Today marked the end of Kris’s 6th training block of the year. These are all roughly three week blocks followed by a week of recovery, although the exact number of days in each training and recovery block varies according to the specifics of the schedule. However you slice it, Kris is a little less than half way through the training year in a temporal sense, and a little more than half way through if you’re just counting training hours. He’s at 513 hours now, and he won’t see much more than 1000, if he even gets that much (which will depend on in-season training opportunities as dictated by travel and race schedules).
Today’s classic striding intervals went well. The day was colder and wetter than when he did the same session a week ago, but he was going at least as far, and in the end, farther up the hill. His heart rate response was more rapid than a week ago, which is good news. The note of caution is that there is still a cap on peak HR at about 172 bpm.
Kris now has five days easy (he’ll take one off and have light training of under two hours a day the other days) before his next Sunapee test. This is a big one. We need to see an improvement in his capacity in response to the intensity load of this past block. It’s almost impossible to conceive of there not being a capacity boost from such training, provided there is sufficient recovery. While he’s been on the edge for a little while now, all signs point to increasing recovery levels through this last block, and the coming week ought to be sufficient to have him feeling quite good. My hope and expectation for the test is for something on the order of 20:27, conditions allowing. It would be more reasonable to state that as “sub 20:30″, but I like to put a real number up there.
With the training that Kris has been doing, the only real question is whether he’s been able to absorb the load. There’s really no chance that he’s undertrained. So if he fails to show appropriate improvement it means that either the stimulus can provide no further adaptations, or he’s not recovering sufficiently. Given that he’s just turned the corner to an intensity stimulus, we’re down to one option.
Reprinted with permission from the Kris Freeman website at http://www.krisfreeman.net/. Copyright © Zach Caldwell and Kris Freeman