Thursday, January 27, 2011

Crash and Burn: Track Edition

Hello all, hope all of you that are getting even more snow are hanging in there! I would be going stir crazy just sitting in my house waiting out the snow. To keep you all entertained, you can read about my episode at the track last night.

So as the title suggests, I crashed, hard. I normally do really well at the track, but this is my last real training week before my race in 2 weeks and my mileage has been up there and my legs are exhuasted. I have already run 5 days straight (since Saturday) and I have not had an easy workout at all, everything I have been doing lately has been hard and/or fast, and my legs finally spoke up to tell me I needed to back it off some. There was a 20 second difference in my times last night, and it was not pretty.

So coming in on tired legs, I went and did what seemed like and easy enough warm-up
3.57 miles- 32:17, 9:03 pace

I had 8 miles to get in for the day, and on the schedule was 4x1600. Now I really don't mind mile repeats, but I knew how much I was dragging and that I wanted to get in a vicious workout before being gone from my normal schedule for a week.

The goal was 7:45 for each 1600

My times went like this:

Warm-up: 3.57 miles- 32:17 (9:03 pace)
1600- 7:50
1600- 7:58
1600- 8:10
1600- 8:06
Cool down: .54 miles- 5:05 (9:24 pace)

8.11 miles- 1:09:26 (8:33 average pace)

So I didn't hit a single 7:45, and that 7:50 at the beginning was the only one where I didn't want to die. I felt like a zombie running, my legs had zero kick in them, my stride was awful I was practically shuffling along and it was never until the last 200 meters that I remembered what I am supposed to be running like.

My coach and I talked about my last 10 days of running and agreed that I should be tired after it all, I have put in a lot of miles and have been running hard every day, and that in the end, these awful exhausted runs will make me better, and I know he is right. He told me to hold on 2 more days and get in my long run with to only worry about doing the last 5 at goal pace, rather than 8-10, and then I have a week of extreme cross-training and low miles and then a race week, so I will have time to recover and reep the benefits of these 2 hard weeks.

I know trying to do 4x1600 faster than my 5k race pace is pretty tough, and most people will tell me know to beat myself up to much, and I'm not, but I know I can do it, I have done it before, and besides, you can't get faster if you aren't running faster.

Do you find it hard to balance mileage and speed? When I was building up my mileage during marathon training my speed improved some over shorter distances, but it never dropped too much over my longer distances. Now I have the endurance I need, and I am trying to drop my pace over those distances

How do you balance improving speed and maintaing mileage and your endurance?


  1. I've never worked on both at the same time. I usually stick to distance or speed. Maybe I'd be speedier and capable of running longer if I incorporated training for both at the same time?

  2. i hate having to run on tired legs. i don't really have any tried and true tips but i've been told that working on speed before the real training plan begins and then maintaining that while building race endurance is the way to go.

  3. Yes, speed and miles are hard to balance. You can't have it all. I like it all, so I sacrifice my speed so I can have my miles. Once I am rested I think the speed comes as a surprise, but that is just my uneducated opinion.

  4. Wow- I just found your blog! I am not nearly at your running level, but I'm looking forward to reading and being inspired!