I had my first great run in a long time last weekend. 8 repeats on a nearly 3/4 mile dirt road loop that included a pretty decent hill climb for about 2/10ths of a mile. I tried to run pretty consistently, knocking out all the laps in about 4:55, except for the seventh which was about 5 seconds slower. Legs were threatening to seize up at the end, but never followed through. overall pace was about 6:47 per mile or so - definitely a better result than i was expecting. I was pretty worked, but not completely so, by the time everything was said and done. It gives me some confidence for the Sioux - Hustler which is coming up in about three weeks i guess!
I've also been thinking about another way of looking at this type of training. It's beyond a doubt that i could be far fitter were i to devote more time to, well, fitness. But if you accept a few key premises, it's a pretty logical argument that the way i'm training is the most 'efficient'. Here's how i figure it:
High intensity work requires greater physiological adaptation than low intensity work and so provides the greatest gains with least amount of time commitment, but High intensity work doesn't necessarily mean only sprint intervals, however - race pace intervals, longer near max effort tempo runs, and threshold zig zags are going to be necessary to develop the mental and physical stamina required for longer events, and are still performed at considerably higher intensity than what is required for the bulk of training in most programs. I'm pretty maxed out right now in terms of my mental capabilities. I'm doing three workouts a week, each of them is a significant effort and gives me 10-15 minutes of Z5+ effort, about 30-40 minutes of Z4-5, and the remainder in Z3 and Z2, with most being in Z3. I don't think i'd be able to add much effort in Z4 or above without it hurting any of my existing workouts. If i added volume at lower efforts, the average efficiency of my training time would go down.
So in other words, i'm trying to make all of my workouts at a level that provides pretty near the best results per time spent. I'm focusing on hitting each training zone throughout the week with a workout that focuses on short, super high intensity intervals, one that focuses on longer intervals, and one that requires longer duration tempo work. If i took something away i would't be doing as much as i could at this intensity. If i added something, the intensity would suffer. If i keep doing what i'm doing i think i'm going to comfortably be able to run a rugged 35 mile backcountry wilderness trail and race at an with an elite team in a seven day adventure race. Not bad.
YogaSlackers Women Who Sport
9 months ago