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

Half Marathon Training: Weather can make or break a long run!

WEATHER can make or break a long run.

Newtons and Camelbak. You guessed it- its long run time!

Yesterday, I went on a 10 mile run with L. It was a really good long run. I never thought weather would effect me so much, but ever since I started running five years ago I remember how cold past winters have been and when we have had a heat wave summer. As for yesterday morning… it was sunny and around 50 degrees, perfect running weather. It is officially time to swap out my running shorts for running pants and tanks for long sleeve shirts.

Yesterday, I ran in my adidas running capris and my brooks MCM long sleeve running shirt, (no lululemon- shocking I know)  but I felt perfect, never too hot, never too cold.

MENTAL

I remember telling L that I thought this was going to be a really good run… so mentally I was in the zone. Have you ever tried that before? In the beginning, of your next run, just say it out loud, “This is going to be a good run, I can feel it.” Trust me, by saying positive words like this, you are setting yourself up mentally for a really great run.

PREPARATION

Running can be the most simple minimalist sport ever. You can do it anywhere and all you need is a really good pair of shoes – or according to some runners, shoes aren’t even necessary. But when it comes to a run longer than eight miles I always bring my stuff. For this 10 miler, I was prepared in many ways . As I said above, I was dressed appropriately, and mentally set myself up for a success. Along with both of those things, I also had my Camelbak filled with two liters of water, my Jelly Belly Sports beans ( for fuel,) my iPod, my Garmin, keys, phone, money, and pepper spray. ¬†I was ready and feeling good.

THE RUN

So L and I hit the MVT trail and headed south towards Old Town.  Because it was around 9:00 am, the trail was pretty empty, only a few walkers.  This was very relaxing, and heading towards Old Town is always very pretty, right along the Potomac. I was trying to run between a 9:30 Р9:00 minute mile for the first half hoping I could run the second half faster. I was sipping water every two miles, and fueled up with sports beans twice, once at mile 4, a second time at mile 8.

The first half felt really good. I did have to stop two times to make sure L, who was right behind me, knew her way. We made it to Old Town and then turned back. On the way back, I felt really good, except for around mile 8, I really started to feel the ground in my Newtons. I believe this feeling is just a friction feeling of sweat, skin, and the ground all mingling. This sensation made it harder for me to maintain anything faster than a 9 minute mile, so I kept my pace at around 9:15. L and I ended up finishing in 1:40, and we both felt like we could have kept going farther – which I am pleased with.

THE PLAN

I am following the Hal Higdon Intermediate Half Marathon Plan. I love Hal. I was fortunate to meet him at the Chicago Marathon Expo! Although, I have never followed a plan for a half marathon, I have followed Hal’s plans for my marathon training and felt successful. So hopefully his half marathon plan will also bring me success. This week’s long run is a 15k, but depending on how I feel I might just do another 10 miler.

The plan also includes shorter daily runs, speed work, and strength training. Durning my shorter training runs I am trying to run between a 8:30 and 9:00 minute mile. As for speed work, I might actually do some drills on the treadmill at the gym- even though I hate the treadmill.

STRENGTH TRAIN

Yesterday, after my 10 miler, I did some strength training. Because I have changed my stride to a more natural running stride, it is very important for me to strength train. I have to mainly focus on my upper body and core.

I did all my strength training using a stability ball, which works abs as long as shoulders and back. I also used dumbbells, and kettle bell.

seated dumbbells lateral raises¬†–¬†3 sets (10 reps) 5 lb dumbbells

seated arnold press Р 3 sets (10 reps) 5 lb dumbbells

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

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

seated dumbbell press¬†–¬†3 sets (10 reps) 5 lb dumbbells

seated alternate dumbbell press¬†–¬†3 sets (10 reps) 5 lb dumbbells – for a more advanced move try this with one leg crossed over the other.

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

wide leg squat¬†–¬†3 sets(10 reps) 25 lb kettle bell

stability ball squat¬†–¬†3 sets (10 reps) 5 lb dumbbells

All of these work outs I found in Oxygen Magazine

In the end, I was really happy with my 10 mile run and my strength training. I still need to pick the pace up and work on cadence, but besides that I am feeling pretty confident and excited about my half marathon scheduled for December 1st. Although, I have done four ten mile races since April, I never felt like I was running far or training for a long distance race. For some reason this felt like a long run for me. So let me tell ya- it feels really good to run long and hard again. I really missed going the distance. I need to continue to make time, at least once a week, to run long and hard.

Questions for You

  1. Do you bring pepper spray with you when you do a long run?
  2. How do you mentally get in the zone?

© 2012 sweatdaily

Why do you run?

Image

I saw this and immediately thought of my sister. She always looks like this when she crosses the finish line of her races. Actually, I belive the finishing photo for her first half marathon (taken 5 years ago) looks just like this.

Sometimes, I need to remind myself that I am not an elite runner that runs a 2 hour marathon, but instead I am a runner that runs a 2 hour HALF marathon. Sometimes, I need to remind myself why I run in the first place.

I run to be healthy and stay fit.

I run in the morning because it keeps me energized for the rest of the day.

I run at night, to reduce stress and wind down.

I run in the hot months of spring and summer because the heat leaves me drenched with sweat and the sun gives me Vitamin D.

I run in the fall and winter months because the cold is refreshing.

I run in the rain, because it is my favorite time to run.

I run in the snow because it is pretty.

I run in the woods…

in the city…

on the beach…

over bridges…

I run races…

to train…

set goals…

make new PRs.

In the end, running is about me. ME running my personal best and having fun, while staying healthy and happy-mentally, emotionally, and physically. And, although I will never be an elite runner, over the years I  have become quite good at it.

Why do you run? What motivates you to run?

© 2012