Thursday, March 17, 2016

{week 4} Learning to master 'comfortably hard'

Post-tempo run happy high; I rocked it! 
Before starting this morning's run, I turned to Dana and Dani and said:
For the tempo part of the run you're supposed to run 'comfortably hard' which means you run hard enough that you FEEL like stopping but you don't NEED to stop. It's not an all out effort, it's not a's just hard. The purpose is to learn to comfortably run at faster paces.
And then I added:
 Of course, it sounds like I know what I'm talking about. But I really don't. I suck at tempo runs.
In the past, I've worried too much about hitting the right paces and staying in my pace range. I would set pace alarms on my watch. I think I would run too hard and burn myself out. Run hilly routes and not run by feel. I would psych myself out, thinking I couldn't run tempo pace. I run faster paces in races and yet somehow thought that I wouldn't be able to hit tempo.

To prepare for today's run, I googled 'tips for tempo runs'. All the articles and blog posts I read talked about running 'comfortably hard' and to run by feel. The one tidbit that resonated with me is to not look at my Garmin (or, actually, to not use it--yeah not ready to do that) and really truly go by feel.

And that's what I did. I totally rocked the tempo run. The goal for today was a 40 minute tempo run at 8:10 to 8:27/mile. My average pace was 8:14/mile and I ran 4.8 miles. (I did look at my watch, but only after running a mile or so and I had the display set to avg interval pace, not current pace). I'm nowhere near mastering tempo runs, but it sure feels great to run one that went according to plan!

Overall, training for the OC 1/2 Marathon is going well. This week marks our first recovery week in the plan. Totally needed it because last week I ran a total of 49.4 miles, my highest since Sept 2015 and coming back from injury. 

43 days until my first half-marathon in a year! *knock on wood* I'm feeling strong!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

{week 3} into the groove

Easy runs; long runs; speed 

This week the workout was 6 x 1 mile repeats.

I have the speed; need to work on endurance. Above all, I'm having fun training again. :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

{week 2} Getting into the training groove

Week 1 Recap:The first week of training was fun! It included a track workout which I always enjoy. Well, maybe not at the time, but after I'm finished I bask in my sense of accomplishment. Last week's track workout was different. I enjoyed it while I was running it. The goal was to run 10 x 1000 meters at cruise interval pace with a 2 minute recovery jog. These are not all out speed intervals. The goal of the workout is to improve stamina. It's best to be conservative with pace the first few intervals because as your legs get tired the intervals will feel harder. The goal for me per the McMillan pace calculator was to run intervals between 5:02-5:12 minute pace, which works out to an 8:06-8:19 minute/mile pace.

With all that said, I ended up running all my intervals too fast. Even after I made sure to tell Dani and Dana not to run them fast. It's super important to stay in pace zones. Even with the short recovery, I was always ready to go and the intervals didn't feel hard. I ran them comfortably relaxed at paces I could clearly maintain. I even tried to run slower! My glutes wouldn't let me! {hee} I was able to kick it and push the pace on the very last interval (which I like to do on the track). This may be because, for me, my current 1/2 marathon time is based on my comeback-from-injury half-marathon time which is a bit slow {for me}. With the exception of my first and last intervals, all others were within appropriate cruise interval pace range for my pre-injury 1/2 marathon times. *shrug* I asked the Oiselle VolĂ©e coordinator, Heather Stephens, about proper pacing for training workouts and she said you are supposed to run at your current pace and ability, not your goal pace. Pacing is confusing sometimes and I still have lot to learn.
  1. 4:28 min (7:11/mile)
  2. 4:50 min (7:47/mile)
  3. 4:53 min (7:52/mile)
  4. 4:57 min (7:58/mile)
  5. 4:55 min (7:55/mile)
  6. 4:53 min (7:52/mile)
  7. 4:54 min (7:53/mile)
  8. 4:49 min (7:45/mile)
  9. 4:49 min (7:45/mile)
  10. 4:15 min (6:50/mile)
The rest of week was good. I ran a total of 37.5 miles. I'm slowly building my weekly base mileage back up to 45 miles. I only ran one run (out of 7 runs) by myself (making good on my 2016 goal of connecting with other runners). I'm including Nani as another runner ;). 

We're training for the OC 1/2 Marathon on May 1. We're following the McMillan Running training plan available as part of Strava Premium membership.