Week 6 sees the end of ‘threshold’ runs in this training cycle and the introduction of a very short two week period including VO2Max intervals, the purpose of which is merely a slight sharpening in fitness and speed having understood that the greatest effect of training VO2max comes in the short term, and that doing too many VO2Max sessions over too long a period can burn an athlete out; Maximum ‘bang for buck’ – that’s what MCKEP is all about.
Monday’s session (completed last night – blog post to follow this evening) is the penultimate 10k pace session, again extending interval distance to cover (almost) 10km at target pace and reducing the number of rest periods. The planned 4×1.5mi being a big jump from the 6x1mi session which proved hard work for the lads in week 5.
Tuesday and Wednesday are easy days, providing an opportunity to recover and rejuvenate the legs ahead of Thursdays interval session where the pace demands will be high, and the first time the pairing have been required to run faster than 10km pace (apart from their recent Parkrun effort, in which McCarthy had a nightmare run and failed to hit 10km target pace, let alone 5k pace!). Target pace for VO2Max intervals is planned to be 4:59/mi.
There’s some deliberation about how the weekend will pan out, with a 16mi Long Run originally planned (to take the weekly mileage to circa 80mi), a Cross Country Fixture in Gloucestershire which neither athletes can attend (McCarthy again away with Family commitments, and Simkiss utilising some of his many talents to install a new kitchen), and McCarthy keen to make amends for his woeful Parkrun, whilst trying to ensure Sunday is an easy run (ahead of the following Monday’s ‘peak’ session of 3x2mi @ 10k pace) the final plan is still to be finalised. Current situation suggests a parkrun with an extended cooldown could provide the solution, finishing before McCarthy’s family commitments and ahead of Simkiss’ kitchen delivery.
Members of the running community often feel it unfortunate that there’s not more publicly available documentation of elite athlete’s training plans and schedules together with the thought processes behind them. MCKEP’s detailed training information above attempts to address this, and fails miserably, instead explaining the mundane everyday occurrences which prevent two distinctly average athletes from adhering to their original training schedule.