Sunday, May 17, 2009


I took an extra day to think about my race at the Bedford 12k before posting so that I could get the right perspective. I was really looking forward to the race and had really high hopes of finally nailing a good race that I was happy with. Going into the race my goal was to run sub-40 (5:22 pace) and score in the top 20. I cut my mileage from the mid 80-90 mile range down to 67.5 miles and felt well rested. I got to Bedford at about 7:30 AM to scope things out and it looked like we were going to have ideal racing weather. It was 55-60 degrees and there was barely any wind. Well, things did not pan out as I ran 41:07 (5:31 pace) for 33rd place.

I don't think that I necessarily had a bad race, but I just could not get rolling. I made a point of getting out conservatively because I know that at these Grand Prix races people tend to go out pretty aggresively. I was planning to go through the first mile in about 5:20 and I hit it in 5:11. After that I settled into a group of guys (Jim Pawlicki and I think Scott Anderson were in there) and we seemed to gradually slow down in miles 2-5: 10:35 (5:24), 16:12 (5:37), 21:50 (5:38) and 27:26 (5:35). I think that we went through 5k in about 16:45 and the 5 mile split was better than any 5 mile race that I have done in the last 2-3 years since getting back into running. At this point there was a group of guys in front of us (Craig Fram, Wayne Levy, John Fortescue and Jason Cakouros) who I was focusing on. I really thought that I could reel them in but was never able to make up any ground on them in the last 2.5 miles. We were able to pick it up a bit in mile 6, which passed in 32:56 (5:30), but gave back the time in mile 7 as we ran our slowest mile in 5:41. I had visions of having a really fast finish on the track but by the time I hit the track I was dead and just holding on. I covered the last 0.45 miles in 2:30 and was able to barely hold off a last second charge by Ed Breen of GBTC. Overall, not a great race.

The pictures are thanks to Steve Wolfe and Jim Johnson.

This week was 'alright'. I intentionally took this week easy so that I cold hopefully race well. I hit 67.5 miles and 59.5 of those miles were actually running miles. So, I got a lot of rest, had a decent workout and a mediocre race. Based on the race results this week I am going to step things up a bit starting next week by adding a hill workout on Mondays and getting my mileage back up to 80-100 mpw. I am also going to do several 5k races to get some speed in my legs in the near future - the NB Boston Twilight series on May 23rd and June 13th, the Hollis Apple Country Fast 5k on June 3rd and the Rhody 5k in Providence on June 7th.

Monday: 20.55 mi (60:00) on the stationary bike then 2 miles on the treadmill (15:11) to shake out the legs. I just wanted to get in a real easy workout after the hard run yesterday. Surprisingly, I feel pretty good today. This will be the only ride of the week.

Tuesday: 9 mi (60:45) I only did one run today again to give my body some rest. It was supposed to be a real easy run but went a bit quicker than I expected. I did 5 x 10 second hill repeats during the run at full speed with at least 2 minutes of rest in between. I have read that Nate Jenkins has had a lot of success doing these through out the week to maintain speed and power (based on Renato Canova training I believe).

Wednesday: ~9 mi () About 3.5 mi warm-up, 10x400m @ 5k pace w/ 200m rest and then 2 mile cool. This workout was just intended as a pace workout - I wanted to feel good running 5k pace but not blast my legs so that I can still run well this weekend. My splits and rests were:

74 (83), 75 (81), 74 (75), 75 (77), 72 (83), 71 (83), 72 (81), 74 (82), 75 (78), 72

It was extremely windy but I still had a hard time running slow enough. The goal was to run them all at 75 seconds but I started drifting down to 71/72 seconds before I dialed it back. My heart rate only got as high as 182bpm (~90% of HRM) during the repeats and recovered to about 150bpm during each rest period and I kept the rests pretty short. Hopefully this workout is a sign that things are starting to turn and that I will start racing well. The output of my heart rate monitor is shown below. Run easy tomorrow and Friday and get rested up for Saturday.

Thursday: 8+ mi (59:40) I took it really easy today and just got the run done. Finished with an acceleration and stretched.

Friday: 5.2 mi (37:48) A really easy run to shake out the legs.

Saturday: 11.5 mi - 2 mi w/up, 12k = 7.45 mi race (41:07) and 2 mi c/dwn.

Sunday: 17 mi (1:57:59) Easy long run. Nothing special.


by7 said...

do not take it too badly.
It was your first serious effort...

by I am more curious do know how you manage your day. I am impressed on how you manage to fit 2 workouts daily, etc.
Can you give us more details ?

Ethan Crain said...

Thanks for the encouragement.

It is a bit difficult to fit in the two workouts, but not impossible. Right now I usually do the long workout at lunch and then squeeze the shorter run/bike in either before work or I stop somewhere on the drive home from work. Last summer I was much better about getting up at 5:30AM and doing 10-14 miles, running again in the afternoon and getting to bed by 9:30PM at the latest. The hardest part is starting doubles, but once you get into the routine it isn't bad. I also think it makes a huge difference in your fitness.

by7 said...

so now I am curious about how you recover from doubles...
- how many hours of sleep every night ?
- if you skip lunch for training, how to you fulfill the calories intake ?
- do you take some supplement for recovery ? (eg: protein powders, etc)

Ethan Crain said...

I think that once you start doing doubles your body adapts to it. In the beginning, maybe add one or two a week and then work up to 5-6 doubles per week. I do not do anything extra to recover from them, and that is why I think it improves your general fitness level. I try to space the two runs out by at least 6 hours though. I do not skip meals either, I just eat while working when I run at lunch and I only use supplements after really hard efforts (long runs, track workouts and races). I usually make a smoothy with yogurt, frozen berries, any fresh fruit I have and 1 to 2 scoops of Isopure protein mix (I think it has 50 grams of protein/scoop and no carbs or fat). I have tried endurox R4 in the past but am too cheap to keep paying their ever increasing prices. Finally, I generally get about 8 hours of sleep per night but when I was running 110-130 miles per week last summer I was getting 9-10 hours per night. I think that the most important thing is that you need to listen to your body and gradually work into the doubles and higher mileage. I hope this answers your questions. Good luck with your rehab.

by7 said...

thank you indeed for the reply. It is everything very clear.

I also found myself that some pure protein in the evening was really improving my muscolar recovery.

I also gave up on Endurox R4, really too expensive for a simple carbo mix.
By the way, I found that there is a very cheap alternative on carbo-powders/gel: buy brown rice syrup from an organic food store. Brown rice syrup is the base gel for, for example, Cliff Shots: it has the same carbohydrate profile as commercial gel, mostly maltodextrin, some sucrose, tiny bit of glucose. Licked straight off the spoon, it tastes most like the plain GU gel...
if you add also the protein powder mix and some fruit, plus water, it makes a perfect alternative to Endurox...