The New Year started off pretty rough. The first days back to group training featured temps below -30 and streets covered in ice, so we had to cancel the first practice of the year. The plan was to do some fartlek, but we opted for some indoor stuff, on the bike, in the pool, or on the treadmill. It happens, it is part of running in Canada.
We also added a new face to the group. Stéphanie Crevier-Couture has come on board as distance coach for our group on Tuesdays and Thursdays. For the first little while, she will mirror my workouts, but once she gets to know the runners, she'll start building her own plans. She will also take over working with the high school-aged distance runners, which I am excited about because it means they can get some attention that is specific to their needs. I did like having them in the big group; there weren't that many of them so it was a good fit, but as that group grows, they will have their own focus and their own coach! It's great to see the club growing!
The workout for Wednesday/Thursday was a hurtin' one. Several people didn't finish and most counted it as very hard or too hard. That's ok, as the point was to see how hard we could go. It's simple and deceptive. It doesn't look too bad, but once you get into it, the legs just burn. My question was: how much leg burn will they handle. Here's the workout:
4x200m at 1500m effort, 4x400m at 3k effort, 4x200m at 800m effort. Bewteen sets, the recovery was 400m easy jog or 2-3min. Within each set, recovery was 30sec static rest then 5xsquat jump, 6xlunge jump, 5x burpee and 5xtuck jump. Yeah. So that made for 9 sets of jumps, 189 in total. When it got to be too much for a few people, they were pulled out of the jumps, but they continued the running intervals. A few folks who have not had the full base season that most had in the fall, or who have been sick or off for a while, or who are injury prone, also only did the running. But that was really only a handful.
Saturday we rocked Summit Circle for a classic 2h run with 35min at steady state effort. As Dave Liu, our Sketchers-sponsored marathoner likes to say: "bread and butter."
This week, the weather looks better, and we should be able to get all the sessions in. Stephanie will start taking her group on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so that will mean smaller groups (40 people is a lot to handle!). I am of two minds: a big ol' group is great. But on the indoor track, there just is no room for that many people, especially when varsity is there, both distance and sprint groups. We will go as one big group for the Saturday long run, so I think that will keep the club feel. Maybe in teh spring when their racing season is up, we can convince varsity that 9am is not early and they will join us, too.