Strides – Tuesday – June 29, 2021

How am I feeling?

The coffee pot went a little bonkers but rest assured that I had at least a cup of coffee this morning and that by nightfall, there will be a new coffee pot in the Shaw household. Not exactly a rousing start to the morning, but we made it through the crisis. Yes, no coffee is a crisis and is a part of the natural order of things each morning and another cup after supper makes for a more pleasant evening.

Otherwise, it is hot and miserable outside. While I admit that I prefer the heat to the cold, at the same time, I am also smart enough to know when to shut it down in high temps/humidity. I can be stoopid every so often, but at this point in my life, I might have accumulated a certain amount of common sense and will do my workout this morning but make sure that I don’t overdo the running either.

Considering the weather and coffee pot fun, I feel pretty good, and yesterday’s rest day was needed more than I realized.

Planned Workout Description: 

Type: 

  • Easy Run
  • Strides

Split Target Watts %CP

  • S:1 20:30 Warmup 161 – 184 W 70 – 80%
  • S:2 x6 STRIDES- 0:30 Run 246 – 255 W 107 – 111%
  • S:3 1:00 Recover 115 – 161 W 50 – 70%
  • S:4 20:30 Cooldown 149 – 172 W 65 – 75%

Today’s Running Focus

·     Beat the heat

Why am I doing this run?

I wanted to get some faster work in, but not enough to hurt too badly. This is a workout I can do in front of the house, so if the heat/humidity does start to pose a real issue, I can simply duck into the house and call it good. Better to be safe than sorry in this weather.

“Strides” are defined as short bursts of faster running to get your body used to running at a higher intensity. Your goal for strides should be to start a bit above your Stryd Auto-Calculated Critical Power and practice running at a fast speed without straining. After a brief warm-up, you will run :30s repeats with an easy 1:00 recovery. After you have completed the number of repetitions, cool down with an easy segment of running.

What I Actually Did Today: 

I ran laps on Philbrick so that I wouldn’t be too far from the house if I needed to shut it down in the hot weather and because it is the shadiest route I have around here with the fewest hills, which were both important this morning. Shade to be cooler and fewer hills to avoid pushing harder than I wanted to.

Did that workout go as planned? The first part of the run went exactly as planned, I ran easy, but still above the Stryd “easy” levels, and then when I finished the second lap, I stopped for water, which was nice to have right there. The 6x strides were VERY controlled, and I didn’t attempt to push the pace beyond comfortably hard. I focused on maintaining form and lengthening out my stride, even though I wasn’t thrilled about running faster in the heat/humidity. Surprisingly, I came in right where the Stryd plan wanted me to for the Strides. I cooled down for about a minute and a half before I got back to stop for a drink of water at the end of the fourth lap as planned. I was beginning to get a headache and was feeling like I had had enough. So, I shut it down.

Could I have run the last two laps – probably? I was feeling the heat and figured why beat myself up on a day where it was already over 80*F at the start and by the time I finished more than 70% humidity, just to add a couple of miles in conditions that do not bode well for me if I do too much in them.

It was the correct choice.

Injuries/Niggles: The left Achilles wasn’t thrilled, even with the day off yesterday, but loosened up as I got into the second lap. By the time I got to the strides, I had forgotten all about it. Which means it is getting better, but that I still have to be very aware of what I do and not increase the load too much, too soon.

Weather: Clear sky, 83°F, feels like 88°F, Humidity 69%, Wind 7mph from N. Due to the heat, I purposely started out easy and then didn’t push the strides harder like I usually do. I focused more on faster running form and getting all six Strides done. I did shut down the workout early because of the conditions. There is zero sense in killing myself to simply get in a couple more miles or say that I finished the workout. Live to run well another day.

Shoes: Reebok RunFast v1 – No issues or problems with the running shoes. I felt fast and turned up the pace quickly when it came time to do the strides. Although I think wearing the toe spacers on my right foot is not necessary for the RunFasts. It wasn’t uncomfortable, but I was more comfortable with the Injinji’s without it last week. So, I will try them again the next time I run in them to figure out which way feels best in these shoes.

Other Stuff

After taking yesterday off as a rest day, I changed this week’s schedule to meet what the weather is going to give me. It is hot/humid, and doing a time trial in ‘80*F with humidity above 90% weather this morning wasn’t my idea of fun or being smarter than the average bear.

While I was running my warm-up this morning, I got to thinking more about my weekly schedule. Since I am focusing on the 5K for the time being, doing my fastest workout or a race on the weekend makes more sense, especially since I don’t really train with anyone else. A longer run that isn’t what I should be doing at that time. So, I think that switching time trials, intervals or any hard-arsed faster workouts to the weekend would be a good thing.

Doing long runs on the weekend is a time thing for most people, but it doesn’t impact me that way. So, moving longer stuff to Thursday or Tuesday probably makes more sense for me and my schedule, with one more minor deviation, doing them on trails versus roads when I can. I have a lot of nice local trails that I can get in the hour or so that my current training sessions are calling for. Also, trail running is a nice change of pace and easier on the legs (as long as I stay upright).

After thinking about things for a bit, I did go into my Stryd workout calendar tonight and changed around the timing of my faster/longer workouts to meet what I think is a better schedule for me. It will be a nice experiment and non-traditional, but that is okay, I can always go back to the more traditional training week, if it doesn’t work for me.

I love the Stryd workouts, even though I am ignoring the Power numbers during the workouts for now. The plans are more diverse than what I have done and give me more varied workouts and a different outlook about what is a good result for a workout. I don’t have to hammer “the quality” workout for it to be a good one, which is a huge change in perspective towards my running. Which is a nice change of pace from the usual beat me up and do too much too soon routine that I am used to doing to myself. Yes, the Stryd training plans are AI driven, but they are also more realistic for a 64 year-old guy, than most of the stuff that I used to put myself through, believing that it was the only way to train.

The best part for me so far is that I can easily change up a workout to something else based on conditions or how the body is feeling that day. It doesn’t seem to be the old rigid training planosauraus that so many training plans are or become.

There is a new coffee pot in the Shaw household and I finished re-reading Once a Runner. As one of those 5:02 wannabes, it makes me scratch my head think about how different levels of runners might really think about running and how it is a part of their lives as a young runner and how it changes over the years.

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