Hey there! This is my second comeback week back after being sick and knocked off my mile PR training track. Last week I got the ball rolling again. This week was about recovering from last Sunday’s half marathon, assessing how the body handled it, and keeping the comeback momentum going.
It is really awesome to have you joining along as I work to break a personal best of mine that is now over 10 years old.
Each week I’m posting updates on my progress, insights I learn along the way and sharing the training strategies I’m depending on to reach my goal.
If you want the full back story you can read about it in another post.
The quick and dirty is that recently I got stuck sick in bed for almost a week. This could have been an excuse to bail on my goal, but instead I doubled down and am now documenting my final training weeks leading up to my target event.
It is my intent that by posting the details of this journey seeing my experiences learned along the way can better help some of you as you work on your own improvements. Maybe it can even be a bit of motivation that challenges you to consider taking on a fresh fitness goal of your own!
Disclaimer: Sometimes I use “mile” and “1600 meters” interchangeably. I do know these distances differ by 9.34 meters. My previous PR was completed on a standard 400m track thus if 5:00.0 is run at a true mile road race the previous record will be beat and my goal accomplished.
TRAINING WEEK: April 10 to April 16
The goal is simple break my personal records for the Deadlift and 1600 meter run within a week of each other. For me that is lifting 300 pounds and running sub five minutes. If I can accomplish that I will arguably be at my fastest and strongest!
Last week was my first week out of bed and was surprisingly packed with plenty of wins. For all the details you can hop over to last week’s report.
To recap last comeback week was about getting back on my feet, into a regular routine, and being ready to support my training partner, Doug, at a half marathon on Sunday. Early in the week I found some decent top speed on the track. The race capping off the week highlighted that my muscular endurance, and Doug’s, could use some work for him to have a realistic shot at the NYC marathon qualifying time.
With my focus on the mile and my last 1600M time trial now close to 6 weeks past I was due for a progress check.
Last week I did not post a daily breakdown of my workouts. Maybe I will go back and update that.
For this report I am putting up a weekly view of my training log so you can see all the sessions I did for the week. Full transparency!
I think this will be easier to reference as well.
(Click for bigger view)
Early this week I felt surprisingly good post race. Some tightness and muscular fatigue, but pleasantly limited tenderness in the legs. By Monday I could ride the bike easy to stretch the legs and even keep my Power Cranks on.
I was getting some feedback deep in my groin on the left side. Not shooting pain, but more of a strain or pull. Something to keep an eye on.
Another comeback confidence booster resulting from the race was being able to push myself after an hour of running and not have the right knee totally break down.
I have tacked on regular hip and ankle stability exercises to my strength sessions and bike days. This routine was designed to alleviate some patellofemoral knee pain that has popped up around mile eight in past training runs.
So the stability circuit appears to be working out as I successfully negative splitted the course without triggering debilitating discomfort.
Big progress there!
On the mental side I was also far more consistent with my meditation sessions. Only one day passed without me doing a sitting / meditation / whatever you would like to call it. While I was completing sittings the Muse app showed that I was regularly distracted while doing so. Something to work on.
I do believe this increase in mental practice was beneficial on my Wednesday, Thursday runs. These were back-to-back high intensity runs.
(If Doug is reading this I’m busted as he didn’t know about Wednesday! Shhhh…)
One of the main reasons I meditate is to “use it or lose it”. I practice calming my mind and relaxing my body when my surroundings are calm and it is easiest to do so. Then when I am in a challenging physical activity, like a track workout, I find it easier to go to that same calm mental state, while allowing my body to still complete the rigorous activity.
This is also totally applicable outside the fitness realm. I find having increased ability to calm my mind allows me to stay calm and effective in high stress situations like a tense discussion at work or with my wife.
Being able to go to that calm place moves reactive, and often destructive, emotions out of the driver seat and lets me better listen to the other person and empathize with their perspective.
The mental practice paid off on Wednesday as I was going into a mix of tempo miles and 200 sprints tired from the previous day’s VO2 max intervals. I was able to maintain my focus, keep my thoughts positive, and let my body do the work with less discomfort than expected.
Tempo charged. We specifically targeted tempo work this week after last week’s race.
Tempo work gives both Doug and I the biggest step towards our respective goals with minimal time.
80-20 rule anyone? Bueller?
I can flirt with my anaerobic threshold and increase my body’s ability to process lactic acid (LA). Heavy legs have been plaguing me in recent mile TT’s.
Yes, a 1600 was on this week’s to-do list, more on that below.
The heavy legs could be tied to a heavy buildup of LA in my system late in the TT. If my body becomes more efficient at processing LA I should be able to get more of a kick in the last 400.
For Doug tempo builds muscular endurance for lasting power in his half marathon, as well as other aerobic efficiencies that we don’t have time to dive into right now. Simply put tempo benefits lead towards running faster with less work.
All said it was a productive week of absorbing the race, banking some needed tempo miles, getting back on the lifting wagon and resetting my meditation habit.
NEXT COMEBACK STEPS:
If you were waiting for 1600 TT results you’ll have to wait until the next report. While it was a goal for this week I had to listen to my body which was not quite ready for an all out effort like that. Next week it is. I promise myself and you!
I also cannot lose sight of the strength aspect of my end goal: Running a sub 5:00 mile AND deadlifting 300lbs within a week. That means making sure gym work is quality and progressing. If I can DL 250+ for 2-3 reps with no minor pulls or strains I’d be happy.
Lastly I’m looking to get some “calmer” Muse sessions next week. I will need all the mental control I can get on race day and the return on a daily 3-5 minute investment is well worth it. Especially when I am seeing improvements in job focus and productivity.
That wraps up this week’s comeback report. Stop by next week for more. If you want to make sure you get update notifications about this experiment and other great training opportunities coming out of TGB go ahead and submit your email below.
If you have taken on your own PR chase I’d love to hear about it. Drop a line in the comments below, or hit me up on Facebook to let me know what you are up to and how I might help.