Posts Tagged ‘long run’

Workout: 10 miles @ 7:49 pace.  Weather: 63 degrees, sunny.

Recap: Easy work.

At 63 degrees, one of the coolest weather runs I’ve done in a couple months. Beautiful outside. I love the park near my house. Good to see people at the park getting the work in. Whatever it takes.

10 miles went smoothly for me. The first two miles, it was like I didn’t want to be outside. Like I’d rather be home sleeping. Found the rhythm after that point, and it was on. By the end, I thought that I could carry this pace on for another 10-15 miles, as in a marathon. Good feeling. Struggled to get to 7 and 8 miles two weeks ago, now I’m back up to 10. Slowly coming back. The goal is to make these runs feel as easy as possible. Overall, pretty good week. 44 miles. Good tempo, speedwork and long run dates.

On a roll lately, and it made me think about some of the great things that can happen this Fall if I stay on plan. Here’s the personal bests I’d like to shoot down before the end of the year:

1. Most miles in a week53 (2012)

* Planned 54 in Week 9.

2. Fastest 800m speedwork session2:41 pace (2011)

* Planned 2:39 pace in Week 13.

3. Longest run16 miles (2012)

* Planned 17 miles in Week 14.

4. Fastest 5K17:34 (2000)

* Planned 17:24 in Week 16.

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Workout: 6 miles @ 7:55 pace.  Weather: 79 degrees, sunny.

Recap: Nice easy run this morning.

Felt cooler than 79 degrees to be honest. I guess anything feels better than 90 degrees. Didn’t need to bring any sugary drinks today either. Of course 6 miles isn’t exactly a “long run”. It’s a down week, so I’m just trying to cut back to stay healthy. Next week, the long run bumps back up to 10 miles at a slightly faster pace (7:49/mile). Should be good to go. Building blocks toward greater endurance. Just another step towards 18 miles @ 7:02 pace in December.

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Workout: 9 miles @ 7:53 pace.  Weather: 79 degrees, sunny.

Recap: Improving. Good.

After last week’s long run, I wrote that I would shoot for 9 miles this week. I’m happy to have completed today’s run exactly as planned. In fact, it really wasn’t difficult. This takes me to another point I made last week as well. For whatever reason, my endurance (ability to complete long runs) suffered over the last month, and I’ve been slowly trying to regain confidence. So far, I’ve been able to move from 6 to 8 to 9 miles this month, and I’m really happy about that. The goal is to be able to pull an 18-miler some time in late November. Building the house, one brick at a time. A couple notes:

Form

Learned a cool trick today: use the butt and hamstrings. Long story short my form started breaking down about mile 3 or 4, and I tired a bit. Then I started using my legs better, pushing off backwards as in the butt kick motion. After that, the run didn’t feel so hard at all. I wondered if this was the “tireless state” that some of the coaches are talking about when running. Was really able to enjoy the run for the most part.

Tension

I did notice that with about a mile to go, I got a little excited. A run that was otherwise pretty easy got a lot harder. I guess I could see the end and really started pushing for the 9 mile mark instead of relaxing and striding as I had been doing. My pace increased, my stride shortened and the breathing became a little more frantic. The important thing was to go back to striding as I had done before. I also wonder how much tension makes me tired during the way when I’m not running as well. Have to remember to relax and breathe.

Good luck to everyone in their training plans. Hopefully, September becomes a Fall month soon.

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Workout: 7.75 miles Weather: n/a

Recap: Not bad.

Worst thing ever happened before the run…the Garmin read “Battery Low”. Then the thing absolutely died about a mile into a planned 12. It’s OK. I just didn’t charge it the last few days. So, something happened that hasn’t happened during a run in a long, long time. I ran without knowing time or pace. I just ran by feel, asking myself if I could survive 12 at this pace. It was a good thing I was at a park where I know the distance markers pretty well. That said, I still didn’t make it as far as I wanted to. Quit at just under 8 miles. Not sure how fast I was going.

Again, there’s good news from runs like this. While my speedwork appears to be on-point, my stamina and endurance pretty much suck. Why is that good news? Because when you are that bad at something, any effort towards improvement should generate exponential results. I didn’t do long runs all summer, and I’m just starting now. By December, I want to be able to run a marathon at a decent pace, even though I’m not training for one. I just want to put in the time on my feet. That will require some humility right now because I can’t work at the speeds that pump up my ego. Just have to get the time out there and plan to slowly improve. Next week, I’ll shoot for 9 miles.

Workout: 9.35 miles [6 miles @ 6:58 / 3.35 miles at 150 bpm]  Weather: 81 degrees, sunny.

