Saturday, August 14, 2010

Training is paying off with two speedy runs despite the hills

Friday's run (Central Park): 3.25 miles at 8:39
Today's run (street): 4.5 miles at 8:36

We have guests coming over today so I set out early to get in my run. My focus, both today and yesterday, was on maintaining a brisk pace over routes that presented some hill challenges. Yesterday I headed to Central Park around noon and followed a route that started by following the lower and upper loop on the east side. I crossed to the west north of the Great Lawn and finished my run down the loops along the west side. The temperature was around 75 degrees and that helped at the start. I ran the first mile, that has a couple of noticeable elevations, at around 8:05 per mile, which is fast for me. My split speed decreased for miles 2 and 3 but I did keep my pace well under nine minutes the whole way through. A focus on speed has definitely improved my performance and I'm happy with the numbers but I do wish I could just go out there and run for fun. But running for fun does not contribute enough to conditioning and I only have one week before the Dirty Sock 10K.

My run this morning mostly took place in a business park located near my house. it's not the most visually interesting place to run but the wide open streets and a loop that is 2/3 uphill and 1/3 downhill makes for a great training ground. I ran the loop two times and tried to maintain a rapid cadence. I averaged 88 SPM for the first mile and gradually fell to 83 SPM by the last half mile. Even so, I bettered the 80 SPM that I have averaged most of this summer. I finished my training cycle by ducking into neighborhood #3 which is mostly flat and provided a welcome relief from uphill running. From there I headed home, tired but still remaining under the 9:00 threshold.

Last night my wife told me about a 5K race that was being held at Sand's Point this morning. She suggested I run it because it's a beautiful place right on the water. I decided that I needed to do the hill training instead, to prepare for next week's race. It would have been fun to spontaneously run a 5K but part of my enjoyment of racing is the anticipation of the event and the strategy and training that precedes it. I'm really curious about how I'll do next Sunday. Will my performance training pay off or will I end up close to my time from last year? I thought I'd trained better and incorporated better strategy before the New Hyde Park 8K in June but I ended up no faster (or slower) than my 2009 run. I'm planning to run with my friend KWL tomorrow and then run on Monday through Wednesday during the week. I'll finish my taper with an elliptical session and rest for Sunday. At least that's the plan for now.

2 comments:

  1. What PB are you trying to break for the dirty sock 10K? Great job on both of those runs. I had a very nice run this morning @ a 12 mm pace. Ran/Walk, as I am not use to the hills. Thank goodness this half is nice and flat. After the half in sept, I plan to focus on what you are doing. Shorter distances, hill work, increase pace. I look forward to following your progression. Take care and best wishes for next week. Good thing you opted for the training over the 5k.

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  2. Hi Kenley. I ran last year's Dirty Sock at 9:38 per mile and really felt the distance in the last 1.2 miles. I'm hoping for an improvement but even with my faster paces of late I'm thinking the trails will cost me some time. Happy to hear your half marathon training is going well. September will be here soon enough. I'm rooting for you. The good news is that whatever time you run will be a PR! Take care and have a good Sunday.

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