Second set of scenic hill repeats and weeks going according to plan … so far

September 18, 2008

This is the third week into the hill phase and we’re repeating our the last two weeks. Tuesday was a progressive pace, with a slight twist compared to last time, and today the workout was scenic hill repeats … 6 instead of 4 from two weeks ago.

Two weeks ago I commented about the goal of the workout and how it kind of held steady. And I’ve recently been felling good about 3:00 hour marathon based pace work and have chosen a workout a week (pre-chosen so I don’t rationalize it away on the day) to work closer to a 2:55 based pace:

Marathon Time   MGP       1/2MGP
2:59:59              6:53,      6:31
2:54:59              6:41,      6:20

The workout I choose to do this for this week was the Tuesday progressive pace run. Two weeks ago the workout was 4 miles up, then 2 at MGP+10 seconds, 2 at MGP and then 2 faster than MGP. This week was 2 miles up, then 4 at MGP, 2 at 1/2MGP and 2 faster. Two weeks ago I did them based of a 3:00 and this week to push closer to 2:55. The splits ended up working out well and I felt good about pushing a little harder out of my comfort zone. The weather was fabulous too so that probably had something to do with it:

Two Weeks Ago
6:52 7:11 (3 Hour MGP+10 = 7:02)
6:38 6:53 (3 Hour MGP = 6:52)
6:39 6:26 (3 Hour HMGP = 6:31)

This Week
6:43, 6:48, 6:54 6:29 (2:55 MGP = 6:41)
6:10, 6:17 (2:55 HGMP = 6:20)
6:16, 6:02 (Good enough)

I’ll keep picking a workout a week for the next month to work closer to a 2:55 pace, hopefully start feeling better about those paces by CIM and then use that as a starting point for Boston training. The workout today went pretty well. Managed to run up scenic hill faster than I EVER have on the 5th set with a time of 2:10. I of course paid for it on the 6th set but was able to keep that at a 2:20 so I was really happy with pushing to the edge … I haven’t quite figured out if this is trying to break the metronome or tune it … time will tell.

Current Wins – Packed up at the office, Getting better at pushing the edge on workout

Current Losses – Nutrition (ice cream and milkshakes too regular), no plans for the 3 week break between jobs

Good week of measured control

September 13, 2008

I’m feeling my way into the push harder on some runs at a 2:55 marathon level instead of 3:00 mode. This week I selected the Rollers on Tuesday as my work at 2:55 level instead of 3:00. I managed that pretty well so am happy with being able to push a little harder than I normally would for a “tempo” pace. The other nice thing has been that 3:00 marathon pace workouts seem to be “comfortable”. “Comfortable” is a loaded word, it’s never really easy running under 7 min pace for me but for the Thursday tempo run and the closing of the last 3 miles on the 17 mile run today I didn’t feel like I was every pushing beyond what I should be feeling for a tempo or marathon pace. So as long as I don’t burn out I think the 3 hour paces are good for me at this point.

The plan for next week on the “pushing it” (2:55 based paces) workouts is to use the progressive pace. Steve had us go out at 10 seconds slower than MGP for the first 2 miles and then wanted to cut each 2 miles down by 10 for the 6 miles that were progressive. Two weeks ago I did this at 3 hour based paces so this week the goal will be to run each of the 2 mile sets 10 seconds per mile faster than last time. The other workout I’ll try and push is the mile all out on the long run Saturday, that will be interesting, going 3 miles, then 1 mile all out on the track and then finishing the 20+ mile workout with the lactic acid built up in the legs.

I need to “break” the metronome a little, it’s very easy for me to get locked into paces by feel and the 2:55 paces are kind of a no mans land I need to get my body used to. Good to have a new challenge and something to work on.

Run Today
17.25 ish miles – 2:14:18
Closed around 6:50 pace

Current Wins – Cross training, job change public to all, reservations for phili half and CIM done

Current Losses – Lack of progress on startup, poor nutrition, downtown task force missing purpose

Feels good to be running again

September 2, 2008

It’s been three weeks to the day when I sprained my right foot, and then lots of not running, icing and stretching. Last week was my attempt at trying to get back into the swing of things with 5 miles Tue, 5 on Thursday and then 10 on Saturday. I joined back with the Team today for first week of Phase II, the hill phase (4 weeks), that follows 14 of our base phase. Today was a progressive pace run up and down Shoal Creek, first 4 easy, then 2 at 10 seconds slower than Marathon Goal Pace (MGP), 2 at MGP and 2 faster than MGP but not below Half Marathon Pace.

I ended up running with Charles since both of us might be the only too trying for a 3 hour marathon, others are faster or just a little slower. Today’s run was great, it has difficult for me to really keep a consistent pace since I’ve been off for a few weeks and don’t have a good feel yet for my effort and pace but hope that comes back in a week or two. If it doesn’t I may need to rethink the name of this blog. My MGP is a 6:53 and today’s splits ended up averaging well even though each mile wasn’t quite on. But then, that’s how most races go so the adjustments did work out:

  • 2 Mile MGP+10 (7:02) – 6:54, 7:09 – That averages out close to 7:02
  • 2 Mile MGP (6:52) – 6:38, 6:55 – That averages out close to 6:47
  • 2 Mile HMGP (6:30) – 6:40, 6:26 – That averages out close to 6:33

Not too bad, given the changing terrain and my lack of time on the road lately I’m pleased with the times. It wasn’t a hard effort, just nice and smooth. Need to stay calm and hopefully avoid injury the rest of the time leading to CIM, need to get that qualifier again so I can run Boston with everybody in April.

New plan for progressive/steady run next week

July 23, 2008

I commented last week about looking at how the steady state run goes this week before trying to change things up next week. Up to now I’ve been sticking to the progressive approach and this week and the last two have gone well. Apart from the 1 mile warm up and 1 mile cool down I’ve consistently been around a 7:40 pace for 2 miles, followed by 2 at 7:20, then 7:00 and then between 6:30 and 6:40. Today my last mile was closer to 6:20 which might be goal pace at some point but not where I am for a half based on my current fitness. Since this has been three straight weeks I’ll try and change things up a little next week. It’ll be interesting since it’ll also be my first week at my 70 mile target.

Next week I’d like to try and ramp up the progressive part of the run earlier and then try and hold a steady state run a little longer, but not that close to half marathon pace … probably closer to marathon pace. So the rough plan for next week will be to do the 1 mile warm-up and then get down to a 7:00 pace after 4 more miles and then try and run the last 4 miles around a 3:00 hour marathon pace. So 6:53 and no faster than 6:40. If that seems to go OK next week then I think gradually increasing the miles done at that pace will be the goal through the rest of this base phase. Of course all this depends on how things are going week to week but at least it gives me something to focus on  about as I’m running during the week and motivation to keep the pace under control on easy runs.

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