I spent the entirety of December and part of January getting back to a pure aerobic training regimine. After a season of racing and speed sessions, I thought it would be wise to give my body a break from running anything outside of an aerobic effort. My main focus on these weeks in December and early January was base and long run efforts. For the exception of one recovery week, my January training had me above 100mi/wk. I structured my miles a bit differently than I have in the past. Rather than carrying on a fairly consistant level of mileage throughout a week, I focused more heavily on high mileage days followed by one or two lower mileage recovery days, where I kept my paces very conservative. My mindset here was that this would stimulate the body and mind to be very comfortable with long, ultra-style efforts when race season picks back up.
Apart from running, I spent a good deal of time amping up my strength training. I focused lower body work primarily on Romanian Deadlifts (straight and hex bar), weighted lunges, weighted squats, and resistance band work with side-to-side movements. I did a variety of upper body and core work as well, but focused more on bodyweight moves. As I begin to shift towards speedwork and specificity training I will scale back on the weights for lower body and focus more heavily on functional movements and plyometric-style resistance training.
By mid-January I started gettiing anxious to do something a bit more intense. I began by bringing back some threshold workouts in order to work on the higher end of aerobic training. Progression runs, tempo runs, and threshold effort fartleks. Typcially, it is easier to gauge where I am at when beginning this stage of training, but the winter weather forced a few "effort based" workouts rather than trying to hit a specific number. In previous years, when the winter was harsh, I would move some of these workouts indoors. With this winter being relatively timid I haven't been exposed to a lot of brutal days, making it not too hard to convince myself to do effort-based workouts outside.
Going forward into February, I will begin to add some more anaerobic efforts into the mix. Workouts that include 20-second sprints and 400 meter repeats will be the two kinds of anaerobic efforts I will include in the early stages. As I begin to recoup speed and improve form and efficiency at faster paces I will increase the number of repeats and shorten the recovery time between repeats.
Go-to product(s) for January
- Altra One² - I ran most of my miles this month on concrete. The One² offers just enough cushion to make an articial surface feel natural; all while only adding 5.9 oz of weight. This makes it ideal for speed work.
- Vespa Junior - I used the junior version of the vespa power product line a lot this month. I primarily used it in the second half of long runs and before speed workouts in order to promote mental clarity.