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.
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
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.
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!