Monday – Key Run #2 Tempo Run (1 mile easy, 5 miles @8:32, 1 mile easy)
RLRF has three prescribed work outs – speed work, tempo, and a long run, to be done in that order. Last week the Sunset Classic 5-Miler in Bloomfield nicely worked into the RLRF’s plan for me, except the race was on a Monday. So I switched the order this week to be tempo, speed work, and long run. I like using races to do hard training runs because I’m far more likely to hit intended target pace. Unlike most runners, I don’t really get all that excited about the thought of running. I do training runs because I love to race and if I can use a race to do both, well, even better!
It was a hot day. I didn’t feel like running to get warm when I was already warm and was desperately trying to keep cool. Contrary to all good professional advice for warming up before race, I didn’t. I ran the 5 miles in 40:55 (8:11 pace), faster than what RLRF wanted, so I’m quite happy with how well I did. I also didn’t cool down. I was tired and hungry, immediately after the race, I grabbed some water and focused on getting food. In other words, I only ran five miles, not seven.
Wednesday – Key Run #1 Speed Work (4×800 @3:26, RI 2 min)
Aside from sucking at warming up and cooling down, I also suck at rest intervals because I give myself much longer breaks than what training plans prescribe. I did the speed work on a treadmill because 3:26 for 800 m works out to a sub-7 min mile, something I’m not quite sure that I can do right now. Treadmill work outs are slightly easier, so if I’m being conscientious about calibration, I adjust by going faster (how to equate a treadmill work out to an outdoor road or track work out will be a future post – believe it or not, it’s not actually going to a 1% incline). Since I wanted to give myself a slight cheat, I didn’t. The first three intervals I ran at 8.7 mph (6:54 pace); I completed the intervals at 3:27. The last interval, I thought I was going to throw up when I was 70% done, so I quickly slowed down for a break to compose myself and then went back up to speed to finish up. I did that last interval about 10 seconds slower than the intended time, so it was completed in 3:33.
My rest intervals were much longer than 2 min because I leisurely walked a quarter mile in between to recover. The rest intervals were more like 5 minutes long. I know, I know, the length of the rest intervals is an important integral part of the speed work out, but honestly, I don’t care enough to adhere to it strictly.
Friday – Key Run #3 Long Run (15 miles @9:17)
Because of the incredibly packed weekend, I knew I had to get my long run in early on Friday morning before I went to work. I am not an early morning person. Despite all of my good intentions, I figured there would be a good chance that I would fall back asleep after my alarm jostled me awake at 5:30 in the morning. Amazingly at 6 am, I was dressed and out of the door running toward Prospect Park.
Thanks to the storm that came in the night before and the upcoming storm later that day, Friday was a pretty cool (weather-wise) day for summer to run. I hoped to have a better long run than what I had the week before. Four laps of the running path at Prospect Park and the distance to and from the park equals 15 miles. I thought I would be really bored running four laps, but it wasn’t so bad. I suspect though that this is probably because of the novelty effect. I don’t think I’ll be so sanguine if I do this week after week.
The overall pace averaged to 9:41, which is much slower than the targeted pace of 9:17. I had a really slow first two miles (11:11 and 10:51) where my legs were still trying to wake up. If I took those miles out, then the rest of my run averaged to a pace of 9:34. Still slower than the intended target, but much more respectable.
At this point of my training plan, I’m not overly concerned about hitting the intended pace for the long runs. I know I need to. But currently the training plan is slightly beyond my current level of fitness. I lost a fair amount of fitness when I pretty much stopped running for two months straight last spring, but I’m steadily regaining it. While going for a training plan that’s a bit beyond your level of fitness is not advised, there’s a difference between a body trying to regain the old level of fitness and a body that is trying to gain a new level of fitness. It’s much easier to regain the old level.
I’m making progress, not injured, and happy to be training. This is all we ask for, right?