Friday, 5 June 2009

2009 Split Into Pieces

In 2009 I arrived late at the party with regards to running - fortunately not wasted and covered in sick like I would have a few years ago. So this year, although I am following a plan that periodises my season, it is one that's necessarily abbreviated starting in February and ending in September.

The concept is the same as a full season in that it's split into blocks, each building on the previous and each introducing a new training emphasis while maintaining the previous. The theory behind this being that it will lead to an utterly heroic peak come the end, while reaching said peak in a safe and progressive way. Let's ignore the fact that I appear to have fucked my knee up yesterday and temporarily ignore the slings and arrows of real life which get in the way of cunningly planned theory.

The season is divided as follows:

Phase Length Emphasis

Prep: 4 weeks. Conditioning body to volume
Base 1: 4 weeks. Building mileage, maximise long run, slow tempo work.
Base 2: 4 weeks. Maintain mileage, slow / medium tempo work.
Base 3: 4 weeks. More medium tempo work, greater emphasis on basic speed.
Threshold: 5 weeks. Fast tempo work and increasing basic speed, some repetitions.
VO2 Max: 5 weeks. Intervals and repetition work.
Peak: 4 weeks. Heaviily reduced mileage and races.
Post: A Few Days. Getting wasted and eating McDonalds.

It is advisable to modify your training paces every 4 weeks or so as the body will frequently take that long to adapt, and also to take advantage of increase fitness. To do so I run a race at least every 4 weeks and derive new training paces from those performances (based on a 5k time or a 5k equivalent time).

Needless to say none of this matters when you are sitting with your heavily iced knee, overdosing on anti-inflammatories with your leg elevated on a beanbag. What do I know....


  1. Have you ever come across Newton running shoes that are supposed to shift your running style away from heel striking and if so, what are your thoughts on them?

  2. I've never tried a pair, but took a look at the website. I was a little disappointed to see the thick heel on them.

    It seems to me that the "lift" part of their technology is bogus. I can't believe a couple of shoe lugs provide any additional propulsion.

    I would have to try them to give a firm opinion. If I were a heel striker I would be finding a nice patch of grass and adding in some barefoot running as it's impossible to heel strike then without your teeth falling out. I'd also gradually transition to more training in flats with a relatively flat heel.

    Both would have to be done gradually as the lower calves get very sore when changing.

  3. I ran across this article awhile ago...RE how shoes have ruined our feet:

    Don't expect you to start running barefoot, but I thought it was interesting, especially since it mentions how shoe technology is basically designed to correct faults caused by! So, it sounds like your plan to train in flats and stick with a flat heel is probably best for your overall foot health.

    Now, if we could only do something about the smell!!! :)

  4. I don't mind the smell - that's everybody elses problem!

    I've started adding some barefoot running at the end of workouts. It would be nice to have the option in the future.


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