Week Four: July 31st-August 6th
With an official month of training in the books, this is a good point for me to reflect on the work I've done so far, and the obstacles that lie ahead before we begin competition. Next week I'll be travelling, and the week after that is Hawk Harrier XC Camp. This will be my third year attending the camp, and almost all of my teammates will be coming as well, which is an incredibly positive sign of where we are right now as a unit. The important part is to keep this training consistent, and to do every run as planned, so I can build my strength steadily, without over-exerting or risking injury. The weather has continued to stay hot, so I'm working on refueling properly, as well as staying in control of my runs. Now more than ever it's important to avoid going out faster than intended, and to stay smooth through the moderate efforts and workouts.
Friday: I started off this week with a moderate run from my home in Philly. Went out to Spruce St. Harbor Park at an easy pace, and then ran to Camden and back twice, to get some long hills for the day. Ended up finishing with just over 8.5 miles in 58 minutes, getting down to 5:47 in the last mile along the Race St. Pier. Solid effort overall, followed up by some hurdle mobility drills. The great thing about doing runs like these in the morning is that the sun isn't too intense, so dehydration is minimized.
Running around the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Saturday: Economy workout today. This is one I've done a few times already this summer as well. Started off with 35 minutes along the Delaware River towards Citizens' Bank Park, and finished right at the Ben Franklin Bridge, where I did my economy workout towards New Jersey. Today was 3 sets of 8 x 100 meters "on", 100 meters "off", for a total of 3 miles of fartlek work on sloping hills. The weather was gorgeous, but very hot, especially out in the exposed sun, and my feet were burning through the soles of my shoes on the asphalt. Right when I got home I put them in some cold water, and cooled off while stretching.
Sunday: Long run today through Valley Green with Phil Celona, my coach and training partner. We started at the Valley Green Inn early in the morning, and after running the first few miles on the winding trails with my teammates and head coach Rob Hewitt, Phil and I picked up the pace and set out along Bells Mill Road, for an out-and-back effort. My GPS watch is never reliable when running trails, so all splits from today are approximations, and I would assume the actual mileage varies slightly from the data. The splits my watch gave me at the end seemed to be accurate, while we were running on Forbidden Drive, and they were consistently in the 5:40-5:50/mile range. This is much better than the run we had here just two weeks ago in the blistering heat, when we fought to get under 6:30/mile pace. Overall, I would estimate today was in the 10.5-11.0 mile range, over about 73 minutes total.
Monday: Off day today. No running, but I kept myself active with some stretches.
Tuesday: Moderate run today from campus with the team. After a full dynamic warm-up, we all set out on our own runs, going wherever was appropriate for our desired mileage. Since I was looking for some variation from my normal routes, I did an out-and-back along the Manayunk Tow Path, a great extension of the Falls Bridge Run. Ignoring a few tense standoffs between myself and the geese on the path, today went very well, and the splits for my miles were as consistent as I've ever seen them. After taking the first three miles to warm up, my miles consistently dropped 10 seconds each rep until I made it back to the track. Total mileage on the day was about 8.5 miles in 56 minutes, with a really strong finish on the final hill back up from the river. This type of natural progression in a run is something I struggled to get consistently as an underclassman, so it's a sign that I am more in control of my own training. Hurdle mobility drills after we finished on the track, plus static stretching.
Running along the new Schuylkill River Trail extension
Wednesday: I decided to take my economy work today along the Schuylkill River Trail, so I biked over through the city and began the effort at Lloyd Hall. I started the day with 5 miles at 7:01/mile pace, and then I progressed into about 3.25 miles worth of economy intervals. These consisted of three sets of 5 x 30 seconds "on", 60 seconds "off", with the "on" pieces right around my 5k race pace. My legs felt loose, and the "on" pieces were very smooth, so I was satisfied with the effort. All in all, it added up to 8.25 miles. After biking back home, I got my stretches in and relaxed for the rest of the day.
Thursday: Recovery day today at the end of the training week. I ran with my teammates Zach and Daniel today from campus, for about 30 minutes easy around Philadelphia University's campus, and then back through McMichael Park to our track. It felt good to go slowly today, and to have my heart rate stay low. Finished off the effort with a long set of core exercises, plus stretching.
Total Weekly Mileage: 47.75 miles