Sunday, 8 February 2009


The few fast twitch fibres that I have got woken from their deep slumber this week as I put them through their paces. Nothing too taxing though, have to coax them along slowly. Their first outing was at the track on Tuesday where I intended doing about 10 of the 30/30 workouts that Thomas loves so much. On arrival (I was late) there was a group doing 200's with 200m recoveries so I thought I'd do the same (close enough although the recovery time would be longer). So after the warmup I launched into the first 200m - 38 seconds - short but hard. 66 second recovery - not fully recovered, HR down to 141 and into the next 200m - another 38 seconds. This continued for a total of 7 reps before I called it a day as I felt my legs tightening up a bit and the final 200m recovery left my HR slightly higher than previously (146 BPM). No point in pushing it 2 days after a race. All the 200's were either 37 or 38 seconds - close on 5:00 pace. I don't think that I could maintain that pace with recoveries of equal time (mine varied from 66 to 75 seconds) so I checked the paces in "Daniels Running Formula" when I got home. Repetition pace is the closest pace I could find which is a short fast interval (200/400m) pace followed by full recoveries. R pace for my current level of fitness is about 40 seconds for 200m (Mile race pace - don't know if I can do a 5:20 mile though) - no wonder I was feeling a bit tired. The quandary is that the 30/30 session should be run at vVO2 Max which is the pace you can sustain for 6 minutes - again not far off mile race pace - the difference being that Daniels recommends full recoveries and the 30/30 session doesn't. I suppose the important thing to remember about the 30/30 session is that it should terminate when you can't maintain vVO2 Max - which is probably halfway through the second rep for me. My legs were tired for my Wednesday morning recovery run. A visit from my Brother in London and the birth of a friends first child necessitated a trip to the pub on Wednesday night and needless to say Thursday was a no running day. Friday morning saw my second fast twitch fibre workout with 7 x 30 second hill sprints - this time the speed was slower (06:10 to 06:20 pace) but the recoveries more or less the same. I counted strides (45) as opposed to setting time on the Garmin. My legs were pretty beat up by the end but I don't think I'll fear the fast hills as much as I did last year. Lest I think speedwork is going to be a doddle I must remember that my total speedwork for the week amounted to just over 7 minutes. I returned to Dungarvan on Friday night for a retirement function and did not see bed until 4:10 on Saturday morning. An overdose of Guinness twice in the one week is a bit careless and doesn't have the same beneficial effects as the speedwork (well not the following morning anyway). I still managed to blow the cobwebs off on Saturday afternoon with a 10 mile progression run - well once the cobwebs left I upped the pace to about 7 minute miles for the last 2 miles. I left my two and a half hour long run until this morning covering 18.9 miles in the allotted time. The 7:56 average pace felt tougher than it should have - I think the end of week dehydration level was higher than normal - I wonder why? Between the Guinness and a few busy lunchtimes my week was completely devoid of any swimming and cycling - there's always next week. Mon 2nd Feb 5.28 miles in 44:57 (08:31 pace @ 122 HR) - recovery run Tue 3rd Feb a.m. 2.5 miles in 20:02 (08:01 pace @ 137 HR) - treadmill p.m. 5.07 miles in 39:53 (07:52 pace @ 138 HR) with 7 x 200m @ 05:00 pace Wed 4th Feb 5.25 miles in 45:31 (08:40 pace @ 121 HR) - recovery run Fri 6th Feb 7.9 miles in 01:07:27 (08:32 pace @ 135) with 7 x 30s hills @ 06:10/06;20 pace Sat 7th Feb 10.04 miles in 01:15;50 (07:33 pace @ 140 HR) Sun 8th Feb 18.9 miles in 02:30:00 (0-7:56 pace - Forgot to charge Garmin) Transition Week #1 (Run 54.94 miles, Bike NIL, Swim NIL)


  1. Solid week Grellan (Guinness included)

    According to Thomas' link that describes the workout, it would seem that the 30/30 VO2Max workout uses the faster pace (close to mile race pace) than traditional VO2Max workouts (closer to 5k pace according to the info - interval pace according to Daniels) probably because of the much shorter rep length. (30 seconds vs 5-minutes)

    Thomas' last two 30/30 workouts are averaging about 5:45 mile pace however, so he seems to be running them at a pace closer to 5k than mile race pace, but this probably allows him to get in a much greater volume.

