MarathonMaiden's Blog

September 9, 2010

Give Me Speed. How Fast Can You Go.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 17:30

Any takers as to what song that the title’s from?! 😉

Apparently I have it in my head that I’m doing a 5k.  Of course I need to find the money for it.  This might mean staking out a streetcorner for the next week or so.  But hey, a girl’s gotta do what she’s gotta do to race.

And that includes speed work.  It’s no secret that I don’t think of myself as a particularly fast runner.  Sure I think that my half time was rocking from this weekend but I guess I really mean that I don’t think of myself as a short distance (aka fast) racer.  I was never on any cross country team and my specialties in track were 100m and 200m distances.  So 5k? I’ve only done ONE.  Not too shabby there but I really didn’t know what I was doing.

Still don’t really.  Which is why I emailed  Lacey yesterday to get her take on what I should do to prep for a 5k in a week and a half.  Here’s what she said:

warm up with a couple of miles (and try to get the biggest hills out of the way) and find a relatively flat, but rolling hills/small hills are fine stretch where you know what is 1 mile, and 2 miles. I woud run 1 mile and shoot for 6:45. If you feel good, go right into the second mile and shoot for another 6:45. that would be your goal. of course if you can run faster than that you should 🙂 push yourself, but be able to do it for 2 miles.

I liked the idea of this workout.  Granted only doing 2 fast miles? The last time I was in training I was banging out multiple miles in the form of repeats or tempos.  But I was going to trust the plan to get me through.

Just so we’re clear here is what I was planning to do:

  • 3.7 mile warm up (in order to get to my speed area with minimal hills)
  • 2 X 1 mile continuous
  • 2.5 mile warm down

And I want to apologize for any time I have scoffed at a 2 X whatever continuous run when I would be saying “why not just say X miles?” Apparently the goal is to go the second time HARDER than the first, therefore being two separate things.  Because that’s what I did today and it was HARD.

Here’s what went down:

  • 3.7 mile warm up @ 9:04
  • 2 X 1 mile fast @ 7:03, 6:44
  • 1 mile recovery @ 8:23
  • 1 mile fast @ 6:20
  • 2.8 mile warm down @ 8:23

Total: 10.5 miles @ 8:13

Although I SWEAR that my warm down was actually 3.3 miles and giving me a total of 11 for the morning.  But apparently mapmyrun disagrees. Oh well.

First I want to say that all my post-race soreness is gone.  Well maybe 97.68% of it.  I’m really not feeling banged up the way I did the first few days post-race.  I had asked Lacey when I should do this workout too and she said that I could try Thursday and then again on Sunday.  Then take it easy before the race.  So the soreness was gone and I went for it (that goes for quads AND shins.  I think some people mistakenly thought that my shin pain from Boston training was back.  It’s not.  All I was feeling was the effects of a hard effort in the race).

In case you couldn’t tell I’m not the kind of person who just sits around and waits for things.  As much as I dreaded the hardness of the workout I wasn’t going to avoid it either. So Thursday it was going to be.

And with this song in my head too.   I ❤ it.  Apropos for letting go and doing some darn fast running:

Now onto my thoughts of the first speedwork session I have done since….Boston? I can count the 5M race I did on the 4th of July but still, it’s been awhile.

Here’s what I think: I need my warm up to be progressive.  I don’t think I really increased the pace over those warm up miles. The distance didn’t really bother me as I think that ~2-3 miles is perfect for warming up.  And 3.7 happened to be the distance between my apartment and where I wanted to do the speedy stuff.

But since I think I stayed pretty slow throughout — I’d have liked to see the average for that portion be closer to 8:45-8:50 — the first part of the first mile was getting me acquainted with speed.  And with it only being a mile that’s no good.  Icould tell because it was HARD and HURT to go that fast despite it being relatively flat (maybe a slight uphill but nothing noticeable while running it). 

But my second mile clearly was decent because after seeing 7:03 for the first mile (and the goal was to keep it at 6:50 or faster) I was determined to get faster.  Come hell or high water. And I did it of course and there was a mega hill at the very end.  I felt like dying!  But I powered through it and seeing that my split was 6:44 made me smile and NOT vomit.  My legs felt like absolute jello but I turned around and started jogging so I didn’t end up collapsing.

Because my first mile was awful  I decided to take the first mile of the speed route I just ran as recovery (and wooooot to running fast meaning good recovery paces! 8:23?!) and then bang out a HARD last mile.  Which I did. I kept telling myself to push hard because it was *only* one mile hahahah.  But it worked because I came up with a 6:20 mile!!

And then I warmed down, which felt slower than it actually was although I didn’t feel like it was a hard effort. Good feeling for a warm down.

So I’m not quite sure how I feel about it overall.  I’m pleased with miles 2 and 3 of the hard stuff but going from a 6:44 pace to a 6:20 pace after a recovery mile signals to me that I can’t pace myself right. Yes I love that everything gets faster but each mile split was 15-20 seconds faster than the previous.  To me that’s a bit too much! Or at least I’m a terrible judge of pacing. I just don’t have that internal mechanism some people have (or a garmin but that’s a different story.  And I may be walking a different street for that 😉 )

Oh no I didn't just say that 😉

According to Lacey I did rock the workout (she’s now officially my coach hah!) and that I should be really happy with how I did.  So I will be because she told me to be.  I think all the doubt I have is because 5k racing is not something I’m used to doing so I have no benchmark for what to expect.  Even when I ran that 5k (the one that I linked to above) I never trained for it.  I didn’t do any specific workouts for it.  I just had my summer training for a half under my belt.

Funny how I’m in a similar situation now.  Except I didn’t training for the half I just ran.  Oh well.  I’m hoping that good things come to me for this one too!

So the plan is for me to do this workout again on Monday.  I’m kind of scared for it.  But the good kind of scared 😀

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