Saturday, March 19, 2011

Week 1: Speed Training

I hope everyone is enjoying a nice Saturday. I am a hundred and five so I am at home on this lovely evening watching more basketball and eating ;)

So after an awesometastic race last weekend, I had a break coming. Now my idea of a break is not what most people would call a break. What I mean is my mileage has been cut from ~40 miles per week to about 20-25, that is a break.

I am using this break as a mental rejuvination from the exhaustingness of maintaining high mileage (for me) for 9 months, and as an opportunity to make myself faster. Late spring and summer in Florida are like running through a sauna, so they don't let you race anything longer than a 5 mile race anyways, perfect opportunity to drop the distance and pick up the speed game.

With my eyes on some major PR's this year, I knew I needed to be able to devote a couple of months to speed work, and making what I consider tempo and race paces feel only moderately uncomfortable instead of my current puke threshold- this was week 1.

Monday- 4 Mile tempo, 34:26, 8:36 average pace
Mile 1-  9:16
Mile 2-  8:00
Mile 3-  7:58
Mile 4-  9:12

I thought this tempo would be killer, and while it was definitely a tempo effort, it felt good. My tempos are usually 4 miles at tempo pace, so just 2 seemed manageable, maybe there is something to this low mileage thing.
+ 20 minutes intervals on the bike (7 miles) + 10mins stair climber

Tuesday- weights + 20 minutes steady on the bike (6 miles)

4 Miles Easy, 4
Mile 1-  9:17
Mile 2-  8:38
Mile 3-  8:36
Mile 4-  8:44

Those 8:xx miles were what we will call half marathon pace, and they felt comfortable, especially after Monday's uber-fast effort, and that would be the idea behind this whole process. I want 8-10 miles at that 8:30 pace to feel manageable, so starting at 3 miles seems about right.

Wednesday- TRACK
I was actually really excited about this week's track workout, my favorite...Ladders! I knew I was supposed to back off since I was recovering from last weekends race, but my brain was only thinking about getting faster, I spent some time on McMillan looking at goal paces for my track workouts for the race times I wanted, and I was determined to see where I was at, so I went out with everything I had.

1 Mile warm-up- 9:41
1600- 7:38
1200- 5:40 (7:35 pace)
800-  3:44 (7:29 pace)
400-  1:41 (6:50 pace)

1/2 mile cool down- 4:40

4 Miles- 33:04, 8:16 average pace

I was so thrilled that that 7:38 didn't kill me. I did not progress as much through the next 2 as I had wanted, but I rode the high from that 7:38 and took the fact that I got progressively faster as a positive.

Thursday- Weights
15 minutes stair climber
20 Minute intervals on the bike (7 miles)

2 Miles easy- 17:59 (9:08, 8:51)

Thursday was set up like a brick workout and an easy day after 3 speedy days in a row. Despite low miles, my legs felt super tired, I think the added cross training has helped to make sure I still get in my butt kicking workouts, it has been nice having to much to do, it makes the time fly.

Friday- Rest day

Saturday- "Long Run"
8 Miles- 1:09:54, 8:44 average pace
Mile 1-  8:46
Mile 2-  9:09
Mile 3-  9:04
Mile 4-  8:30
Mile 5-  8:30
Mile 6-  8:39
Mile 7-  8:48
Mile 8-  8:24

So this was a pretty stellar long run- I started my first mile at what was my goal pace for the run and then reminded myself to take it easy. 6am is A LOT darker than it was a week ago before daylight savings time, and I had to back it off down a dark road and make sure I didn't trip and kill myself.
I don't know if it was the no pressure to hit certain paces with no upcoming race, or if I am actually getting faster, but this run felt easy. Only in mile 7 did I start to feel a little sluggish, but I didn't eat breakfast, took no gu, and only had water once at mile 5.5, so I figure that was actually pretty good. I was really happy to see a run like this and to have several points where it felt great and effortless, obviously there are moments when it doesn't, but I love runs like this.

I actually have another run planned for tomorrow, so I skipped my weights today, I have been doing a super good job staying on top of them, maybe it's because I have been seeing the definition return to my arms and abs, that is always a major motivator!

I will have a fun recap of tomorrow's run once we get back!


  1. Wow, you are getting speedy!!

  2. GREAT WEEK!! Awesome long run! Congrats! :)

  3. AWESOME WEEK!! I love all the tempo runs and speedwork, you are absolutely amazing!!!