Fixing your training in the middle of a training period?

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Trackrunner220

Fixing your training in the middle of a training period?

Post by Trackrunner220 » Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:09 pm

I have taken most easy days for the past 2 weeks to try and get my body to feel less fatigued. We have not done much workouts, just all base work and for the most part I am running 720 to 750 pace. Never much faster. My legs feel dead, as well as the rest of my body. I havent had a spark in them at all. We had a short fartlek yesterday to sharpen those going to conferences, however I stopped mid-way because I couldnt do it. I was fine doing the easy pace but when we had to pick up the stride I just could not do it. The last workout before this was last tuesday and that was not hard.

Is there a way to fix the damage that has been done? I have tried to just easy run but I am only getting more fatigued and cannot even do a stride-out without stopping mid-way thru.

Tinman
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Re: Fixing your training in the middle of a training period?

Post by Tinman » Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:30 pm

Trackrunner -

Go the the extremes: that's the way to solve your mess of fatigue!  Run very slow or fast, no inbetween stuff until you feel consistently good. Slow down a minute per mile on your easy runs - even from your already relaxed pace. And, don't do any extended speed running, but do 100's with long jog recoveries. Start each rep completely fresh. Try 100m at 1500m-800m speed, jog 300m recoveries, your first workout. Run 6 to 8 reps, but stop immediately if you feel tired. 

I coached an 800m runner who ran 1:53 a couple of times (he was an open runner - age 20). He became very fatigued, complained of achy legs, and no energy to walk around during the day. I instructed him to jog and do striders for two weeks. He ran 4 striders one day and 8 striders the next day. Never did he hammer them, but mostly it was 1500m speed/effort/rhythm. His normal easy run pace was low 7's per mile, but I had him jog "at least a minute, if not more," per mile. I told him to check his pulse regularly while he ran and keep his HR at 65% of maximum - the first week - and 70% of maximum the second week. He  regained energy in about 6 days, but I kept him on the plan for the whole 2 weeks. At the end of the second week he ran a 5km race and set a personal best by something like 43 seconds, as I recall. I knew that he was fit, so I took a chance and gave him  striders for all of the following week, excet Thursday, two days before an 800m race. He ran 4 x 200m cut-downs at 31, 30, 29, and 27 seconds. On Saturday he ran 1:53.4 and won with a nice last 150m. 

Good luck!

Tinman
Last edited by Tinman on Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Trackrunner220

Re: Fixing your training in the middle of a training period?

Post by Trackrunner220 » Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:59 pm

Sounds good. I will let you know how it works out Tinman! Thank for the advice

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Re: Fixing your training in the middle of a training period?

Post by Tinman » Fri Feb 19, 2010 4:12 pm

The point of the example I gave isn't to state that everyone who is not performing well should jog around and do 100m striders for a couple of weeks; rather, the person I was describing was very tired from a long stretch of training a bit faster than he was supposed or could realistically handle, and he needed recovery time. But, rather than rest - taking days off - I had him do easy training for a few days, so that he'd retain cardio-vascular endurance and efficiency, while freshening up his legs. The short but quick striders with long jog recoveries ensured that his coordination and leg specific leg strength would not erode.

Other methods exist of recovering, but just remember that using less strenuous forms of what you normally do in training is likely to be the solution to the problem you have.

Tinman
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jKerska

Re: Fixing your training in the middle of a training period?

Post by jKerska » Fri Feb 19, 2010 5:19 pm

OP,

I think one of the most important things you have to do is trust your natural talent. No matter how much it may be you have been given a certain natural capacity to perform. A few days off isn't going to kill you, nor will training easy for a week or two.  In years past I have never trusted myself and trained through every bit of fatigue, sickness, and injury imaginable. Not once did training through adversity ever result in performing well.

Good performances come when you are fit and mentally ready to give an honest effort. If you have doubts due to fatigue your mental state is going to be affected regardless of your physical state.

I would seriously advice taking Tinman's advice and rest until you feel mentally and physically ready to return to training.

Right now I have a chest cold and am forced to stop training hard for the next two weeks or so to allow my body to recover. The two weeks before this were the best two weeks of training I have ever had and felt like I was rounding into great shape. The shape will come back with rest and return to normal uninterrupted training. Pushing through will just prolong the suffering.

Good luck and rest a little more then you think is needed. Take as many easy days as you need, then take 1 more for good measure.

Bon Chance!

Trackrunner220

Re: Fixing your training in the middle of a training period?

Post by Trackrunner220 » Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:57 am

Thank You Tinman and Jkersa! Informative posts.

How are you feeling now Jkersa? Still have the cold? Hope your training gets back on track. Mine is in a sense. I went home for a couple days and just relaxed and thought about my running, then did an very easy 8 miler on one of my oldest routes. I started to have leg lift and drive that I havent had in a while. It felt really good. It just felt good to be home and run the roads to get me to where I am today. I came back to school and ran practice yesterday and did not feel sluggish like I had in the passed (of course now i had my medicine that i was missing for 8 weeks) but I was running with the kids I normally train with and  wasnt falling back

jKerska

Re: Fixing your training in the middle of a training period?

Post by jKerska » Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:28 pm

I started running easy 30-35 minute runs on Friday after taking 4 days off last week.  This week I will hit mid 40s, then 60s and finally back to the 80s until outdoor starts. Just gotta stay relaxed and do solid boring work. No hero stuff.

Trackrunner220

Re: Fixing your training in the middle of a training period?

Post by Trackrunner220 » Tue Feb 23, 2010 9:38 pm

Nice what race are you peaking for?

jKerska

Re: Fixing your training in the middle of a training period?

Post by jKerska » Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:26 pm

The 1500. But I would like to set a pr at 800 in some of my prep races in the first month of the season when I'm trying to build speed for the last couple weeks when I taper. It'd be nice to jump in a 5k just to get my feet wet for years ahead.

How about yourself? What is the plan when May rolls around and the weather is gorgeous again!

Trackrunner220

Re: Fixing your training in the middle of a training period?

Post by Trackrunner220 » Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:57 pm

Well it is my last season of track (I have one more XC. I am graduating early but its not worth to stick around under my coach. He can train 5k guys but 800/milers are a lost cause for the most part) so i am shooting to make it to conferences and actually not blowing up.

I used to be a 2:06 guy in High school (PR was set junior year) and the closest I have came was a 2:09. Everything else has been over 2:10...So I am hoping to get back to the 2:05 range. i always pictured running sub-2 but that wont happen unless I drastically change what my coach is doing. I have followed his training to a T and its just cost me a lot of time in this sport I do not have...Sorry for the vent it.

So I am focusing on PRing in the 400: 53.5+
800: 2:05+
1500: 4:30 or better (this should be a given as I pred in the 1000 in track by 6 secs and had a 2 min pr in the 8k...I hope)

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