IMPORTANT MESSAGE...I know that many of you usually skim over my opening message and skip right to the weekly workouts but I’m asking you this week, to PLEASE take few moments to read the following:
Looks like the tough heat and humidity we’ve been experiencing in the early mornings over the past month are finally catching up to us, as many of you have told me that you faced tough pacing and rough runs this past week. So much of this has to do with “locked-in pacing” and not paying close enough attention to “perceived effort”.
I know your grump of an old coach is always harping to you about “slowing down your pace when conditions are tough”, so I apologize for reiterating it again but maybe this time in more plain and simple terms:
The tougher the conditions the SLOWER you must run! So, when it’s hot or humid or hilly or you’re extra tired from a lack of good sleep, you must slow down the pace so it “feels” just as good as when the conditions are perfect! This is called “perceived effort”, which essentially means that if you’re supposed to run 8 minute place for a workout and it feels really hard because of tough conditions, then you slow it down to whatever pace it takes to “feel” the same “effort” as you feel normally at 8 minute pace, when the conditions are better.
Confused? So, using that same 8 minute pace person last Saturday, when conditions were lousy, they would have been “feeling” good if they slowed it down, from the START of the run, to say 8:30 pace or slower! So, the kicker is that if that person ran with the same “effort” and “feel” of 8 minute pace but was running 8:30 pace, they actually get the exact SAME quality workout, the same boost to their training and the same A+ grade from their coach as if they were running 8 minute pace or faster!
So, on these tough days, ask yourself the simple questions: “Do I really feel the same as I usually do at my targeted pace?” and “Is my effort the same as usual at this pace?”. If the answer is “No”, then SLOW it down!
And use your breathing and your heart rate as guides to.
The problem is if you try to run at the same pace when conditions are tough you’re going to feel lousy and risk injuring yourself or burning yourself out before race day.
So, when conditions are tough, SLOW it down to a pace that feels just like your goal.
And know that when conditions get more favorable (cooler mornings and less humidity) you will be running with so much less effort at a much faster pace (quite often faster than your targeted pace)!
I like for my athletes to use a number scale of 1-10 when recording their training logs. A number 1 means feeling “Lousy” and a 10 means feeling “Fantastic”. Here’s where the riddle comes in...I expect you to write an 8-10 for every single run, no matter how bad the conditions are or how hilly the course is. How do you “feel” like an 8-10 even when the conditions stink?
Simple: by SLOWING down your PACE!
The problem with this old coach who has been at it for the past 40+ years, is that I’ve seen too many cases of burnout and injury and so I’m always thinking of your health and enjoyment LONG TERM. I want you to be healthy and loving your running for as long as possible and I’ve learned that there is no better way to accomplish that than by following the basic principles of “perceived effort”.
Thanks for listening...I really do have your backs!
On a totally different and very happy note, we shout out a great big Congrats to Heidi and Andrew Zapanta on the arrival of their beautiful baby girl Julia this week! We’re so happy for you!
And Happy Birthdays this week to Jerri (Monday), Jane J. (Tuesday), Mike S. (Wednesday) and Tammy M. (Thursday)!
I hope to see many of you on Wednesday morning...even if you’re not “working out” or training for anything in particular right now. The more the merrier!
WEEK of JULY 19
*Speedsters 5K-10K = ~20-25 miles or more
*Speedsters Half Marathon 27-32 miles or more
MONDAY July 19
*Speedsters = 4-6 AHR miles with 6 x 12 second hill form surges up a moderate hill towards the latter portion of your total run. Take a slow 48 second recovery in between each.
WEDNESDAY July 21
***Come join us at the Albemarle High Track at 5:30 am for the following workout or for some relaxed AHR social miles (even if you’re not in training for a specific event):
****We will be running the second leg of our “Summer Dawnbreaker Race series” today. Due to the heat and humidity I’ve downgraded the distance to a 4K. This 4000 meter course will be pretty fast, with a good mix of on/off track surface racing. And the 4K distance actually now gives us a nice symmetry for our triple crown series: 3200 in June, 4K in July and finishing with a 5K in August.
Right now (subject to change) I’m planning on the following course:
-1200 (3 laps) on the track
-1600 off the track (out 800 and back 800)
-1200 back on the track
***Want to run a shorter 3200 (2 mile) race? Then feel free to do so. I’ll explain the 2 mile course on Wednesday.
SATURDAY July 24
*Speedsters 5K-10K = AHR long run on a hillier course
Add 1 mile to your previous longest run and try to run the last mile at 10 mile pace
*Speedsters Half = AHR long run on a hillier course
Add 1-2 miles to your previous longest run and try to run last 2 miles of the total run at MP-HMP
4-5 mile group recovery run at AHR at 6:45am at Greenberry’s at Barracks
2021 Annual Message