Going Long(er)

Pretty big week since last post, both in terms of quality and quantity.  While I am still back and forth about my race schedule this fall, I found a fast-looking 5k right under my nose this weekend so I am hoping to maybe sneak in an unexpected crack at the elusive 16:00 barrier on Saturday.  I think that getting some good work under my belt these past 6 days will serve me well if not at this race surely down the road…

Backing up to last Friday, I jumped in a workout with our varsity boys and did a bunch of intervals (3×8, 5×4, 12×2) at 5k pace with very short rests.  It sounded like it would be very difficult, but the coach knew what he was doing as the top group of kids were able to stay together (including the old scruffy guy) and finish it pretty strong.  The short (60/30 sec) rests definitely kept the heart rate up, but the paces were such that we never went anaerobic and got in a great 6,800m workout.

I spent Saturday in the HydroWorx pool for a long (75mins) run.  As I start targeting some race distances outside my usual track “zone”, I am planning on upping some of my mileage, especially in the pool where I can do it at very little cost to my legs.  75-90 minutes will hopefully be the new norm, up from my usual 60 minutes.  Saturday’s run felt great, massaged with the hose afterwards.

After our little shindig at the house Saturday night, I was actually able to “answer the bell” Sunday morning.  I still kept Sunday as a day off in a manner of speaking, but did get out to the high school pool for the team’s deep water practice that evening.  90 minutes in the water with the belt on, ran ‘in space’ while the team did their various drills and workouts.  Good to spend a day totally off the feet..

10 miles on Monday out at the Stoney Creek trail with Ryan Hogan (PSU).  Pretty easy pace (~ 7:15) which was very comfortable and just what I needed.  I have no problem settling into this pace when running with a partner or group, it’s just when alone that I find it difficult.  In any case, running with others is undeniably more enjoyable, wish I did it more often…

Back in the HydroWorx pool on Tuesday for an hour’s worth of intervals.  Three sets of bounding Tabata-style intervals, then 8×60 secs.  I always enjoy doing ‘ speed work’ in the water – I really think I get a great strength workout with the combination of the water and jet resistance.   As I said I was going to do with my aqua-distance, I also plan to increase the volume of my aqua-intervals for this fall’s season – more 3:00 to 5:00 intervals, mirroring 1000m and mile repeats.  If some is good, more is better!

Today was an unexpected big day.  Somehow (I need to pay better attention to the coach) I got my signals crossed and anticipated a XC workout this afternoon that I would not participate in but instead roam the course ‘offering my advice’ to the kids, especially those who seemed to need some extra motivation.  With that in mind, I grabbed my “Tom and Jerry”-watching daughter and with her as my bicycle-riding training partner we hit the local roads for an 8-mile tempo run.  I felt pretty good from the get-go, ended up settling in and knocking out the miles all right around 6:10-6:15 pace.  Entire evolution came in a little under 50:00, very happy with how I felt throughout the run.  As for my partner, let’s just say she has definitely mastered working the downhills – between flying past me on every decline, then promptly getting passed on every uphill, I think we spent about 2 minutes actually in the same vicinity throughout the entire evolution.  Maybe this is the beginning of the teen-year attitude and she was dodging me – did she really think we were going to have one of the dreaded ‘talks’ during a climb at mile 6?!?

The ‘mistake’ I made after the tempo run was the team was actually scheduled for a recovery run later that afternoon, not a workout.  Rather than sit on my butt at the school while they all went out for their mileage, I jumped in (with the girls) and logged an unexpected additional 6 miles.  Luckily it was at a very easy recovery pace so I was able to handle it without issue, but 14 miles in a day (8 hard) is more than I have done in a long, long time.  This is how big weekly totals are gathered I’m guessing – splitting it up into morning and evening runs.  Assuming there isn’t too much of a ‘hangover’ the next couple of days the mileage will help, but hopefully it wasn’t too much work too close to Saturday’s 5k.  The race is the ‘Ben and Tim Day 5k’ in Hershey PA – decent prize money has brought out a bunch of local (and not so local) talent in years past making it a pretty fast race.  The last couple years has seen winning times below 15:00, with 5-8 guys under 16 minutes every year.  I hope to find a group and just hang on – it’ll be a good opportunity to get my feet wet back on the roads, and at a distance which is a definitely a step up from the usual stuff I do on the track.  If I want to run the longer stuff I have to start somewhere though, so this will just be a chance to kick-off the road season a little earlier than originally anticipated.

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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 5k running, Competitive Races, Cross Country Running, Hydrotherapy, HydroWorx Exercise Pool, Interval Training, Running, Training for Runs, Uncategorized, Water Running and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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