Showing posts with label splits. Show all posts
Showing posts with label splits. Show all posts

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Cool, energizing, hot and humid

Saturday's run - negative splits
Today's run (street): 3.9 miles
Yesterday's run (street): 5.5 miles

This weekend has turned out to be busier than I expected and all my hopes for running with friends has gone by the wayside. I did manage to eke out ten miles between yesterday and today, but only by wedging those runs between other activities.

Yesterday's run was great. It was a little warmer than Friday, but still cool, dry and energizing. I did a tempo run, keeping my pace moderate for the first 20 minutes before increasing my speed throughout the rest of the run. I ended up running negative splits, with the last mile equaling my 2012 training pace.

This morning was so humid that I almost skipped my run in favor of an indoor elliptical workout. At least I could do that with my big fan cranked up to hurricane setting. TPP, SIOR and I tried to coordinate a run the day before, but I couldn't allocate the time to do anything but a short local run. As it turned out, that was probably for the best, since weather conditions were draining.

I knew from the start that I'd be in for a tough time this morning. All the moisture in the air inhibited oxygen flow and I adjusted my speed to maintain a good aerobic balance. I had no breathing issues but the sodden air did not help my energy level. I'm sure I'll cringe when I see the Garmin data from today's workout. My cadence was probably 5 SPM slower than on Saturday.

Tomorrow is the last day of summer vacation for the kids and we have a lot planned. I may squeak in a few miles or do a short elliptical session in the morning. Depending on the weather later in the day, I may end up doing my workout in the pool.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Negative splits on a chilly morning

Today's run (street): 2.65 miles

All week we've been hearing forecasts calling for warm weather with predictions that temperatures would reach 70ยบ by Friday. I must be missing something because it has been chilly most days this week and this morning was no different. I listened to the weather report and dressed in single layers for today's run. Fortunately I thought to wear running gloves and I was happy to have them. The winds brought the temperature down into the mid 30's and I found myself wishing for an extra shirt.

Saucony Grid Tangent 4
 I wore my Saucony Grid Tangents this morning for a change of pace but my pace didn't change much. My stride felt encumbered for the first mile but I loosened up soon after that. The second half of my run was 6% faster than my first and though my recent paces have not been extraordinary I've been achieving negative splits on almost every run. I'm hoping to get out for 10 miles on one of the days this weekend. Speed will not be my goal but that doesn't mean it won't be on my mind.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Negative splits lead to a positive view

Today's run (street): 4.1 miles

My wife suggested that I take a break from working out today and I had the mindset to do that. The thought of another run around the almost too-familiar streets of my neighborhood was not compelling. I was feeling generally negative about doing any activity. The rain did a good job of clearing snow in my town and I considered a return to Stillwell but we have a big day planned and I was again pressed for time. I dressed for a run without really knowing where I would go, finally deciding the easiest way to get it done would be to hit the local roads.

As a compromise to my negative mindset I considered running slowly and making it an easy workout that I could count as a partial effort. With no targeted distance, route or pace in mind I took off and chose lefts and rights almost randomly. At one point I came upon another runner who I followed for a while. I'd seen him on the road before and I was curious to see how our paces compared. It turned out that we both were running about the same pace and I wasn't interested in catching up to him so I peeled off to another road and let him go. When I passed the first mile I saw that I'd averaged 9:55. I picked up the pace a little and covered mile two at 9:46 and improved to about 9:40 for mile three.

Throughout my run I'd actually felt great. The weather was cold but mild and I was enjoying a run where I could take my mind off the effort and look around at my surroundings. After completing three miles I decided to run the last mile with a little more speed and covered it at 9:10. Not especially fast but far faster than the prior three. I enjoyed the run, felt strong and hit negative splits throughout my distance. My splits were negative and by the time I arrived home my mindset was far more positive.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

When negative is a positive

Today's run (street): 2.8 miles at 9:01

Yesterday afternoon I caught up with CK, one of my running advisers, and we talked about what it takes to run negative splits, especially over distance. I've had experiences in races where I'm overtaken on the last mile by people who seem to come out of nowhere. Though I struggle to keep from being passed I'm not usually successful. I told CK that my speed tends to degrade along a linear slope and that my end pace is often 30 seconds (or more) per mile slower than when I start. CK said that if that's the case I'm probably going out too fast and that a slower start on longer runs will provide a stronger finish. He also said that once a week I should do shorter distances (e.g., 2 miles) and run at race pace to build my speed.

I thought about that this morning as I prepared for my morning run. My calf muscles are still very tight from Sunday's practice run and I wasn't sure whether to start fast and finish fast or experiment with the "Start slow, finish strong" idea. About ten steps in I knew that I could handle some speed and after a minute I picked up the pace. My form felt misaligned during the first mile and that prevented me from settling into an efficient rhythm but after about eight minutes things seemed to come together. I planned to run more than two miles so I tried to keep aware of my speed and cadence and, as I moved past the two mile mark, I picked up my pace even more. The result was a credible 9:01 but, better still, I tracked negative splits after the first mile. I don't consider today a speed workout but it was directionally positive. Tomorrow I'll focus even more on my pace and leave stamina building for the weekend. CK and I may do a lunchtime training run in Central Park on Monday -- five miles including those hills above the reservoir. I can't say I love the idea but I need to be prepared for the James Street challenge.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Running and sailing -- how's that for a duathlon?

Setting sail on the Eisenhower Park pond
Today's run (Eisenhower Park): 4 miles at 8:32

This morning me and my friend KWL headed early to Eisenhower Park for a training run. We're both competing next weekend -- me in the Dirty Sock 10K and he will be running a 10K on Saturday and participating in a 100 mile cycling event on Sunday. Our plan for today was to cover about four miles around the park and then meet up with my wife and kids for a little remote control sailing. More on that below.

KWL has only been running for about a year. In fact it was just a year ago that he participated in a Fun Run that I'd organized in Central Park and, without any prior training, he beat a handful of experienced runners. He's an avid cyclist and that athleticism carries over to other activities. Our run together was well timed (for me) because KWL set a quick pace and we ran the 4 miles with split times of 8:28, 8:18, 8:31 and 8:48. We started with a couple of laps around the southern paved trails and finished with a lap and a half around the big pond. At least that was my 4 miles. KWL continued to run another mile while I waited for my family to arrive. I was very happy with my pace but less happy with my stamina. I could have run another mile when I stopped because I began to tire. I didn't want to overdo things since I'd run hard the preceding week and I'm planning to keep up the pace in my final runs prior to race day.

Tall Ships ready to set sail
After the running was completed we met up with my family. KWL opened the back of his car and showed the kids the two remote control sailboats that he and a friend had made. The kids were surprised to see that the boats stood higher than their own height. These sailboats were impressive and as I watched them glide over the water I was amazed by their speed and maneuverability. The fact that the boats had no motor for propulsion (only a small servo for turning the sails and the rudder) made it both a serene and exciting activity. Near the end my son handed over the controls of his boat and I got to do a little sailing myself. We ended our Eisenhower Park activities by 10:00 AM and still had plenty of day left. It was a great way to spend our Sunday morning with a good friend and I had yet another great training run.
 

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