How They Train #5: Nicole Sifuentes 2016 Track Season

This is the fifth edition of ‘How They Train’ in which athletes and/or coaches will post an interesting block of training, provide some context and relevant detail, and avail themselves for an interactive Q & A in the Community Forum. This offers a great opportunity to learn the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of different training. Over time, we plan to host a variety of How They Train segments with friends and colleagues. Sifuentes, who shared her training from her 2005 indoor season earlier this year, returns to share a block from her 2016 season leading up to her 1,500m personal best of 4:03.97.

Introduction

This is a 4 week training block leading up to my PB in my specialty event, the 1500m. I had always dreamed of breaking 4:00 over 1500m and definitely thought I would get closer before retiring, but in hindsight I see that breaking 4:00 is actually pretty hard. I'm at peace with my career and very happy in retirement, but I won't lie it was a hard lesson to learn that some dreams just don't come true, not matter how hard you work, or how much you want it. And that's ok.

Thinking back on this day, I truly cherished the PB. When I saw 4:03 I broke down in tears. It had been a long time since my previous 1500m PB and I had wanted it really badly. Fast times always meant just as much or even more to me than winning. That being said, I don't believe chasing fast times is the best way to get them - racing other bodies is the best way to get the most out of yourself. 

Earlier in the training cycle you can see that I ran quite a bit slower at the Hoka meet, with a 4:08. I was disappointed and felt that I had messed up the tactics, so going into Furman I had only 2 goals: Get out well (not at the back) and pass 1 person in the homestretch. Succeeded in #1, failed in #2, but went for it and was rewarded with my now lifetime best.

You'll also notice I had a time trial in there. In summer I would often have 1-2 time trials paced by one of the male runners in town, and Lex Williams helped me on this 800m. We ran it in the evening (not normal practice time, but more similar to a race time) and did a little workout after it. Lots of good memories of the summer nights time trials!

Pre- TT discussion: L-R Willis, Williams, Myself, Ronnie               Post-Time Trial ladder with Amanda Eccleston

Something I would point out here is that I track weekly mileage as if every day is the 7th day. I don't remember when I started doing this but it really helped me understand my body better and plan recovery. I realized that often really high numbers could get hidden mid-week, and I would be appropriately fatigued because of it.
Daily volume was scheduled to avoid a plateau in the 7day mileage column (for example, 57, 57, 57, 58, 57, 58, 59 not acceptable). Variation was prioritized. 

My blog related to the PB.

Monday 09-May   easy run and a few drills   6.5 58.5  
Tuesday 10-May   outdoor track and lift 30.9/ 30.9/ 30.7/ 30.8 (1min rest) 3'
30.4/ 30.1/ 30.1/ 29.9 (75" rest) 3:45
29.x/ 28.7/ 29.5/ 29.0 (90" rests) 4'
28.1/ 28.4/ 28.5/ 27.9 (1:45 rests)
10 58.5 cold, very windy, and light rain. It was a solid workout but the weather not conducive to feeling good. focused on arms and lengthened stride. Much better than feb workout similiar.
Wednesday 11-May ann arbor easy run, pool shakeout, massage   4 54.5  
Thursday 12-May target base run- moderate   9 59.5  
Friday 13-May outdoor track ladder down and lift (mile, 200, 1200m, 200, 1k, 200, 800, 200) REST jog 200 in 1:15 before the 2s and jog 400m in 2:30 after the 2s 5:06/30.5/3:45/30.3/3:06/29.7/2:22/29.3 10 59.5  
Saturday 14-May warren recovery run 8min/mi down to 7:30 at the end 6 58.5 went slow. nothing hurts (except R rib pain) but felt pretty tired.
Sunday 15-May   long run 7:40 down to 7min pace 11 56.5  
WEEKLY TOTAL MILES: 57  
Monday 16-May outdoor track   3:26/ 3:25
48.7/31.1/21.1
47.7/30.0/21.8
47.8/29.5/22.1
46.6/29.4/21.1
44.6/29.0/21.0
9 59  
Tuesday 17-May   massage 2pm   7 56 Felt ok. Not good or bad. Got a massage and unsurprisingly my R hip was super tight.
Wednesday 18-May   ladder 100- 150-200-300 & back down, and lift 14.2/23.3/29.4/46.0/29.2/20.7/13.5 7 59 Felt good.
Thursday 19-May       4 54  
Friday 20-May Pasadena Hoka One One 1500m 66-2:11-3:02.7-4:08.93 9 53 Tough day. Got out in dead last and had a lot of work to do to move up at 2:11 pace. I was working hard early in the race and just didn't have anything left in the final 200. I think if I would have chilled in the back for a while and relaxed, waiting for the final lap to kick hard and pass some people, I could have run faster and placed higher. But I ran to put myself in position to win, and I don't regret that. In a different race scenario maybe I could have won. Ran REALLY hard so no regrets, just disappointed because I wanted a better result.
Saturday 21-May       6 53 went slow. felt fine
Sunday 22-May   long run   13 55 felt good
WEEKLY TOTAL MILES: 55  
Monday 23-May outdoor track   ~5:40 pace, then sub 5:20 pace for 4' and 2' 12 58  
Tuesday 24-May outdoor track 2x(4x 150m) and 400m tag. PM- 2.5mi shakeout 21.7/22.4/21.8/21.3 (flats)
21.3/20.8/20.7/21.3 (spikes)
55.9 (out in 27.x)
11 61.5  
Wednesday 25-May newport massage 2pm   9 63.5 OK run. Felt a bit beat up (legs hurt in various places at various times in the run) but overall energy level is not bad. R inner knee/tendon snapping. R foot outside of ball of foot strange discomfort.
Thursday 26-May plymouth AM- 6mi, PM- 2.5 mi shakeout w/ drills   8.5 68 Hips feel so much better and everything moving more smoothly since the massage.
Friday 27-May outdoor track 800mTT, full rest, the ladder down 1k, 600, 400, 300, 200 (2-2:30 rests) 2:01.40 (58.3/ 1:29)

2:54/ 1:43/ 65.5/ 47.3/ 29.5
7.5 66.5 Lex paced the TT. It felt hard and fast immediately. I was really working down the backstretch of lap 2 and am happy with how I finished down the homestretch considering how hard I was working early.
Generous rest on the ladder down, it was a VERY hot day on the track
Saturday 28-May plymouth easy run   4.5 65  
Sunday 29-May maple/stein long run   14 65.5  
WEEKLY TOTAL MILES: 66  
Monday 30-May     66.8/49.7/
65.5/
64.3
60.5/45.4/28.8/20.8
10 63.5 Spikes for last 2 sets. Felt not so good in flats. Then put on spikes for last 2 sets. Big difference. It was fast but I felt comfortable and like I could go faster. R Knee messed up. Rolling a lot. Need to get my alignment checked
Tuesday 31-May arb     6 59  
Wednesday 01-Jun outdoor track     7.5 57.5  
Thursday 02-Jun   massage 10:30am   8.5 57.5  
Friday 03-Jun Greenville     4 54 knee felt pretty good.
Saturday 04-Jun Greenville Furman Elite 1500m 63/2:10/2:42.5/3:00/4:03.97 PB 9.5 59 Fast start, ran mid pack along rail, smooth run. Felt good w/ 300m to go. Gotta be more focused on the homestretch w/ form/arms. long cool down.
Sunday 05-Jun Greenville recovery runs AM- 52min, PM- 33min 11 56.5  
WEEKLY TOTAL MILES: 56.5  

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