Showing posts with label tempo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tempo. 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.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Introducing some speed into Brooklyn Half training

Today's run (treadmill): 3.1 miles

I skipped Tuesday's speed workout due to a timing conflict but I put it back on the schedule for today. According to my training plan, this was supposed to be a tempo run that peaks at 10K pace. I've gotten out of sync on my speed work and thought I'd do intervals instead. Although this morning's weather was very nice, I was running behind schedule and elected to save time by staying indoors.

It wasn't until I got on the treadmill that I decided which workout to follow. Thinking at first that I'd run intervals, I began with a warm up at half marathon race pace. I wanted to go into the repeats with a harder than usual effort to prime myself for speed. Once I got going, I considered the tempo idea. I then thought about SIOR's suggestion that I introduce some sustained speed into one of my weekday workouts for a couple of miles. I decided to continue with this half marathon pace for the duration of the run.

Except for intervals, I have not done many runs lately at sub-10 paces. This is because I've focused on endurance and distance rather than speed. I was surprised to find myself comfortably running at a mid-9:00 pace this morning. I wondered if I could keep this pace the entire way through and it turned out that I could. All this distance and hill running are clearly helping my stamina.

It's scary to think that I only have four more training weeks before my taper week. The longest run I've done so far this year is eight miles, but I did fairly well with that. I'm hoping that I'll continue to progress as I move into double digits. My average HR finally exceeded 85% of max today. If I can push a little harder and sustain it, I should start seeing my speed improve as well.

Friday, December 13, 2013

This stick is a real pain in the neck

Great gift indeed
Today's run (tempo): 3.2 miles

Yesterday's workout wasn't that intense, so I decided to step it up a little this morning with a tempo run. I woke up with a neck ache that I'm sure was caused by my Brookstone Shake Weight. This is a weighted balanced stick that you shake to (supposedly) build muscle via "dynamic inertia." I used it a couple of years ago but started getting back aches. I grabbed it out of the closet the other day thinking it might be a good way to work on arm strength without weights.

Whether it was the shake stick or something else, my neck was in pain. It felt like a pinched muscle but it didn't hurt so bad that I couldn't do my run. In deference to the discomfort, I decided to keep it fairly short. I started the tempo about a minute slower than training pace and held that for about 15 minutes, gradually increasing every quarter mile until I finished near my current 5K race pace.

After I'd completed my run, I took an Aleve. Even after putting some heat on it, the pain is still there, although it's not as intense as it was this morning. I'm hoping that a good night's sleep will get rid of it for good. I'm excited to be doing the GLIRC Clubhouse run tomorrow morning with my running friends, the Petite Pacer and SIOR. I'm really excited about that. As for the Shake Weight, it's either back to the closet or bound for the trash.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Fast track to performance gains

Flow of the workout
Today's workout (track): 1 mile tempo, 12 x 100M, 1.25 mile cool-down = 3.1 miles

This morning I headed out early to the local track to run intervals and tempos. I took the Virratas out for their first run, and thought they responded well to fast pacing. My plan was to run one mile at 5K race pace, which I'd follow with intervals and a cool-down run.

The track had a few walkers and a couple of runners when I arrived. I got started quickly on my tempo warm up and found a pace that felt hard, but sustainable. I locked into that pace for four laps, guided by perceived effort. Along the way, I passed everyone including the other two runners on track. After last Sunday's low point of the race, when I was being passed left and right around mile five, it felt good to be the one who was doing the passing. I averaged 8:18 for the mile.

Next, I ran a set of 100 meter repeats, averaging 6:40 per mile. I was surprised when I later looked at heart rate data and saw that I'd averaged between 74-80% of MAX. Knowing that, I can probably get my pace down to 6:25, while still staying under 90% MAX. However, I'll probably keep it to 8 x 100's for that session.

I finished the workout with a 1.25 mile cool down, run at a moderate (9:21) pace. In total, it wasn't a lot of distance, but the intensity made up for that. I'm planning a long run tomorrow, either on the Bethpage path, or another route that will facilitate a 6+ mile distance better than my neighborhood roads. My performance has improved greatly for runs between 3-3.5 miles. It will be interesting to see how my pacing holds up, when I double that length tomorrow.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Tempo for the Snowflake

Today's run (street): 4.4 miles

It's the start of a three day weekend and I kicked it off with a neighborhood run this morning. The temperatures have been all over the place and this morning it was cold. I wore one of my "private brand" half zips (in this case, Layer 8) that do a great job of keeping me warm while managing sweat. Combined with my CS track pants, I was very comfortable throughout my run.

I planned a tempo run with a target pace about 30 seconds slower than (4 mile) race pace. I moved along well but fell ten seconds short of my pace goal. Overall, I was pleased with my fitness, but I guess I didn't push hard enough. Four miles isn't quite enough distance to move my base training forward but at least I'm running with more energy compared to the last two weeks.

The end of the line at last year's Snowflake Run
The long weekend provides an extra opportunity for a distance run. I'd like to get at least one 6+ mile run in before Tuesday or, equivalently, an hour on the trails. I'm registered for the Snowflake 4 mile Run in February so in the short term I will also focus on speed. I probably should do intervals more often anyway. Now I have no excuses.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Taper-ending tempo -- now the rest begins

Today's run (treadmill): 2.6 miles

I finished my taper this morning with a progressive tempo run on the treadmill. I would have liked my last training run to happen outdoors but the wet weather kept me inside. In a way it worked out well. My original plan for an outdoor run was to cover a mile as quickly as possible and nothing more. On taper week you want quality miles even if it means running less of them. Since I was on the treadmill I changed my plan and did my run starting at an easy pace and increased speed every two minutes so that by the end I was running 25% faster than when I began.

