Thursday, April 2, 2015

04/02/2015 PM Combo workout

What a beautiful day, sort of.  It is like 60 degrees outside and it is really sunny.  I was able to run in shorts and a long sleeve.  However, the wind is a little more than I would like, but I dealt with it.  It was nice to be outside for the second time this week running.  Although I can make gains on a treadmill, it always feels more productive running outdoors.  Getting somewhere is the key I suppose, rather than running in place for awhile.  

Today I ran a good 5 mile run at a pace of around 8:30/mile, with some rolling hills built in.  At the end of the workout, I added in 10 sprint strides at about 12-15 second clips.  I walked back to the beginning each time and sprinted right away.  Fast running on tired legs is not a new concept and I plan to use it a lot over the next couple months for an added benefit at the end of workouts.

Today is the last workday before the spring break for school.  I am hoping to get in a few runs, maybe get to the track, and keep rolling in my fitness.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

03/31/2015 Finally, a significant, outdoor workout! Mini-pyramid run

I cannot tell you the last outdoor workout that I had that made me feel satisfied at the end.  It has been a long time and this winter was demoralizing.  The cold weather, the ice, the snow, etc.  It all took its toll on not only my running, but a lot of people's.

Today, I was determined to get outside after running in the frigid temps on Sunday and understanding the amount of time I have left to train for my serious events at the end of May and June.  I still have plenty of time to get in some great workouts and I wanted to start that today.  Here is this afternoon's workout:

First a 1.5 mile warm up jog, then I did these intervals with about a 2-2:30 walk in between.

400 meters in 1:30 (that's 6:00/mile pace)
800 meters in 3:20 (6:40/mile pace)
1 mile in 6:50
800 meters in 3:25 (6:50/mile pace)
400 meters 1:36 (6:24/mile pace

I then finished up the workout with a nice, slow, 1.5 mile cool down.  In total, the workout lasted just under an hour and was just over 6 miles, if you include the rests.

I am happy with this workout today.  In a few weeks, I will look for more in this session though.  At least, I will add another mile in the middle, if not a couple 1200 meter runs as well.  Hard paces, limiting the rest a little more, and stretching out the workout will increase my aerobic threshold significantly.

For now, I'm tired and hungry :)

Monday, March 30, 2015

03/30/2015 Today's light recovery workout, intervals and repeats needed!

Today, as I was a little sore and dead legged from the race yesterday, I jogged for about 45 minutes to shake out the legs and recover.  It's the standard recovery jog to loosen the legs and let them be dead for a day or so.

The glaring fact about yesterday's race, I need to get going on the speed work, intervals, and the repeats.  Over the next two and a half months, I need to get in 4-6 key workouts, including the following:

1 or 2 mile repeat sessions
Yasso 800's
Pyramid Run (200m, 400m, 800m, 1200m, 1600m, 1600m, 1200m, 800m, 400m, 200m)
10-15 X 400 meter repeats, short recovery

I have some serious work to do over the next 12 weeks.  Speed work and repeats are tough, but I always see a lot of improvement as soon as I get these workouts going.  This really works for anyone.  It is no longer the philosophy that you just go out and run a few times, including some long runs, and see significant improvement in times.  Research shows, adding speed work into your training greatly improves your results, whether you are an elite marathoner, or the casual runner/racer.  

Also, for those interested in the weight loss side of exercise, speed work, repeats, interval training are the types of workouts that will make the pounds come off.  In basic terms, jogging and basic running like the guy you see putting in the miles in the morning doesn't burn the right calories.  You need to speed it up to burn it off.

My speed work will hopefully help me shed a few pounds and make me a faster racer as well as building up my aerobic capacity and VO2 max.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

03/29/2015 Hillsdale, NJ: Rover and Clover 5K, 3rd place overall

I seem to forget about the cold sometimes.  I vowed  on February 14th, that I wouldn't do another cold raceagain.  I heard about the Rover and Clover in Hillsdale, NJ, on Friday and checked the weather before anything.  It said it would be sunny and a high of 45 for the day.  I'm not an idiot, I didn't think it would be 45 degrees by 9am, but I didn't think it was going to be 23 degrees and windy.  This morning felt a lot like the Cupid's Run, but windier. 

That's all for whining.  The race started right on time and the big change for me was my warmup.  I know that I haven't properly warm up before 5K's.  After listening to Scott Jones at Athlete on Fire talk about how strong a warm up is needed, I decided to follow a real plan for my body's sake.  I jogged slow for 5 minutes about 15 minutes before start time.  I then walked a minute before I ran comfortably faster (just kick it up to a strong pace you could hold for a few miles) for 3 minutes. I followed this up with 3-4 minutes walking and finished with about 5 sprints of 10-15 seconds and a few high knee skips of 10-15 seconds.

As soon as the race started, I felt great in the legs.  Even though it was freezing, I was fluid and strong from the get go.  Problem solved, I now have my pre-game warmup. 

I ran my first mile in 6:15 and knew I was kinda screwed.  I am not in 6:15/mile shape for the duration of a 5K.  I am happy that my speed is there, I just need to work some speed workouts and I will be in good shape.  I powered through mile 2 in about 6:40/mile pace feeling decent, but a little tired.  Mile 3 was pretty painful until I would say about the last quarter of a mile.  For some reason, my legs opened up well and I finished pretty strong.

I ended in 20:41 seconds.  I took 2nd in my age group and 3rd place overall out of roughly 300 finishers.  Sometimes your fastest time isn't there, but the race results are.  Ask Meb about this.  The dude has won the New York Marathon and the Boston Marathon.  He was no where near his PR on either of those races.

Overall, I have to be happy with my results and it was a fun morning with Maura and kids cheering me on and supporting me.