Running Fast

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“The years of regimented swim coaching had ingrained in me a very narrow-minded training philosophy, which was to do things faster. If I could just train with more yardage, and train faster, then I would most certainly race faster. Or so I thought.”

The above quote is from the book, The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing. Yes, I am on to reading another running book. This quote really got me thinking…

I always thought if you want to run fast you need to practice running fast. But after learning more about heart rate, I am now beginning to realize this is not always the case.

To all of my readers who are runners what do you think about the above quote? Do you always try to run fast? Does fast running during training make you race faster?

My friend went on a date with another runner… and it didn’t go well!

THE DATE

A friend of mine went on a date with a guy the other night. They were chatting and having a great time. Because they were both runners, the conversation naturally gravitated towards their race experiences. The guy, being an ultra marathoner, finally asked my friend, “Why did you downgrade from running full marathons to halves?” It was then that my friend knew a relationship between the two of them would never work…

DON’T ASK STUPID QUESTIONS

The question, “Why did you downgrade from running full marathons to halves?” was a deal breaker for her, and honestly it annoys me to pieces.

I just completed my 3rd full Marine Corps Marathon (read all about it here.) I have run all distances excluding the ultra marathon, however I am considering trying one in the near future. My favorite distances to run, and the ones I run most often are 10 milers, half marathons, and the full marathon. However, I do not think the full marathon is a harder distance to conquer then the half marathon. All of these distances are equally challenging in their own way. All of these distances are challenging, but the training focus is different. In other words, ¬†it takes a different kind of running depending on the race distance. And here is why…

HALF MARATHON

When I am training for a half marathon, my goal is to run faster. My training focus is on pace and speed work. I am doing shorter runs during the week, at a faster pace. I am running hill repeats. I may, even though, it is rare, jump on the treadmill to do some HIIT. I am also focusing on running form, and strength training. When training for a half marathon, I have more time to weight lift and do yoga. And last time I trained for a half marathon, I ran less, but when I did run, my runs were quality runs. The running less left more time to weight lift. The combo of more quality runs, and more weight lifting, made my body stronger and my runs faster.

FULL MARATHON

When I am training for a full marathon my ultimate goal is to build endurance by running far. My training focus is on increasing my weekly milage by running longer runs. I am not worrying too much on running a fast pace, and actually my pace slows down significantly. When it comes to pace, I am just trying to stay consistent. I practice negative splits on my longer runs. Nutrition and proper hydration plays a huge role when training and racing this distance.

HOW IT EFFECTS MY BODY

Depending on the sport you play, your body may take on a different shape. Gymnasts have a distinct gymnast’s body, Swimmers have a swimmer’s body… and you may have heard people say Runners have a runner’s body… but when it comes to runners, it becomes a little more complicated, because there are different types of runners. Sprinters or those running shorter distances then the marathon ¬†at a faster pace tend to be more muscular, then those running full marathons and ultra marathons. This is definitely true for me.

When I train for a half marathons I have more time for other exercises, such as weigh lifting, cycling, and yoga. When I train for a half marathon, I am able to fit in 4-5 times a week of weight lifting. Therefore, I maintain more muscle. I am stronger and overall look more fit.

When I train for a full marathon, my weekly milage has significantly increased. The mileage has increased so much that it is nearly impossible to fit any other exercising in. During marathon training, I was able to squeeze one weight lifting session in a week. And out of my four month marathon training, I went to yoga once. I tried to maintain as much muscle as I could during marathon training, but it was hard because I wasn’t lifting as much as I usually do, and because I didn’t have much fat to burn. When running long distance the body uses fat as energy. If there isn’t any fat to use, it will then use muscle for energy. This is why marathon runners, and ultra marathoners are so lean.

So as you can see, one distance is not more challenging then the other, they are just very different, even effecting the body differently.

Stop having an ego!

Just because you run a full marathons, or ultra marathons, it doesn’t mean you are more fit or a better runner then someone who chooses to run half marathons.

I choose to run a full marathon when I am craving to run far, consistent, slower, longer runs. Marathon training is a huge time commitment, and because I usually get really into my training, it is important for me to have the proper time to train. Yes, you can always make time, and make marathon training a priority but things get in the way, for example wedding planning, getting pregnant, traveling.

I am tired of hearing, “Oh I just ran the half…”

Don’t feel like less of a runner, because you only ran the half marathon. Feel proud, running a half marathon is an amazing accomplishment.

Honestly, sometimes I choose to run a half marathon. It lets me focus on running a faster pace. For a travel race, I may choose to run the half marathon over the full marathon, if I am in a cool city that I want to visit and explore, and not be too tired after racing. Sometimes, I choose to run a half because I want to be able to fit in weight lifting and yoga.

