Wednesday, February 10, 2016

12k essential to success in long distance running

Today was my first workout of the year that I walked away feeling solidly accomplished from. Recent running has been consistent and I'm gradually putting the pieces where I want them to be. I have had a hard time plotting when I wanted "big workouts" to start for my build up for the Boston Marathon (to be my 6th, and overall my 13th). Recently losing my job has put my mind in a spin, and running often has felt like a stress break, but I haven't really drafted "a plan" other than run a little bit longer each Sunday if I feel up to it.
A lot of times, you get out there and do workouts that just feel too fast or mundane as you have run them more times than you could guess. I look at training like eating, sometimes you are hungry and want to take huge bites and devour something like a glutton. But even in those instances, if one bite is too big, it can get ugly. Going too fast on long intervals is a similar concept.
The whole workout could be going very well up to a point, and then you just get greedy. You start pushing a pace that is a little bit too fast and then you are over your Threshold. Some of us are foolish enough to stretch down from Half Marathon pace to10k pace or quicker. It's easy to let it happen, and I am pretty sure I have been guilty of this at least once. But not today! Today was brilliant, I covered 2k, 6 times, jogging 2:00-2:30 between reps (partly due to Middle Distance Runners needing to start their 200m reps without crashing into us). The slowest interval was 7:04, the fastest was 6:53.
Threshold pace shouldn't hurt that much if you are running the correct pace and taking ample recovery. Look at it like this, To run at your Threshold isn't easy running, but it has a much bigger margin for comfort and error. Small miscalculations in pace can be corrected throughout a long interval, and don't amplify as harshly when you go too fast. You may ask "Why 2k, why not 1600m, it seems long to keep going for such a while?" Because I like getting a mile split and then continuing on at the same pace, it has the hidden benefit of race day preparation. If I check my watch for "my mile", I want to imprint in my mind "good mile, keep going", over and over and over again. That is one reason, and having your head in the right place about your pacing is a damn good reason to do something.
Many inexperienced runners might be reading and asking "Wait, we run Half Marathons kinda slowly, that doesn't sound like a speed workout!" Well, don't ignore the fatigue factor kids! by the 5th and 6th interval I started to feel the pressure. For you, a similar effort might be just 2 or 3 times 2k, but try them, see what it feels like to keep on your pace for 400m longer after getting that mile split, then take your recovery of 1/3 the interval time. Total volume for these types of workouts are well explained in Daniels' Running Formula.
I had originally considered running a 7th interval, but the track had some icy spots on it, and the 6th went very well! I decided, that's it, I did work, I don't hurt right now. It's done. This workout is over. I'm a happy guy tonight.
And for your viewing pleasure: Anis runs on a relay team!
Anchoring the 4x800m B team at the Frank Colden Invitational on 2/6/16. Absolutely a rust buster, I am not a Mid-D guy! Earlier in the day I raced 3000m in 9:17, yea that was a rust buster too, working on it!

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