Athlete: Tyler Van Dyke, otherwise known as TVD, to his peers, friends and enemies.
Prescribed Workout: 70 minute progression (6:10 > 5:25)
Results: 10 miles in total ( 6:15, 6:15, 6:00, 6:00, 6:00, 5:45, 5:45, 5:45, 5:30, 5:30)
Fall of 2017 Tyler was training in Flagstaff AZ, for those of you that are unaware, the air up there is fairly thin….at the time Tyler was mostly training for the Arizona Half Marathon that winter (he ran 71 and change, but more importantly, made it to the porta potty on time after struggling with such issues most of the race). Earlier in the week Tyler had ran 20 x 400 averaging 75 seconds with an easy 200m jog between each lap. Both of these workouts were in the middle of what ended up being a 100 mile week. Tyler ran some cross country races that fall, while also finishing 10th at the USATF Trail Marathon Championships in Moab, Utah.
The team does a lot of longer tempo runs, and when Tyler was in Flagstaff, we wanted to be slightly more conservative with things. This surely was a pretty good effort, but by treating it more as a progression, it allowed for a couple of different things: one, we can start out slower, and gradually get into the effort, opposed to just starting off right at pace. Two, a progression, in my opinion, allows for a quicker finish, too. The other important part of this run is that we practicing how to negative split. This is generally the way we try to race and work out. This was in 2017, so I don’t want to “guess” too much. But knowing me, and knowing Tyler, if I were asking for a straight tempo run, I would have asked for more like 50-55 minutes at say, 5:40-5:50 effort (again, remember the altitude). By doing a progression, we were able to start slower, which allowed for us to run longer and finish quicker at the end.
We as a team actually don’t do a great job of keeping our exact mileage, and I prefer it that way. I don’t tell an athlete how many miles or minutes to run on their easy days. Most of the group runs fairly consistent high mileage, but we don’t want that idea of running a lot to take away from doing what is “right”, for each individual. Looking back at the log, Tyler had a low week of 75 miles that fall, and a high of 101.5. Some weeks he didn’t list what his weekly mileage was. We always have a general idea of what we’re averaging, but no one is obsessed.