Let’s start by emphasizing the training you do now to consistently build your endurance this fall will have a significant and positive impact on your winter and spring racing regardless of if you’re an 800m specialist or a marathoner.  Even the best 200/400 people spend the fall building an aerobic base through moderate efforts for their best spring racing. Don’t believe me?  Check out Clyde Hart’s training who is widely considered the best 200/400 coach on the globe.  He coached Michael Johnson, Jeremy Wariner, Sanya Richards and many others (http://athleticscanterbury.org.nz/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=TvZhTc1IfZs%3D&portalid=6).  Having a solid base of aerobic fitness regardless of race distance will increase your odds of having the type of 2019 racing season you're hoping for.  

The emphasis for this next block continues to be on volume and not on intensity, although you will notice a bit more intensity this block in the form of hill reps at 1500 effort straight through.  Re-intros include barefoot 1 mile warm downs and diagonal accelerations (with shoes on for this block) on Saturdays.  Hurdle drills will progress to 2 sets and workouts will be ever so slightly faster, but the focus is still on doing volume at this stage.

Many of you are having a hard time working out as conservatively as I’m suggesting.   Runners make greater improvement when they don’t race workouts or go all out in races until there is something of significance on the line in the very near future like a National title - until then modest efforts within yourself will allow you to stay healthier and mentally fresher which is a huge factor in improvement.  You should walk away from every workout and race at this stage and honestly feel you could do much more and do it much faster. 

We are focused on improving stamina which will greatly improve your odds of racing faster and this is best accomplished by running the longer intervals and tempos at the conservative paces suggested.  We are also focused on improving speed by having a consistent dose of short, faster running with plenty of recovery to address a key component of racing faster without adding undo stress to the system. Those from the 70’s will recognize this phrase “train, don’t strain” which was an Arthur Lydiard mantra.  Since the goal currently in on volume and not intensity, running a race or workout too hard is likely to cause you to take a few lower mileage days to recover thus limiting your ability to accomplish our primary goal.

You can do the type of training we’re suggesting below pretty much indefinitely until you decide there a very big race on the line and 10 or so week later, we go event specific, taper and you’re ready to go.  The thing is, if you dip into the savings account too early by hammering workouts or races too far out, you peak and fade before it’s time.  It only takes 6-8 weeks of harder event specific work (see Peak Season below) and a 2-3 week taper to be super ready IF you have a solid base of aerobic fitness - this is exactly what we are building here, a super solid base by putting aerobic bucks in the bank and shaping you into an aerobic monster while adding in a consistent dose of easy to consolidate speed so when we do get to the event specific stage, you have the necessary tools and background to make the transition successfully.  Don’t you worry, the workouts will get progressively more demanding as we move closer to the Holidays.  If you’re seriously looking at 2019 and ahead to 2020, consistent work now within yourself is the best way to do your part in accomplishing these goals.  The words for now are patience and confidence.  

Races:  Any races at this time continue to be for fun.  Just like the workouts scheduled during this time, moderate efforts, not going-to-the-well at all  Our next big team effort will be on October 20th at the Matt Yeo Invite in Martinez that serves as our home meet complete with a post meet team picnic - very fun time.  Hope to see you all there.

Workouts:  Reminder to add 3-4 sec/400 to your suggested workout paces when running on grass.

 9/30-10/6

Mon:  45-60 min + Light drills and quick, loose strides post run. 

 Wed:  Poly lower grass rec field.  2-4 mi warmup, light drills, 80-100m strides on grass at good relaxed speed - be warmed up and strided out by 6:30 PM for the start of the workout.  5-7 x [4 x 300] at CV (see attached), every 4th at 10k (so 300 at CV, CV, CV, 10k and repeat) w/ 30 sec recovery on grass.  MD types (true 800/1500 people), do slightly less reps, but add 3-6 x 15 sec fast, smooth, relaxed after the 300’s, recovery is up to athlete.  LD types (5k+) do more of the meat of the workout and pass on these 15 sec surges.  2-4 mi warm down.  

