5k sprint/walk and DNF Fragmented Helen

Doubled Up on Saturday morning, first, before 6:00 am I moved 5k in Montford, doing 60s sprints with 180s walking recovery; 10 rounds of Sprints and 9+ walks, total time 38:13. Then, to CFA 7:30 class for Pose Running drills and a partial “Fragmented Helen.”

5k “Montford Crawl” Sprint/Walk

I started out the day super early, finding myself awake and unhappy about it by 4:45 am. It was a crappy night of broken sleep but I was excited to repeat the 5k course I did last week, using a slightly different interval tempo for my sprints with walking recovery: max effort sprint for 60s @ 240s intervals for 5k distance:

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Result: 10 sprints (at 0, 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, 28, 32, 36 mins), 38:13 total time

I had no pain this time (except for a little painful fatigue in my left hip flexor), which was very unlike last time, and I made up considerable time. I was about 3 minutes ahead of where I was last week as I rounded the corner onto Courtland from Pearson (and didn’t have to stop sprinting from pain in my knee at that point, thank God).

I was highly conscious of following true “pose” running techniques throughout the workout… a technique made more likely and necessary given that I was, as last week, wearing Vibram Five Fingers. I was really pleased not to face the kind of pain I had last week.

And finally, also, my overall time was a full 6:32 shorter. Which was really great. Of course, I totally walked for the final several intervals last time.

I felt really good during this workout. Although my sleep had been disturbed (children, and just a bit too much alcohol the night before), and although I was technically in a fasted state (about 10 hours since my last food), my body really was doing great. I was not “completely” fasted because I used a scoop and a half of “Purple Wraath” BCAAs. I had no problems with energy level or discomfort of any kind. Which is good to know.

After the sprints I had another scoop and a half of “Purple Wraath” and a scoop of “Jack3d” before heading to the 7:30 am workout at CFA.

A Running Focused Saturday AM CFA Session

I knew there would be trouble shortly after I arrived at CrossFit Asheville, and saw that the workout would focus on Pose Method sprint work for the Skills, and then a “Fragmented Helen,” i.e. a Helen with a rest period of 2 minutes between rounds. I had already put a lot of sprinting volume on my feet, ankles, calves, knees and hip-flexors that morning. It would be difficult to maintain pose form and not injure myself. But I was game; after all, all that was involved was some warming up and another 3/4 mile of sprinting.

Fragmented Helen: 3 rounds for time of:
400 meter sprint
21 Kettlebell Swings (53 lbs)
12 pull-ups

It didn’t go so well. The pose-techniques were fine. I really pushed it, taking advantage of my thorough work-out earlier which had accustomed me to going all out on the sprints. But during that first 400 meter run of Helen, I could tell that my knee wouldn’t last. By 300 meters I was in pain, the same pain in my right knee that ruined my Half Marathon and that stopped me last Saturday. I completed the first round just fine (especially the 21 consecutive KB swings, a great improvement over previous efforts at various permutations of Helen). But then, I had to bail at less than 100m into the next run. I walked back, did my swings and pull-ups, then stood around for a while, and then finishing out a third round of KB swings and pull-ups. I did not finish Helen, per se, and didn’t record a time.

The pain and stiffness in my joints was pretty much guaranteed from all of this. It felt good to work out hard, but was discouraging not to be able to finish the Helen.

Future Plans for Sprinting / 5k and Endurance Distance Work

Everything in these experiences comes down to my preparedness for endurance length running. I’m not prepared for it… I’m not prepared for any real volume in running or sprinting. But I have a plan for building capacity, and here it is.

Along the 5k route today I was planning my “moves” over the coming weeks. The goal here is to keep working on speed and endurance, while strengthening my “barefoot” running technique and building capacity to handle distance volume.

So here’s my schedule for the next few weeks. I think the pattern is pretty clear.

25% (1/4) sprinting:

10/9: max distance in 30s / 90s recovery (2 min intervals) for 5k.

33% (1/3) sprinting:

10/16 (in Rhode Island): max distance in 120s / 240s recovery (6 min intervals) for 5k.

10/23: max distance in 90s / 180s recovery (4.5 min intervals) for 5k.

10/30: max distance in 60s / 120s recovery (3 min intervals) for 5k.

11/6: Haywood Heroes 5k (Inaugural Race) in Canton: see race map and event page for details.

50% (1/2) sprinting:

11/13: max distance in 180s / 180s recovery (6 min intervals) for 5k.

11/20: max distance in 120s / 120s recovery (4 min intervals) for 5k.

11/27: max distance in 60s / 60s recovery (2 min intervals) for 5k.

12/4: Jingle Bell 5k in Montford: see event homepage.

After that point I plan to start alternating weeks between 10k distances using a “fartlek” methodology that will have me sprinting approximately 20% of the time, and while continuing my sprint training over 5k distances, cycling back through 25%, 33% and 50% sprinting vs. walking.

When I have cycled back through the sprint work on the 5k distances, I will have also done a few 10k distances, I plan to drop the 5k sprint work and switch to alternating between 10k and 15k distances on Saturday AMs, doing walking/sprint work on 10k distances and fartleks over 15k distances. By that time it should be summer.

This patter will continue over the summer until August, 6 weeks prior to the next half marathon, at which point I will add in one 5k sprint workout per week (Tuesday AMs) and continue to alternate between 10k and 15k on Saturdays, using a 20% sprinting fartlek method to build speed and capacity. Approaching the Saturday before the 2011 Half, I’ll do my 5k sprint work and my 10k on Saturday; then a 5k jog on Tuesday and nothing until the race.

Let me know what you think...