My overall pace wasn't impressive but I thought the exercise was beneficial. Over the past couple of months my strategy has been to finish my runs faster than I'd begun. It would be great to achieve negative splits during Sunday's 5K. I'm looking forward to a couple of days rest and hoping for the best on Sunday.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Maintaining the right tempo

Thanks for making my point Newsday!
Today's run (street): 2.5 miles

My wife handed me the paper when I got home last night and told me to check out the second section. Newsday had run an article about minimalist running and she mischievously annotated the story showing the points I'd made in my "How to" post on Monday. I thought that was pretty funny.

I followed yesterday's good run with one that felt as good, but for some reason I ran the route 40 seconds slower than I did on Tuesday. It was puzzling to me, especially since my intention was to tempo at around 20 seconds above 5K race pace. After looking at my splits I saw that I simply went out too slow for the first 15 minutes but made up some time in the last third of my run. At that point I'd dropped into performance gear and run at about 8:20/mile.

I'm sure the additional rest I'd had prior to yesterday's run had something to do with my better performance. That seems to reinforce the idea that rest + training is the right combination for optimal performance.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

My 500th post!

Today's workout: 2 mile tempo at 8:41 per mile

It's hard to believe but today's post is the 500th since I started The Emerging Runner in 2008. I like having a bit of history to look back upon. My original goal for this blog was for it to be a journal of my experience returning to running. I do use it for that and I find it helpful to occasionally look back on what I was doing a year ago to see if I've made any progress or if I'm looking at running differently. I'd say there's been progress and my view of running hasn't changed a bit. Both good things.

With all my hill work and trail running over the last week I felt that I needed to do a more speed-focused workout today. Last night I mapped a run that measured exactly 2 miles that I planned to cover at 5K race pace. One reason I kept the distance down to two miles was to motivate myself to run faster than I normally would at 4 AM. Another reason for the exact two mile route was to quickly compare the distance MotionX was mapping compared to my actual, known distance.

The run went well. I didn't expect to hit a record breaking pace because I generally run about 15 seconds per mile slower at this early hour. The run felt fast and I knew I'd do better than normal (and I did) but I was still disappointed with my 8:41 pace. MotionX, the GPS app I've been using on my iPhone, was again way off. It measured the run at 1.86 miles. It's easy to see why it does that. Looking at the map trace from the GPS signal shows a number of vectored corners and shortened paths that add up to less total distance. This confirmed that the GPS always under-counts distance and today's margin of inaccuracy told me that it was off by 7%. That's disappointing and it's the primary reason that I didn't buy a GPS watch to replace my Garmin 50. I've been told that the Garmin GPS watches are far more accurate than the iPhone but I'll stick to the foot pod for now.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I relay want to go fast

We're getting closer to race day and all I can think about is getting through this week. Between budgets and industry presentations I'm very oversubscribed. At least running provides a good channel for dissipating stress. My work colleague, whom I'd mentioned in Saturday's post, ran the Baltimore half marathon in an impressive time despite her leg injury. I'll need to ask her how close she kept to her race strategy. I'd be thrilled to come anywhere near her pace in the relay.

AG gave me race info today (she's the team captain). We got our race number and lots of other info about race day. I'm thinking about going out fast (for me) for my first leg since it's only three miles. I'll have 90+ minutes to recover before my second leg. AG is planning to pace me on the six miler and that will help because at that point I may have trouble motivating myself. She will be running about 11.5 miles in total. Almost half a marathon and I'm worried about doing nine! Of course AG has previously completed three half's and is a far more experienced runner than her teammates. That's why she's the captain!

My plan tomorrow morning is to get out and run some tempo paces. I read in Runner's World that decreasing distance (during tapering) while increasing speed/pace is an effective way of improving performance on race day. With the early morning cold temperature a little fast running will be a great way to keep warm.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Run like a girl - I wish!

I went for my second run in Central Park this week, this time accompanied by Adventure Girl. She was due to fly out later so we decided to do our usual work week ending run a day early. As we made our way into the park we talked about our run plan. AG noted that I'm constantly mentioning my need to improve my speed. She suggested that we proceed at a faster than normal pace and either incorporate some tempo changes or finish the workout with some intervals. I decided that the tempo method was better because I knew that I'd spend the whole run worrying that I'd have the energy to do speed drills later.

We started with a brisk pace and with the temperature in the low 70's it felt just right. Shortly into the run AG pointed to a sign and said "We'll sprint from that sign until we reach the lamp post, slow down for recovery for three more lamp posts, and repeat." When we reached the sign we both took off, I ran hard but AG was a blur, gaining about three feet per second on me until she reached the marker. I've always been a good sprinter so it was interesting to be the slow one. AG has clearly honed that quickness on the soccer field where your ability to burst is key. It was a little humbling but I wasn't humiliated because I felt good and I knew I was running well.

We ran four sets and then resumed a good steady pace, faster than what we usually run. We continued north past the lower loop and cut west across the Great Lawn before turning south toward our designated end point. We encountered some hills but they didn't slow us down much and near the end AG took off for the finish and I sped up but did not nearly match her pace. I actually lost sight of her and passed her while she waited at the end. If I didn't hear her call out to me I would probably have kept on going for a while.

It was a great run and I felt good about my speed progress. My daughter mentioned the other night that the expression "Run like a girl" is offensive. She's right, it can be. But to me it's an aspiration.

blogger templates | Webtalks