Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My 25 Coaches

When setting up my plan for The Connecticut Running Camp this summer, I wanted to raise the bar a notch from past camps. I always thought we were doing a good job conveying the ideas behind a solid training program, but this year I wanted to prove it. Were the kids walking away with the ability to actually formulate a solid training schedule? There was only one way to find out. Having recently recovered from an injury (another experiment confirming the hypothesis that people do way too much speed work) I had been slowly regaining confidence in my health with slow jogging at a low weekly mileage. Ready for my next phase and not having set out a schedule yet, I put it to the campers. Coach me! Write me a schedule. Oh yeah, we're pushing it on time so you have a little under a half hour. Go! Thirty minutes later each of the groups, led by a counselor, reported back with a sixteen week fall schedule. My intention was to pick one and follow it but upon looking at the schedules, I saw elements that I liked in each schedule. I realized what I should have done in the first place. I should have had each group write me a single phase and put them together. So I picked four weeks from each of the four groups, copied them onto a master schedule and Voila! I had my fall schedule. Of course life can never be simple and almost immediately after receiving my new training schedule I found out I was needed for the Northwest Passage version of the Ragnar Relays the day after I cam back to Washington and two days before I was to start my new plan. So after three races in 14 hours and less than an hour's sleep, I drove home Saturday afternoon trying to figure out how to recover for my first week of training  starting Monday. Of course, like any good schedule, day 1 was a race to gauge baseline fitness. I'm not sure if that track 5k was the smartest idea but I got it in and now have an idea of where I am. (Yes, ignorance would have been a blissful alternative). So my 25 coaches now have the job of taking this 17:49 5k runner back to the 16s and hopefully beyond. I have my schedule, I have three days underneath me - today being a far too uncomfortable sub tempo run proving I still haven't recovered from Monday's time trial... or Ragnar... or the 2.7 time trial last Tuesday... or the 4k time trial the Saturday before that. But I will get my recovery runs in and go from there.  I'm ready!

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