Sat:  Cuesta 8:00 meet up - park at Fairbanks.  2-4 mi warmup, light drills, 6-8 x Diagonal Accelerations on grass (30-40m at XC race effort, 30-40m like you’re racing the last 800 of a 5k, 30-40m at good, fast relaxed finishing speed) with walk across recovery.  2-4 mi at MP on roads, 5 min, 2-4 x 1k at Tempo on grass w/ 60 sec jog btw each, 5 min, 2-4 mi on roads at MP.   MD types (true 800/1500 people), do slightly less, but add 3-6 x 20 sec fast, smooth, relaxed/40 sec off at the end.  LD types (5k+) do more of the meat of the workout and pass on these 20 sec surges.  1 mile easy barefoot.  2 sets hurdle drills + optional strength work.  Run back to Fairbanks  <OR> Sun: Urban Cow 1/2m, Sacramento.

10/7-10/13

Mon:  45-60 min + Light drills and quick, loose strides post run. 

Wed:  Poly lower grass rec field.  2-4 mi warmup, light drills, 80-100m strides on grass at good relaxed speed - be warmed up and strided out by 6:30 PM for the start of the workout. 3-6 x 1600 at Tempo on grass w/ 60 sec, 5 min + 3-6 x 30 sec Hill Reps at 1500. 2-4 mi warm down.

Sat:  Cuesta 8:00 meet up - park at Fairbanks.  2-4 mi warmup, light drills, 6-8 x Diagonal Accelerations on grass (30-40m at XC race effort, 30-40m like you’re racing the last 800 of a 5k, 30-40m at good, fast relaxed finishing speed) with walk across recovery.  2-4 mi at MP on roads, 5 min, 4-10 x 1k at Tempo on grass w/ 60 sec recovery.  MD types (true 800/1500 people), do slightly less, but add 3-6 x 20 sec fast, smooth, relaxed/40 sec off at the end.  LD types (5k+) do more of the meat of the workout and pass on these 20 sec surges.  1 mile easy barefoot.  2 sets hurdle drills + optional strength work.  Run back to Fairbanks. <OR> Sun:  City to Sea 1/2m, SLO.

10/14-10/20

Mon:  45-60 min + Light drills and quick, loose strides post run. 

Wed:  Poly lower grass rec field.  2-4 mi warmup, light drills, 80-100m strides on grass at good relaxed speed - be warmed up and strided out by 6:30 PM for the start of the workout.  4-7 x [4 x 400] at CV (see attached), every 4th at 10k (so 400 at CV, CV, CV, 10k and repeat) 45 sec recovery.  MD types (true 800/1500 people), do slightly less reps, but add 3-6 x 15 sec fast, smooth, relaxed after the 400’s, recovery is up to athlete.  LD types (5k+) do more of the meat of the workout and pass on these 15 sec surges.  2-4 mi warm down. 

Sat:  Matt Yeo Invite, Martinez + 20-30 min warmup, 30-60 min warm down.

10/21-10/27: Easy week.  Cut back all runs by 15-20% - the goal is to exit the week fresher than you entered it.  Week will feel like crap BUT you should be mentally and physically ready for the next jump up the intensity charts.  

Mon:  45-60 min + Light drills and quick, loose strides post run. 

Wed:  Poly lower grass rec field.  2-4 mi warmup, light drills, 80-100m strides on grass at good relaxed speed - be warmed up and strided out by 6:30 PM for the start of the workout. 8-16 x 800 at Tempo on grass w/ 60 sec, 5 min + 3-6 x 30 sec Hill Reps at 1500. 2-4 mi warm down.

Sat:  Cuesta 8:00 meet up - park at Fairbanks.  2-4 mi warmup, light drills, 6-8 x Diagonal Accelerations on grass (30-40m at XC race effort, 30-40m like you’re racing the last 800 of a 5k, 30-40m at good, fast relaxed finishing speed) with walk across recovery.  2-5 x [1.5 mi at MP on the roads, 60 sec, 1k at Tempo on Grass] w/ 800 jog.  MD types (true 800/1500 people), do slightly less, but add 3-6 x 20 sec fast, smooth, relaxed/40 sec off at the end.  LD types (5k+) do more of the meat of the workout and pass on these 20 sec surges.  1 mile easy barefoot.  2 sets hurdle drills + optional strength work.  Run back to Fairbanks.