    According to Daniels, it's the total time spent at VO2Max pace that matters, so I'd have to believe slowing down some to get in more volume would be the way to go.

  2. sounds more like a liquid week than a 'solid' week

  3. Well, you've certainly been busy! Good pace on the long run too (I think)!

  4. I'm with Mike re the 30/30s. Looks like they're run at about 1500m or mile race-pace.

    You could do them on the track. Work out how far you'd run for 30 secs at mile race pace - might be around 150 metres. The 30 sec recovery could be 100 metres or less.

    I was thinking a good way to do them would be to reverse direction during the 30 sec recovery so you're running each 'hard' 30 secs in a different direction. Then you could tell if you're slowing during the hard 30s because you wouldn't be making the same distance.

  5. Maybe a better balance would be one short and one long interval session each week, that is unless you are planing to race exclusively over the 1500m !
    P.S. I have been lead to believe that Guinness is very good for your iron levels, i hope this to be true as it seems like a fantastic excuse to down the odd pint or 4! Hic!

  6. Hmm, not sure if "love" is the correct term, but so far I think they're a good workout.

    As I haven't got a track available and run them on the road with the Garmin beeping every 30 seconds it is nigh on impossible to tell my pace while I'm running - I can only look it up afterwards. As a result, I just run 30 seconds very hard/30 seconds very easy and don't worry too much about the actual pace.

    5:45 closer to my 5k pace? I wish!!

  7. Looks all in all like a pretty solid week. I realize I have to add some 200 and 400 speedwork to my regimen, but the weather right now is just not allowing that to happen.

    You've got to love those Guinness overdoses.

    Best of luck.

  8. Thomas - you ran an 18:07 right? That's about 5:50 pace, and you've probably improved since then. (cold/flu not withstanding) I think you can do it!

    The 30/30 article says the recovery should be run at half the speed as the interval. On the track, just to make it easy, I'd probably run 200m w/ slow 100m jog.

    In Grellan's case, this might wind up being 38/38 or 40/40, but close enough. With the nice round interval lengths, it would be easy to keep track of what you're doing. (150m w/ 75m jogs on the track will get confusing after a while)

  9. Thanks for all the comments. I agree that the 30/30s (or 40/40s) should be at alternate mile pace (05:20 for me)and half that (10:40) but the quandry still remains that Daniels recommends full recoveries for such a pace/distance conbination.

    I'm incluned towards the less painfull recommendation of Mike/Daniels of maximising time spent at VO2MAX (5k pace or 06:00 for me) to get more volume in.

    Rick - I've no intention of racing 1,500m - I know 200s are probably of little benefit for distance races but I aim to start out short (200/400m) and fast (mile to 5k pace)and gradually get longer(3k/4miles) and slower (10k to HM pace)

    Guinness does increase iron levels - however its beacause of the other "benefits" that it's not as popular among serious athletes.

  10. Grellan - one other note in regards to Daniels. His VO2Max workouts (i.e. "Interval pace") are typically done at a pace that is about 6-seconds/400m slower than "Rep pace", which is as you say about mile race pace.

    So if your estimated Rep pace is in the 5:20 range, that would put your Interval pace close to 5:45/mile.

    Really though all of these "paces" get so close to each other that the line becomes blurred pretty quickly. In order from fastest to slowest we have Daniels' Rep or Mile race pace, 3k pace, Daniels' Interval pace, 5k pace, 10k pace, threshold pace, 1/2-marathon pace, marathon pace, easy pace, recovery pace. Did I leave any out? That's a lot of paces to keep track of.

    Not to mention - all of these paces need slight adjustments after a few pints of Guinness! :)

  11. 'LAB RAT'
    I once asked my 2.27 marathon running friend how fast i should run my intervals, the reply I got was maybe not what I was looking for but on reflection it was pretty sound advise, he said run them as hard as you can while still being able to finish the last interval at the same speed as the first one"!
    Even on a track you can have a headwind down one straight and a tail wind on the other, which can change your pace quite considerably!
    I think THOMAS has the right idea, don't worry about a theoretical pace, just run them bloody hard, as you get fitter your body will adapt and you will be able to run them even faster!
    On the other hand you could become a LAB RAT, running on a tread mill with a team of scientific technicians taking blood samples every two minutes and breath through an oxygen mask while a Doctor pokes you up the bum with a thermometer!