So, How Many Hats Do You Wear?

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Pensacola, Florida, United States
Husband. *Dog Dad.* Instructional Systems Specialist. Runner. (Swim-challenged) Triathlete (on hiatus). USATF LDR Surveyor. USAT (Elite Rules) CRO/2, NTO/1. RRCA Rep., FL (North). Observer Of The Human Condition.

Monday, August 26, 2013

August And Everything After

I don't know how you feel, but I'm excited. Let's get the month of August over with and on to September. If you're training for the ING in Miami or New Orleans' Rock n' Roll this is when the training kicks off, but as a (rehabilitating) athlete/coach the majority of my focus right now is on races which take place between Labor Day and Thanksgiving. I know nobody wants to be out running in August. All those folks who laid their money in the early spring to run Chicago or New York...what were they thinking? And if they ratcheted the intensity up too soon up front the odds are pretty good that by now - at the end of August - they had to take at least a week off.

During the summer, which for me and the athletes I work with I define as the period between the end of May and the beginning of September, most of the "speed" workouts are what coaches would call "maintenance." They're doing aerobic efforts, ranging from 160-to-1600 meters, breathtakingly-boring stuff. One of my guys races sprint triathlons, so the efforts he runs with me (when in town) are a nice change from the damage he does to himself on the junior circuit. His training partner is training for a marathon, so my biggest challenge is to keep them from hammering themselves into oblivion. Everybody else in the group have been with me for at least a year so I don't have to pull the reins in as much on them.

Once the temperatures drop to about 82 degrees I start to work in the occasional 400 at closer to VO2max pace - 2:10 per 400 for runners like my wife, 1:25-to-1:30 for my "hammerheads." Jack Daniels suggests a 2:1 work-to-rest ratio, which means the guys might jog an easy 100 in between, where Suzanne will walk that same distance. She'll do five of those where she might have done six (seven on a cooler day) at a more-aerobic pace; Al and Ash might do eight.

Even if I didn't change the intensity the chances would be they'd see faster times on the race course, because unlike many of their contemporaries they've been doing SOMETHING the entire summer rather than lsying on the couch drinking iced tea and watching Looney Tunes.

So, if you decided to allow the most frightening law of physics, the law of inertia, to take effect over the summer, it's not too late to be ready, more or less, for those Turkey Trot races at the end of November. Six weeks of aerobic efforts and you should be good to go.

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