SO at the end of the day, I like to switch things up, and that is healthy physically and mentally.

‚ÄúIn some ways, an ultra isn‚Äôt even as hard as a marathon.‚ÄĚ ~ Scott Jurek¬†

Questions for You…

  1. Have you ever dated a runner?
  2. Which race distance is your favorite?
  3. Have you ever come across a runner with an ego?

© 2013 sweatdaily

Speed Work Drill

I wanted to share with you another recap on a speed work drill I did last Thursday. Again this was run on the treadmill in my Newton, Distance U shoes.

picture found on tumblr

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

11: 40 PM

RUN ANALYZE

SUMMERY from my Garmin

Distance: 3.10 miles

Time: 25:19

Average Pace: 8:09 min/m

Best Pace: 7:14

Calories: 253 C

Run Cadence: 97

I felt really good about this treadmill drill. However, because I am only doing daily 5K runs, my weekly mileage is drastically lower.

© 2012 sweatdaily

Proud to be a Runner. Proud to be an American.

“If you want to run at a fast pace, you need to train at a fast pace several days a week.”¬†– Hal Higdon

Before I wasn’t too worried about speed, and never did any speed work training. ¬†But now, I know I can run a 5K, 10K, 10 miler, half marathon, even a full marathon. I think after 2 full marathons, I finally have the right to call myself a runner. So it is time to take my running to a different level. I have decided it is no longer about, “Can I run this milage or not… ” because I have already proved that I can, physically and mentally. ¬†So my running is now about doing my personal best. And in order to break old records and create new ones for myself, I need speed drills.

I was always confused on speed drills. Maybe that is why it has taken this long to try one out. But I tend to always complicate things, when really it is very simple. Hal Higdon says, “If you want to run at a fast pace, you need to train at a fast pace several days a week.” So that is what my plan is. The only thing that I regret is not starting this speed work training sooner. My half marathon is in less than four weeks. But my one fitness goal for November is to train properly for this half marathon. Training includes, speed work, tempo runs, long distance runs, strength training, and some mild stretching.

On Sunday night, I felt really good, after I ran, my 5k speed work training run. So I decided today to try it again.

RUN ANALYZE

SUMMERY from my Garmin

Distance: 3.12 miles

Time: 26:03

Average Pace: 8:24

Best Pace: 7:20

Calories: 253 C

Run Cadence: 96

TREADMILL DETAILS

Again I ran this on the treadmill. (I hate the treadmill, and usually run outside) This time, I started out running at 6.8- 7.0, for the first mile. Then on the second mile I brought it up to 7.0-7.5. The third mile I ran at 7.5-7.8. whole time I felt really good. I never felt like I had to stop. I felt like I could keep going. This is a very good sign, but I think I can push myself more. Next time I do speed drills I am going to do interval training and really sprint hard.

Again I ran in my Newton- Distance U. This is the lightest and most minimalist shoe in my shoe rotation. Because of the shoes, my run felt light, easy, and fast. I still want to work on bring my Cadence up.

STRENGTH TRAIN

I also have been trying to do more strength training. It is a must for me on days when I do speed drills. I am really trying to strengthen my core. So below are the details.

seated dumbbell rear deltoid raises¬†–¬†3 sets (10 reps) 5 lb dumbbells

seated dumbbell front raise¬†–¬†3 sets (10 reps) 5 lb dumbbells ‚Äď this was my favorite one and this one intensely works your abs.

weighted crunch on stability ball¬†–¬†3 sets (10 reps) 5 lb dumbbells

plank on forearms while balancing on the stability ball Р3 sets 1 minute each

VOTING

Also everyone knows what today is…. ELECTION DAY! So this morning I woke up at 6:40 am and was at the polls by 7:00 am. It felt good to be so productive before work – getting my work out in and my vote on. As you may or may not know, I live in Washington, DC, which is by far the most political area in the USA. Sometimes being surrounded by politics all the time can be exhausting and stressful, but today was a happy day. I am so proud have the freedom to vote. It is days like these that make me grateful that I was born an American.

My sticker. My proof. I voted.

If you haven’t had the chance to vote yet… it is not too late!¬†

© 2012 sweatdaily

Speed Work

This morning, I woke up at my normal time, 8:00 am, but because it was daylight savings time, the clock went from 8 to 7. If you have been following my blog, you may already know how much I love my mornings, so having an extra hour this morning was a real treat. Unfortunately, I didn’t squeeze in a morning run, so instead I hit up the gym after work.

It is funny how things change. Four years ago, I was a gym rat, spending all my running time on the treadmill. But now, I can’t even remember the last time I set foot in a gym. Honestly, I hate the gym atmosphere and can’t stand the treadmill. However, I wanted to get in a short really fast run. The best place to work on speed is either at the track or on the treadmill, and because it is getting darker earlier, I decided on the treadmill.

