Speed and Recovery

Here in Wisconsin we have gotten hit by yet another super cold spell. I am fortunate enough to live near a 200-meter indoor track, so I look at cold days (recently we've had a few that dropped below -30F with windchill) as opportunities to log some fast miles on the track. As I add more speedwork, I become even more conscious about what I eat in order to optimally recover.

Here is an example of one of my speed/strength sessions and what I ate before and after it.

Pre-Workout Fuel

Since I follow an OFM (optimized fat metabolization) protocol, I don't eat much before workouts. My body is trained to burn fat efficiently most of the time, reserving stored glycogen for quicker pace stuff. Before this workout, I had a Vespa Ultra Concentrate, a cup of coffee and a concoction containing almond milk, raw honey, 2 Tbsp organic butter, coconut flakes, chia seeds, cocoa nibs and Himalayan sea salt. Just before I started the progression run, I had a Vespa Junior.


I warmed up outside by running to the track. It was interesting, given that we had about 4 inches of really powdery snow that had not been shoveled yet. The warm-up was five miles in all.

This stands for sprint straights, jog corners, and it's a workout I learned at Stevens Point running track and field. It is a really good way to get some turnover in your legs before getting into the real workout. 

Progression Run
I did a short progression run of three miles. I kept it short so I would have something left in my legs for some 200-meter repeats afterward. My progressive mile times were: 5:30, 5:22 and 5:09.

Active Recovery
I wanted to get enough of the lactic acid out of my legs before starting the 200-meter repeats, but without standing around, which would cause my legs to tighten up. I did a two-mile recovery jog. 

My goal here was simply to get some over-speed training. This trains me to maintain proper form at high speeds, making it less likely that my form will break down during a long ultra. Sometime I do this type of workout in the form of a 20/40s (20 second sprints, 40 second jogs). Today, it was 200-meter repeats. I didn't need to do a ton of them, so my plan was to keep going until I couldn't do a low 35. Each 200 was separated by an easy 200-meter jog around the track. I ended up with seven repetitions (35, 34, 34, 33, 34, 34 and 35 high).

I still had leg strength training to do, so I ran another 1/2 mile just to let my legs catch back up.

Strength Training (Legs)
This isn't what I do every time I do leg work, but it is a sample of one of the circuits I use when doing leg strength.

  • Walking Lunges with two 10 lb plates for 1/8 mile
  • Squat (machine) 3 x 15
  • Hamstring plank 2 x 20 both legs; 2 x 10 single leg (each leg)
  • Russian-Dead-Lift 3 x 15
  • Box Steps 2 x 10 (each leg)

I did a 3-mile jog outside back home

Post-Workout Fuel

After the workout, It is all about recovery. Since I did quite a bit of intensity between the running and strength training, I strategically included some carbohydrates in my post-workout meal. However, it was still much less than what most people would have after a workout.

  • 4 oz fresh calf liver
  • 4 strips of thick bacon
  • 2 oz wild caught Alaskan salmon
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 sweet potato
  • 2 cups kale
  • 1 cup green beans
  • 3 Tbsp of sour cream
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan sea salt