I leave The Netherlands in less than three weeks now and I find myself wealthy in training partners. Of course, I have Alain, El Doce, and The Jewish Stallion, but I'm running with someone new tomorrow, someone who sought me out for injury advise last Sunday. He runs on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Since Alain and El Doce only run on Tuesday, Thursday (Alain and I ran together this morning), and Sunday, my new training partner, Joe, has given me a possible running companion for six of the seven days of the week. With the success I had in Prague and because of the deep bonds my training pals and I have formed with mutual sweat and sacrifice, I now fully understand why so many people who train with the Kenyans see Kenyan runners' big training groups as a key part of their dominance in distance running.
In the past couple of weeks, I've also run with Matt, one of my personal training clients and John, who is training for Ironman Antwerp 70.3. John has also started cycling with our training group. The only difficulty I see with this group of guys is going easy enough on our easy days. We all like to push the pace when we can. Unfortunately, my days as a member of this group are numbered.
I had a nice tempo run with Alain today. We had decided last night to do a 14km run, with 5km in the middle at tempo pace. We actually ran a tempo progression run--our three miles of tempo were 6:58, 6:46, and 6:38. Our final kilometer was 4:04, and I felt like I could have gone one more kilometer and could have completed it in under four minutes. After training for a marathon, this faster running, with a drop in overall volume, feels refreshing. I have to get used to the more acute pain associated with the shorter, faster stuff, but right now I'm having fun.
I did take the Rhodiola rosea before today's run. I only had about four hours of sleep last night, and I still felt sore from Monday's weight training session. I wasn't expecting much of myself this morning and told Alain at the beginning of the tempo run to pull away if he wanted to. As the run progressed, though, I felt better and better. As our speed increased, my joy for running fast also increased. It seems like there might be something to the claims that Rhodiola rosea lowers one's rate of perceived exertion. I will continue to experiment with Rr and keep reporting back.
If any reader would like any training advise, please leave questions for me in the comments section of a post or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would like to make specific coaching advise to my readers a regular part of what I do in this blog.