So I put on my pink Newton shoes, the Distance U, and headed to the gym.

Time to get faster! Decked out in my favorite Lululemon.

RUN ANALYZE

SUMMERY from my Garmin

Distance: 3.12 miles

Time: 26.19

Average Pace: 8:27 min/mi

Best Pace: 7:42 min/mi

Average Run Cadence 97 spm

Calories: 254 C

TREADMILL DETAILS

I did a brief warm up walk on the t-mill for about 1 minute. Then I ran the first mile at 6.5 taking the speed up to 6.8 the last two minutes of the first mile. This was around a 9 minute mile. Then I ran the second mile at 7.0 which is around an 8:30 minute mile. Then I ran the last mile at 7.5 which is an 8 minute mile or slightly under. I was pretty satisfied with my speedy 5k.

At first, my Newton shoes felt really weird on the treadmill. But after a minute or two, I felt super light and fast, never feeling tired. It felt good to work up a sweat quickly and get those muscles moving.

Questions for you…

  1. Do you prefer to run far or run fast?
  2. Where do you do your speed workouts? Treadmill or track?

© 2012 sweatdaily

7 Mile Morning Run

This summer is the first summer in three years that I have NOT been training for a marathon. So instead of working on slower longer runs, to build endurance, like I have in the past, I have been focussing on speed, natural running, and proper form.  As you may know, form earlier posts I have also switched my running shoe to the Newton Shoe.

On August 26th, I will be running the Annapolis 10 miler. This will be my first race I will be running wearing my Newton shoes. Honestly, this race will be the ultimate test. ¬†I do feel that these shoes have made me faster, or let me rephrase that… when wearing these shoes I run faster, but have they made me a faster runner over all? ¬†Honestly, I do not know, because I have not run in any other shoes (since April) to compare them to. Sometimes I wonder, what if I ran in my Asics or Brooks, would I run as fast? Has my over all speed improved?

These are all questions that have come to my mind lately. ¬†I am hoping after this race I will find some answers. And although, 10 miles is not that far, sometimes I wonder if these shoes will support me when I go farther distances. ¬†I have had some really awesome runs in these shoes, where I feel light on my feet, and so fast I felt like I was flying. ¬†But I have had a few really bad runs, in these shoes as well, where I just couldn’t wait to be back to my car. Are the shoes inconsistent, or me?

After writing this blog post, you are probably thinking, that if I trained properly for this 10 miler then I should have all of my questions answered. Well the fact is, is that I have been training, but in a different way then I am use to, working less on distance and more on speed.  I am using this 10 miler as a test to see my progress. I also have another 10 miler in October, and a half marathon in November. After this 10 miler I am going to take it up a notch, by adding strength training and cycling into my weekly workout mix.

By running in the Newton shoes, I have begin to see physical changes in my legs. They are longer, leaner, and more muscular, especially in the calf area. But I still need to work on high knee exercises and strengthening my ankles.

Daily Workout:¬†As for my 7 mile morning run, it went really well. At 7 am, Lina and I hit the Mount Vernon Trail, south of Old Town. ¬†The weather today was 70, over cast, with a slight drizzle of rain, perfect running weather. Unfortunately, my Garmin’s memory was totally full. This is the first time in like 5 years that I didn’t have my Garmin working,¬†but Lina had her’s and there were mile markers along the trail. I counted mile markers, but I have to admit, I missed my Garmin.

Anyway, the tail was gorgeous and hilly. It was beautiful to run along the water. And Annapolis will be hilly, so I am glad we did a hilly 7 miler. Plus I love hills. I can’t help it, I live in a hilly area, so it is something that is hard to avoid.

Overall my 7 mile run was pretty fast, pretty challenging, pretty delightful all in one. And my Newton shoes did just fine.

Future Goals: So as I said before I am hoping the Annapolis 10 miler will answer my questions about the Newton shoes, and my summer training. Before I run my 10 miler in October I want to continue working on Natural Running, but I also want to Strength Train. Because at the end of the day, it is not the shoe that injures you, it is your body’s weaknesses that injure you. When you body has weaker areas, the stronger area’s over¬†compensate for the weaker ones, and therefore, gets overused, causing injury. I also want to get on my bike. Cycling is great cross training, and the fall time is the perfect time to go cycling. If I had to choose between the two, short speedy runs, vs longer endurance runs, I would have to say I just love going the distance. And I actually miss running really really far. So I want to pay closer attention to my milage, and in the end, up my weekly milage.

Questions for You:

  1. What do you like better speed or distance?
  2. Do you have any races coming up?
  3. What shoes are you wearing?

 

© 2012