Friday, September 14, 2012

Back To My Old Self

With the recent uptick of miles I've been logging, combined with more focus on improving my body comp, I am finally starting to feel the effects.  In total, I am down about 5 lbs from my post-baby weight height, and I have noticed running getting a lot easier and my paces dropping accordingly.  Truth be told, I was starting to wonder a number of weeks ago, whether or not my body was actually going to shed those lbs, because I felt like I was running a fair bit and not eating terribly.  And as a result, started questioning how I will be able to get back to the faster times I posted earlier this year.  However, my focus on the timing of when I take in certain types of foods and my  shift in priority to get more sleep has played a crucial role.

So with the newfound glory of speed and lower weight, I have my eyes set on the Fall racing scene a little.  My single remaining goal for 2012 still remains the same - break 40:00 in the 10k.  And based on my workouts recently, I am starting to believe I can get there.  Just last night, we had a great track workout, primarily targeted for marathoners prepping for MCM.  However, with a little bit of tweaking, I was able to make it work for my training and turn it into somewhat of a progression tempo.  The workout was as follows:

- 3200 @ goal marathon pace
- 1600 @ goal marathon pace
- 4 x 800 @ tempo pace

Each of these had rest intervals of 2-3 minutes.  The tweaks I made were to run the 3200 the same, but use the next 1600 at my half marathon pace, and then the 800s progressing from 10k pace down to 5k pace, all with slightly shorter recoveries than prescribed.  What resulted was a huge confidence booster with a solid 5 miles of tempo work and 8 miles on the day.  All intervals were run without pushing (except for the last 2 800s) with my mantra being to just "keep it smooth".  And that's what I did.  Here is how it played out:

- 3200: 14:18 (7:10, 7:08)
- 1600: 6:45
- 4 x 800: 3:10, 3:08, 3:05, 2:59

So now that I feel great, I just need to find me some races to sign up for!

(Brief note about properly running speedwork)

Now remember, the goal of any speedwork is not to go all out, especially if you are distance training.  The goal is to run fast with good form at appropriate speeds around your threshold (typically between 10k-10 mi pace).  If your form can't be kept, you are going too fast.  If you find yourself amazed that you are running "faster than planned", you are going too fast.  Training at the proper intensity ensures you get the adaptations you are trying to get from the workout.  Run them too fast and it doesn't help you much, because you aren't at your threshold and are not just running hard and creating excess fatigue.  I'd rather athletes run these too slow than too fast, because usually "too slow" is about right where they should be.  Its very easy to go too fast on the track.  Do your best to control your efforts and get out of the workout what you intend.  Don't sell yourself short by changing the purpose.

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