more demanding stride and have to revert back to the land, lever, lift method with a higher cadence. This contributes to some of the lack of pacing consistency I am seeing/feeling during the run. Especially, the faster sections, as I attempt to run freely, and the Achilles reminds me that we aren’t quite there yet.

Weather: Broken clouds, 61°F, Feels like 63°F, Humidity 94%, Wind 2mph from S. This is good weather for running, although, by the end of the run, my hat was raining sweat down pretty good. The high humidity was definitely felt, but it was better than the bright sunshine beating down on me like last Saturday or those wintry days that have been left behind for a while. 

Shoes: ASICS Magic Speed – This is a run that is much more to the Magic Speeds’ strengths. They are comfortable for more prolonged running and can quickly pick up the pace when I want to. I had zero issues with the shoes during the run. However, they still don’t really impress me all that much with the lack of pop that seems to be missing when I run in them. It most likely has something to do with how I run or even more likely that I am not reaching fast enough speeds to engage the carbon plate. I do know that I weigh enough to activate it, so that is definitely not the issue. 😩

Other Stuff

I enjoy the coaching from the watch during the run. It makes me focus more on the running and just doing the workout. The coaching from the watch is more a reminder that I am supposed to do the training, not go off on some tangent that doesn’t come close to resembling what was planned.

Not that I would ever do that!.

Even though I am not really paying much attention to the Stryd Power levels, they do give me an idea of the effort level that I am supposed to be doing. Which in turns is helping reign me in enough to complete the run closer to plan. The training plans are based on sound foundations/philosophy, and should give me decent guide rails to bounce against when I start getting stoopid during a run or for multiple workouts.

I firmly believe that writing down the purpose of the run before I go out is also making a big difference in how well I focus on completing the workout. I know why I am doing the training, and what the advantages of sticking pretty close to it are. Also, now I can’t say, well, I didn’t understand why I need to do that. I know.

As a result of all this, I find that I am not changing up my training plan’s intent out nearly as often as I used to. The problem was not as much the plans I used as it was me not having the discipline or intelligence to do what needed to be done to stick with them. I think that reading Make the Leap has helped me with that a great deal. I wish that I had found it sooner, it would have save a lot of misery on my part I have a feeling.

While I don’t know if I am a whole lot smarter, but at least I am looking at training from a different perspective than I have in the past – that getting old and injured view, which tends to either make you smarter or forces you to stop running before you are ready. 🤔

There is still a LOT of stuff that I have to work through this thick old noggin of mine as I age, but at least I had a relatively mild wake-up call and earlier in the training cycle this time. So, I could get back to the training that I need to do, versus the stuff that I thought was important that tends to find me injured – yet again. Training methods that will keep me healthier in the long run and hopefully off the disabled list.

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