Example weekly structure:

Sun:    Long Run 60-120 min easy as a single.  Hills are good if you can work them in.  

Mon:  AM:  Easy 20-40 min*                    PM:  Easy 30-60 min + light drills and quick turnover strides

Tues:  AM:  Easy 20-40 min*                    PM:  Easy 30-60 min

Wed:  AM:  Easy 20-40 min*                    PM:  Workout

Thurs:            Mid Week Long 60-90 min w/ last 3-4 miles at 80% type effort hilly run as a single.  You can flip Thursday w/ Tuesday if it works better for your schedule

Fri:                  AM:  Easy 20-40 min*                    PM:  30-60 min super easy recovery jog or day off

Sat:                 AM.  Workout                                  PM:  Easy 20-40 min*

*The second 20-40 min run on many of the days are for people looking to get 60 or greater miles per week.  If you’re in the 40 or so miles per week range, remove the 20-40 min second run.  If you’re in the 40 miles per week range consider substituting the 20-40 min easy run with a walk, hike or swim instead.  If you’re looking to add 5 or so miles a week to what you ran last year, an easy thing to do is add a mile on a few runs per week.

Potential races for the next few months:

10/7:              Urban Cow 1/2m, SAC PA Champs, USATF 10m Champs

10/14:   City to Sea 1/2m

10/20:            Matt Yeo XC - our home meet

11/11:            Clarksburg 1/2m

11/18:            PA/USATF XC Champs, Golden Gate Park

11/22: Silicon Valley Turkey Trot

12/2:              CIM USATF National Marathon Champs

12/9:              USATF National Club XC Champs

12/16:            Xmas Relays

2019 Stuff to consider:

Various Dates:  Indoors

1/20:              Houston 1/2m or Carlsbad 1/2m or RnR Arizona 1/2m

2/2:                USATF Winter XC Champs

2/22-24: USATF Indoor Champs

5/5: USATF Half Marathon Champs

5/9: USATF Road Mile National Champs

6/22: Grandmas Marathon

7/25-28: USATF National Outdoor Track and Field Champs

The basic plan for the fall for Club XC’s, Indoors or an early 2019 half or full marathon:

Off-Season: 

7/8-8/4:         4 weeks Off-Season:  Easier runs, establish long runs, double days, hillier runs, strides.  Building volume is job #1.   Any race is for fun and at a tempo effort.

Pre-Season:

8/5-9/1:         4 weeks Pre-Season:  Keep building miles.  Very optional, very light workouts added in for those looking to add some variety  i.e.  3-4 miles easy, 8-10 x 20 seconds upbeat, 40 seconds off, 3-4 miles easy or 6-10 miles negative split out/back run. First half easy, last half at no faster than 80% (90-100 sec/mile slower than mile race pace or 45-50 sec/mile slower than 10k race pace).  Add in light core work if desired.

9/2-9/29:      4 weeks Pre-Season:  Max weekly mileage should be achieved by now.  Workouts still pretty mellow.  Hill reps, longer 80% runs - 6-10 miles for LDs.  3-7 miles for MD’s.  Warmup drills and overall strength work introduced.

 Early-Season:

9/30-11/24:  8 weeks Early-Season:  Multi Paced Strength work while maintaining the weekly miles.  Workouts and races are consistently moderate efforts.  Full warmup routine including drills and accelerations, strength work for those inclined:  300-400’s at CV/10k, moderate, mid length tempos w/ some sort of longer paced interval tacked on.  Mile reps, 800’s at tempo type effort w/ some faster, shorter work tacked on.  Full slate of warmup drills and hurdle work.

 Peak-Season:

11/25-2/2:  Event specific workouts, solid races for 5-7 weeks + a 2-3 week taper.  Look for a goal half marathon, cross or indoor performance through the early part of 2019.