Track & Trail Tuesday – August 10, 2021

What am I thinking about this morning?

It is kind of overcast/foggy outside – a gloomy start to the day. I am still debating on whether to go to the track to do today’s challenge or do it here. The leg is feeling pretty good, but at the same time if it acts up, I will shut it down to preserve the gains I have made. Just the way it still is. Which is frustrating, but tendon issues as I get older will take longer to resolve and are part of the aging process.

Yesterday, I got in some new toe spreaders, and they do spread the toes a bit more than my old ones, So, I have a bit of transition into the new ones today. It will be interesting to see how they feel during the run, I do know they make the fit of the toe box even more important. Wider is better.

I put my Hoka shoes out in back of the garage for a while so I will stop using them (except the trail shoes), I feel that I need to be running in a higher drop style regularly for a while, so that probably means that I will use the Magic Speeds today for the time trial.

It is time to see if the Magic Speeds are part of the solution or not. This is their chance to woo me and help me “run like the wind”, well at least run faster than I have been. If they continue to be a meh shoe, I will simply use the Reebok RunFast v1s and dig out my Nike Zoom Fly SPs. Yes, the SPs are long in the tooth, but I know that I run well in them. That confidence in the shoe thing counts an awful lot towards running well sometimes.

Otherwise, it should be a quiet day and if the leg is up to it, I will probably mow the lawn this afternoon, which always helps how it feels by the time I get done (why yes, that is sarcasm).

Planned Stryd Challenge Description: 

Total Time: 35:00 with 10:00-Minute Time Trial

Per Stryd: “Time trials and testing are fundamental parts of power-based training. After a brief warm up, run one :30 effort around your current Stryd Auto-Calculated Critical Power followed by 1:00 of easy running or walking. After that short recovery period, run another :30 effort slightly harder than the previous effort. Recover for another 3:00 of easy running or walking. Your Time Trial today is a 10:00 effort starting around your current Stryd Auto-Calculated Critical Power and progressing to what you feel you can maintain for a 10:00 effort. It is important to try and run as even as possible and average the highest wattage you can for this 10:00 test. By performing regular tests and time trials, you’ll be better informed about your abilities across various time ranges. After you complete your 10:00 Time Trial, cool down for 10:00 with easy running or walking.”

Today’s Running Focus

  • Do It.

What I Did Today: 

  • Total Time: 47:44
  • Distance: 5.03
  • Course: Messalonskee Track and Trails
  • Location: Oakland, ME

Warm-up – 

Target RangePlannedDurationActualDistancePowerHeart RatePaceCadenceStride Length

Primary Workout – 2 x :30 seconds and 10:00 Minute Time Trial

Target RangePlannedDurationActualDistancePowerHeart RatePaceCadenceStride Length

Cool Down

Target RangePlannedDurationActualDistancePowerHeart RatePaceCadenceStride Length

Unplanned – Went for an easy run on the Messalonskee Walking Trail

Target RangePlannedDurationActualDistancePowerHeart RatePaceCadenceStride Length

I never felt really bad and at the same time never felt like I was giving more than a “good” effort. It was one of the meh workouts where you kind of go through the motions and never give your best effort.

During the cool down laps, I decided to run the trails, I knew they were a short run, so I wasn’t worried about getting too many miles in by adding them on. I felt good running on the trails, but the Magic Speeds really are not trail shoes and I kept it slow and focused on relaxing in the woods.

If you look at my cadence and stride length metrics, I am one of those weird runners who when I run faster, I increase both the stride length and cadence. For me, or at least it seems that to run faster both increase and when I run slower, both decrease. I have a feeling that more runners are this way than they think.

Did the workout go as planned?

I did the workout but didn’t meet the challenge of a hard 10:00-minute time trial. I think it was a combination of the humidity and me not being into running hard this morning. Subconsciously, I don’t believe that I can run that fast in the Magic Speeds and I don’t.

Injuries/Niggles: Nothing really bothered, I knew the left leg was not quite right, but it didn’t get in the way too much. It was more still not being able to toe-off properly when going faster that I can feel the difference. When I attempt to toe-off hard, the leg gets a bit grouchy, but as soon as I back off and move to more of a land, lever, lift style of running it doesn’t mind as much. Who knows maybe I need to go back to running in Newtons.

Weather: Few clouds, 67°F, Feels like 67°F, Humidity 94%, Wind 3mph from N

Shoes: ASICS Magic Speed – They are comfortable to run in and I had zero issues with them during the run. However, they are meh shoes when it comes to going fast in them. For me, they act a lot more like a light-weight daily trainer than they do a “go faster” shoe. They don’t have that “pop” that I expect from a carbon-plated shoe and once I settle into a good pace in them, I don’t seem to be able to kick it in gear. It is more me than the shoes I am sure, but I simply do not feel fast in the Magic Speeds, and they seem to do much better at slower speeds for me. I will continue to use them, but it will be more for daily training runs or for recovery. It isn’t a good thing when I feel faster in my Reebok Energy 2s than I do the Magic Speeds. 

So yes, I am still looking for a pair of good racers for me. Although I do know that my Reebok RunFast v1s do pretty good and I am holding out bringing out the Zoom Fly SPs, they still might make an appearance before too long. The good news is that I know that the Hoka Carbon Xs will work too, but I need to get this Achilles in a lot better shape before I get back into them.

What did I learn?

That the Magic Speeds are not part of the answer when it comes to running faster. They are in my mind more of a daily trainer/recovery run shoe and that is how I will use them going forward.

The trail over at Messalonskee is a nice easy one to do after a track workout to get in an extra mile or two on as a change of pace.

Those new toe spreaders did a number on my toes, I had to take them off as soon as I got home. They didn’t bother until I finished the workout, but on the drive home, my toes were feeling the difference. I will put them back on tomorrow after my Physical and wear them until lunch. They are going to take a bit of getting used to.

While walking Bennie on his second walk, I thought seriously about taking the rest of the week off. I have been doing good with the running over the last 2-3 months and the leg is making progress. I did finish up the 5K training a little early, because I didn’t want to be tempted to do the Doc and Mardie 5K on the 21st. No, I am not wimping out, but with the COVID-19 spikes, I will sit this one out, even if running in an outdoor race is safer than most other activities. However, I have done the COVID stuff this long, a little longer will not be the end of the world as we know it. I ended up deciding to go ahead keep going on the current 5K training plan and see how I feel. Right now, I think running consistently and creating a good base for some racing in October/November is a good idea. Especially, after having such a crappy Spring and Summer.

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