Recap: Found some weakness. And that’s a good thing. Now to go after it.

Sometimes, training can be frustrating because I think I’m doing everything right (or at least enough to improve) and then I don’t see any results. The fun part about this week is that I see lots of opportunity to get better. I didn’t finish any of the workouts that I had planned this week and the long run was the run that I came up short the most. I planned 12 at a certain pace, but only made it through 6 at that pace. After tiring at 6, I decided to stay out there on my feet for as long as the run would have lasted if I’d have gone 12.  Just want to improve a little every week from now on.

I’ll be doing the same workouts for the next two weeks, so here are my goals for the upcoming week:

1. Tempo Run – Make it to at least 2.5 miles of the planned 3.

(Only 2 miles last week).

2. Speedwork – Complete the 6 x 800 workout with even splits.

(Had to stop after the last rep because of cramps last week).

3. Long Run – Make it to at least 8 miles of the planned 12.

(Only 6 miles on pace last week).

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Workout: 15 miles @ 7:38 pace. Weather: 68 degrees, cloudy, wet.

Recap: Eek. So that’s what marathon training is like? Good grief. Would have hated to go another 11.2 miles. Had a long, long debate with myself (yep, you read right) about whether to seek a more aggressive time goal for the next few weeks. Eventually, caution won out, and I decided to back my goal down to 18:03 because I will be training at unfamiliar distances. Results can come with time. In any case, by setting conservative goals there’s always a chance to surprise myself. Just as long as I get better, right? Ok.

I also weighed the pros and cons of going by heart rate versus running the suggested SmartCoach paces. My experience with heart rate for whatever reason is that my times get progressively slower not only during each individual run, but over several runs as well. Also, the advice that I’m reading from Greg McMillan, Dean Hebert, and Alberto Salazar suggests that tailing too far off from your race goal paces can be a bad thing long term. In short, I just didn’t trust heart rate as an effective gauge, especially when I can measure pace.

For today’s long run, the plan was to break the run down into 2 out-and-backs (an 8-miler and a 7-miler). I thought mentally that would take my mind off the distance. Also, for mental assistance, I changed the Garmin settings to reflect only pace and distance remaining as opposed to heart rate and time. I didn’t want to know how hard I was working or how much time I’d spent outside. I just needed to know if I was on pace and when to turn around.

After starting out, I was very happy that Mr. Conservative won out last night because the pace was just challenging enough. The opening 3 miles were pretty easy, and I was almost sure this run would be a cakewalk. I swung back through my apartment complex to get some water at the 8-mile mark (never stopping the watch) and continued on. After heading back out again from the apartment the run got a little rough. I didn’t stop my watch at any point, so I had to speed up to make up the time when I stopped. This happened when I stopped for water and when I ran into a stop light in the second half of the run as well.

What really helped today was some advice I’d read in a Jeff Galloway book at the bookstore yesterday. I think the book was called 5K/10K training. Galloway said not to lift the knees when you run because it puts strain on the quadriceps and tires them out quickly. Before reading his advice, I’m pretty that lifting the knees is something I did pretty regularly. But since Galloway is the man, I tried it out and it made the stride a lot smoother. I could feel the hips doing the work, especially as I started to tire around mile 12. The stride felt a lot smoother and the impact with the ground wasn’t as hard. Surprisingly, the end of the long run simulates how hard it feels at the end of a 5K pretty well, without the speed. Plus, I think I’m going to enjoy doing the shorter 7 and 3 milers next week while thanking God that they aren’t 15. Exciting. Always fun to try something new.

Time to knock off this carb-protein drink and take the rest of the day off. Tomorrow too – for that matter.

Have a great day and thanks for reading!

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Workout: 13 miles @ relaxed pace. Weather: 65 degrees, partly cloudy.

Recap: Did another long run with a friend this morning in lieu of the regular 3-miler. Good run though. Always fun to jump on the scale after 2 hours out. Then the re-fueling must begin. I’m sure that the long run has some important purpose here, but I’m not how to properly incorporate such a run into my plans. There’s a couple risk to my plans that I’ve experienced in the past. One is failure. The other is novelty. For now, until the end of August, I’m going to stick with my plan of consistent 3 miles runs followed by core work. After this month’s time trial, I’ll start focusing on what to do about the fall. Lots of possibilities.

This long run was for the most part relaxing. I wonder what good could come of a weekly long run of 2 hours or more. Makes it better when you run with someone else as well. Major adventure in needing to find a restroom halfway through the run. Narrowly avoided a major embarrassment there. Otherwise…good show. Need to make a decision on tomorrow’s run (to run or to bike). I’m a little tired today.

Have a great day and thanks for reading!

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