Running Update (March 2024)

Last week wrapped a training cycle, and this week starts a new one. Some thoughts on how things are going.

Last week finished the final phase of Jack Daniel’s “Red” fitness running plan.

The final phase has some I-pace work, which I like to do on a nearby stretch of road that is flat for about 1200 meters. Longer I-pace intervals might use that entire stretch, but most I-pace work fits just fine there. It’s hard to find flat areas where I live. It has been a while since I’ve done workouts there, and it was nice to get back to it.

I ran the Atlanta Track Club’s Members 10k during this past phase, too, and I was happy with my results. Given I hadn’t run 10 kilometers without stopping since before the marathon, it felt like a nice accomplishment.

The race did raise some questions with my recently added weight training. With running I’m accustomed to having hard, easy, and recovery (very easy) days. Leading up to a race I’m training through (no tapering), I’ll do easy runs for the two days leading up to it, and then an easy day per 3k meters raced (as advised in Jack Daniels’ Running Formula). But how does this carry over to weights? Surely just as running a hard workout the day before a race is a bad idea, lifting at maximal exertion the day before is also a bad idea?

I like the idea of sticking to a routine instead of skipping the weight session altogether. I’m thinking that a recovery weight day could be just the warmup sets, and a tapering weight day could be reduced sets at my working weight, as I’ve long held to the strategy that a taper reduces volume, not intensity. For my Friday weight session before this race, I did my warmups plus two sets at my working weight instead of my usual five. This is something I’ll have to research and experiment with.

This week, I’m starting the same plan again, Jack Daniel’s “Red” fitness plan, but bumping to five running days a week from the four I had been doing.

For reference, prior to my injuries beginning in December of 2020, I was running 35–40 miles over 6 days a week. In the recently-finished training cycle, I was running around 13 miles over 4 days a week. I don’t know if my body will ever let me get back to the volume I had been doing, but I’m taking it very slow.

The first phase has two T-paced runs a week. This is my general plan for the next four weeks:

  1. Monday: 10 minutes easy + 1 mile T with 1 minute rest + 10 minutes easy
  2. Tuesday: 30 minutes easy + 6 strides
  3. Wednesday: 10 minutes easy + 2 x 1k T with 1 minute rests + 10 minutes easy
  4. Friday: 30 minutes easy + 6 strides
  5. Saturday: 40 minutes easy

While the runs are a little shorter than the last phase, I expect the additional day to give me a an additional couple miles each week.

Putting my rest days on Thursday and Sunday means that I’ll be doubling up with weight training on Monday/Tuesday/Friday. I hope that’ll be fine. On the plus side it aligns my hard runs with the weight training so the easy/recovery days can more truly be easy/recovery. I will have to keep an eye on how I’m feeling.

No races in this phase. I don’t have any races on the schedule until a 3000m track race in April.