Mini goal and striding

trainingRemember those number games I mentioned a while back, the mental math you play sometimes when on a long run to help you get through some of the tougher parts of two-plus hours on the road. It always seems that the roughest parts of any run are the early segments. The old adage that the hardest aspect of running is getting out the door really is true. Once those first steps are out of the way, it seems to get a bit easier the rest of the way – in most cases.

Well in terms of the Pfitzner training program for the P.E.I. Marathon, I hit a mini goal this week – the one-third threshold or 7 and 1/3 weeks. That includes the four weeks of base building and while there is plenty of heavy lifting ahead – particularly in August – but it is nice to hit this stage with more ups than downs.

This week saw the introduction of strides to the program, a series of 100-metre sprints (10) over the final part of a general aerobic run (15 per cent higher than Marathon pace), which I gather helps with form, speed and strength. The idea is to build up to 90 per cent of your sprint speed in the first 50 metres and then ease up to the end of 100 metres, followed by 200 metres of easy jogging. Repeat 10 times. So that means for 3k, near the end of your run, you are ‘striding’.

I think I did it too fast though, as I was sprinting throughout the 100 metres. By the time I hit the 8th set, it was starting to hurt. But I got through it. And after Sunday’s battle with humidity, I was not sure how it would work out. Yet the temperature and the run, save for a little sprint fatigue at the end, was virtually perfect at 20C and no wind.

Wednesday was that recovery run (at 25 per cent higher than Marathon pace) and Thursday, the once daunting 16k mid-week run came off in reasonable fashion in a time of 5:57 per km.

This weekend sees an 8k recovery run and a 24k long run. This weekend’s other duties include a soccer tournament and staining the deck. We shall see how it all goes.

Tuesday – 11.5 K with 7.5 k at general aerobic pace, then 3k that included 10×100 strides with 200m slow jog of recovery, followed by 1k recovery

Wednesday – 10k recovery pace run @640-7:00 per k

Thursday – 16k General aerobic run. Aim to hit 6:12 per k; Averaged 5:57 per k

Splits (may not be exact, due to rounding) – First 4k – 6:04, 6:04, 6:00, 6:10 (24:18); Second 4k 6:05, 5:59, 5:51; 5:57 (23:53); Third 4k – 6:02, 5:54, 5:51, 5:58 (23:44); Final 4k – 5:55, 5:51, 5:47, 5:49 (23:37)