Drake Prep

Last weeks three-volume blog-athalon put my fingers into a state of utter exhaustion.  It took several days of rest, ice, and elevation in order to restore their keystroking ability, and I am happy to report they are fully recovered and show no signs of overuse fatigue.  So, like the lead tomato says to the tomato that is falling off the pace, it’s time to “catsup”…

After the Hershey race (I refuse to call it a 10k), I went straight back to Enola and got in the pool. I felt like getting some easy miles in the water after a hard run would maybe work some magic on the legs and help me avoid a day or two of post-race soreness.  Once I got going it felt very comfortable, ended up going past my intended 30 minutes all the way to an hour, with a massage to wrap it up.  No way to know “what would have been” had I not gotten in the water, but I felt really good on Monday so I’ll take it..

Back in the HydroWorx unit on Monday, a little longer and a little harder.  Nothing crazy, but after getting loose I just gradually sped things up, finishing at an easy tempo pace.  75 minutes total, felt really good about the workout as I was getting out of the pool.  By Tuesday I felt totally recovered (if there ever were any “leftovers”), went an hour on the local roads.  Probably safe to call it 9+ miles, would know for sure if I could ever find my stupid Garmin, which has been MIA for the last 6 weeks or so.  Garmin, if you can read this, please come home….

If there was such a thing as a long-range training plan, it would have included getting on the track on Wednesday before going back to work.  The plan looked great right up to the point that the rain and wind rolled into town.  I probably could have gotten out there and made something happen, but the 43-year old side of me said “wouldn’t you rather get wet, and I don’t mean in the rain?”.  Old Nick won again.

Back to the pool.  Warmed up for 20 mins, then tried to get in an “explosive” sort of workout (equivalent to a hill workout or a bunch of low-recovery 200’s).  Went with a bounding Tabata-style workout – 8×20 seconds, 10 seconds between reps at a tempo pace.   20 seconds “on” spent bounding – 12 on the right foot, 12 on the left.  Definitely burned by the end, with heart rate way up there.  7 minutes easy recovery afterwards, then repeated the whole process.  Ended up getting in 3 sets, 21 minutes total.  Finished up with 20 minute cool down, total workout right at about 60 minutes total.

Caught the jumpseat to Memphis on Wednesday night for a quick two-day trip.  Clobbered my calf  while on the jet heading to Syracuse, didn’t end up being as bad as I thought it was going to be but in any case I took Thursday off and iced it as much as I could.  I don’t know what it is about my left lower leg – if I’ve had a problem in the last 18 months it’s been down there.  Think I caught a break on this one.   Up to Calgary on Friday, felt good enough to get in 9 more miles along their river route – shorts, t-shirt, snowbanks.  Only in Calgary….

Saturday was a travel day, didn’t get any real sleep so the desire to pound the pavement was low.  Was able to get up and into the pool though just to feel good about doing something.  55 minutes easy, better than nothing.  On Sunday an ugly Nor’easter started blowing into town – what do you know, more pool!  Back to the Tabata repeat workout, this time after completing the 3 sets I added 10 x 60 seconds with 30 seconds active rest to the end of the workout.  Took it to 75 minutes total, definitely a session where I dragged my butt down to the truck.

Sunday’s workout will probably be the last hard one before the trek out to Des Moines for the Drake Relays.  Got a confirmation email from the race director last week, who reported that there are 24 entrants as of now, including the top three from last year (David Nash, Lance Elliott, and me).  I certainly haven’t been tailoring my workouts towards a track season like I have done in years past – and to be honest I am almost more motivated to race on the roads than the track – but this is a really cool race so I am excited about going out to Iowa to run this one.  I will take it easy from here on out to try to maximize my odds of running a good race on Friday.  6 easy miles on the local roads today, didn’t even wear my watch to ensure I didn’t try to do anything other than routine recovery/maintenance miles.  Finishing this entry before midnight is also part of the Drake prep, so luckily I got an early start – if I wouldn’t wait 9 days between blogs maybe I wouldn’t have to write a novel every time out…..


About Nick Berra

I am a 45 year old masters runner from Central Pennsylvania. I have been participating primarily in track events since turning 40 in 2009. This season has produced marks that I have not run in several years, I believe primarily due to starting a strength and flexibility program here at Elite Athletic Performance - I've felt stronger and faster than I have in a long time. That, coupled with lots of underwater running, has kept me healthy and fit - at this age those are things I no longer take for granted... I run USATF events with a team out of Philadelphia, the Greater Philadelphia Track Club. They are a great group who have played a big part in making the sport enjoyable for me again. I also run local races for HydroWorx Track Club, supported by HydroWorx here in Harrisburg PA. Their underwater treadmills and training center has proved to be a crucial part of my training, rehabilitation, and recovery programs. I set personal records in the 800m (1:56.06) in 2010 and in the 1500m (4:02:63) and mile (4:23.48) in 2011. Despite the fact that I am not getting any younger, I nearly PR'ed recently and set the M45 indoor world record in the 800 meters at the New Balance Armory in New York City. I ran 1:56.10, besting the 9 year old record by less than a second. I feel like there are still more big things to come... I am married and have two daughters. I am an assistant XC coach at my alma mater, Cumberland Valley High School here in Mechanicsburg PA. I am also a 1991 graduate of the US Naval Academy, currently working as a pilot for FedEx after serving 10 years on active duty flying in the Navy. Beat Army! Beat Army!
This entry was posted in Competitive Races, Deep Tissue Massage, Drake Relays, Hydrotherapy, HydroWorx Exercise Pool, Interval Training, Running, Training for Runs, Uncategorized, Underwater Treadmill, Water Running and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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