I'd be willing to bet that I am not the only one who is finding it cosniderably harder to find 'fast and responsive legs' right now. For the past 2 months I have found my stride rate to be sloth-like, my pacing at least 30 sec to 1 min slower at all intensity ranges, and my overall confidence in the run to be waivering.
If this does not apply to you stop reading and get back out in the sun my friend. For those who can relate I want to encourage you to bring some "Fall into August" to your regimen.
Today marked my last 'long' day for IML 2011; 3 hr on the CompuTrainer (1st disk Real Course Video) w/ a very mediocore 30 min run. It was during this run that I decided to draw the line in the sand.
As I enter into the taper phase of IML I am eager to feel some speed. I want my March/April legs back. Ever since the Amazon moved into Charlotte I have missed the leg turnover and sensory elements I once considered status quo.
So, for the next two to three weeks I will venture into the air conditioned confines of Nomad and work "the belt"; Treadmill. Yes, I know that this will not promote heat adaption one iota, but I am certain of several things:
(1) I/we will be running at least 1:00 to 2:00 minutes faster per mile at a MUCH lower HR and perceived effort then if we were outdoors. Example: 7:30/min mile outdoors @ 158 bpm vs. 6:30/min mile indoors @ 146 bpm.
(2) I/we will be able to focus on a stride rate that you have not been able to match outdoors. Example: 86 outdoors vs. 95 indoors.
(3) Most importantly, I/you will come out of these sessions feeling the speed that you have not owned outdoors for some time. This will bolster your confidence in a big way.
The more I have been in this game the more I have come to realize how important it is to have a balanced sense of confidence when going into battle. If you do not feel strong in training it is unlikely you will go into race day feeling mentally strong either. The mental game is big and can often times be the deciding X factor between you and your competition. They may be a stronger athlete physically, but you will trump em' if you have it going on upstairs.
So, I hope you too will consider treating yourself to just one run indoors per week. Use this time to reflect on how it once felt to run in 60 to 75 degree weather w/ little to no humidity. Take this and bring it outdoors. Remember how good you felt indoors when the going gets tough.
By bringing some "Fall into August" you will show that Amazon what you are made of.