Monday, February 3, 2014

The cut-back week

When training for a race or difficult running endeavor, I generally tend to follow a 4-week cycle, where I increase my weekly running mileage for three weeks, and then enjoy a "cut-back week" of reduced mileage.  After the cut-back, I'll increase mileage for another three weeks (starting with a higher mileage than the previous 4-week cycle), cut-back in the fourth, and continue the cycle until I've reached my peak weekly mileage for the training cycle.  It looks something like this:

Week 1: 30 miles
Week 2: 35 miles
Week 3: 40 miles
Week 4: 25 miles

Week 5: 35 miles
Week 6: 40 miles
Week 7: 45 miles
Week 8: 30 miles
E    T    C.........

I'm no pro, but I'm pretty sure this idea/pattern is widely accepted as being a fairly good one.  It allows the body to take a bit of a breather and more readily adapt to mileage increases.  Recovery is good, necessary, and allows one to get stronger.

Now don't go getting all excited, thinking you should wallow around by the pool, sipping vodka all day, just because you've made it to a cut-back week.  Intensity should remain... intense (similar to the taper week(s) prior to a race, reduce mileage, not intensity).  Ambition should remain at a high level.  Take advantage of the decrease in miles and test some speed.

Sooo after a few (planned) weeks off from running my last 3 weekly mileage totals are 42, 53, and 70 miles.  Time to pull it back a bit.


AM: 1 mile warm-up
         1 hr. "Coreflex" group strength training class

PM: Track day!  I didn't have a workout planned and was considering doing a 6k-8k tempo run, but I was feeling stuffed from the HUGE Chipotle burrito I had at lunch, so I decided on the "ladder" interval workout that some of the local speedster (~2:5x marathoner) ladies were doing.  Sore from the mornings core workout and filled to the brim with Chipotle, this workout kicked my ass!
    8.5 miles w/ intervals of 400m, 800m, 1200m, 1600m, 1200m, 800m, 400m +warm/cool
I ended up running:
  400's  @ ~5:3x/mile pace
  800's  @ ~6:2x/mile pace
  1200's @ ~6:4x/mile pace
  1600 in 6:55

AM: 1 mile warm-up
          1hr. "Metabolic Circuit" group strength training class... oof!  The intensity of this workout matched that of last night's speed work.  I'm spent!  Every part of me feels like it got a hard workout!

PM: Sacramento Kings game!  They lost, we still had fun.

4 mile run with Lucy


9 M run - I've been feeling a cold coming on for the past few days and it pushed me to reduce my mileage a bit more than I planned.  I headed out for a ~22 mile run (commute to my niece's 3rd b-day party), but my body suggested I stop short.


Weekly Totals: 21 miles

Oh, here are some 2013 "auto-awesome" from Google+


Nice to see some snow on the Sierras!  Mom snapped this while flying into SFO.

No comments: