Saturday, August 27, 2011

Training for Richmond: Week 5

     Intervals: 8 miles (Mon): Hit most of my target paces and showed significant improvement over last intervals ran on this course during week 2 of training.

     Tempo: 6 miles (Wed): Treadmill, amazed myself by holding 9.5 mph for a full 4 miles. Finished the last 2 miles with mile 5 at 9.0 mph followed by a 1/2 mile at 8.5 mph and the final 1/2 mile back up to 9.0 mph for a strong finish.

     Recovery: 4 miles (Fri): Stewarts Knob Trail. Legs was still dead from yesterdays 40 mile high effort bike ride, but I still pulled off a PR for this course by pushing past the fatigue which kinda defeated the purpose of the run being a "recovery" effort. Still gonna call it a recovery run since it was such a comparatively short distance.

     Long: 16 miles (Sat): Back on the parkway for 2 laps of my regular 8 mile route. Pace was a bit slower than what I had hoped for, but still very much on par with what I should have expected. Next week's long run will be a 16 mile trail race and the results of that should give me a lot to think about with the Richmond Marathon being just 10 weeks away from that day.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Training For Richmond: Week 4

     Tempo: 6 Miles (Tues): I took it to the Parkway for my tempo this week. As I progress through this current training cycle I hope to be able to set PR's on each of my dedicated training routes (except the 4 miler). I nailed it first time at bat with the 6 miler today, beating my old record by over two minutes. Logging my first sub 6 minute mile in months on this run was particularly rewarding in itself.

     Intervals: 8 Miles (Wed): After yesterdays high intensity tempo run I really just wanted to do recovery paces today, but the schedule calls for intervals, so I compromised  and took it to Explore Park to run intervals on the beginner trail. I had run intervals here last time back in Apr and was consistently hitting 7's for the sprints and 9's on the recoverys. I couldn't quite match that, but I was well into my half marathon training cycle then and I'm barely started in my current training cycle, so I'm encouraged just knowing I only missed my targets my small amounts.

     Recovery: 4 Miles (Fri): Back to the Parkway for my Primary Loop 4 mile route. Took it really easy on the down hills and focused any significant effort on the uphills. When I do my recoveries on asphalt its all about holding a pace and not taking every mile as fast as I can get it. Today I kept each mile within 10 seconds of target (with 7:40 being target) and averaged it all out to a 7:41 pace. Not too bad.

     Long: 14 Miles (Sat): Looking at the trends in my training lately I knew I had a good chance of bringing my long run pace back into the 7's with this run, so I decided to do the same route that I did about a month before the Blue Ridge Half. I did finally get a 7:52 pace, so my training is working and I'd have to say everything is on target. Over the next month or so I'll be looking to bring my long run pace down to about 7:30 even as my long run distance continues to escalate. At this point in training for Richmond last year my long run pace was still in the upper 9's so I have a lot to be encouraged about.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Upcoming races.

     All my runnin' peeps will be at the Fab 5k this Saturday the 20th and I will be doing a long run solo. Why is that? Usually this would be my anniversary weekend get away, but my lovely wife wanted to be a volunteer for this race so that leaves the door open for me to participate or even volunteer myself. Maybe it has to do with my insane expectations for myself. I believe if I did this race I would expect too much from myself. I expect to go sub 19 at my next 5k and I'm just not ready for it yet. Marathon training schedule calls for a 14 mile long run on Saturday, so I think I better do that with the Iron Mountain 16 Mile race looming on the horizon.

     So why am I doing Iron Mountain? Well, it fit perfectly into my training schedule, but wait...there's more. I have a completely unjustified pet peeve that I use for fuel when I'm running. That pet peeve is the 9 minute mile. I don't care what the terrain is I should always be able to run any mile in under 9 minutes. When I see that a mile has taken 9 minutes or more to run I get angry and I want revenge. Not just the "ok, lets do it in 8:59" kinda revenge either. I'm talking about the "brutally punishing, screaming for air, fall over dead but do this mile in 7:30" kinda revenge. Unfair...? Absolutely. A bit harsh with myself? That's putting it mildly. Still, it's my fuel, it's what I run on, and it is what it is. I want to "run for fun", and I'm getting better at it, but what I really understand is "run to see how fast you can go". The Conquer the Cove 25k ( was just shy of 16 miles and I finished with a final pace of 9:16. I stand by my race report in that 9:16 was a solid pace for that course and with all things considered, it was definitely all I was capable of on that day, but it was NOT all that I'm capable of. A second 16 mile trail race in the same year usually wouldn't happen, but this's personal!


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Training for Richmond Week 3

     Intervals: 8 miles (Mon): Very solid progress! Running intervals around my neighborhood I like to see the sprints in the 6's and the recoveries in the low 8's. I stayed close to target paces for the first 7 laps, but even for laps 8-16 I was consistently in the 7's and 9's which is significant progress from 2 weeks ago.

     Tempo: 4 miles (Wed): I knew this would be my last 4 mile tempo run for awhile so I wanted to make it count. I set a new 4 mile treadmill PR with a time of 25:21 (6:21 pace). I used 9.4 mph for the first mile, then I bumped it up to 9.5 mph for 1.5 miles and then I bumped it back down to 9.4 mph for the remainder. Next week I up the tempo run to 6 miles so I will be bumping the pace down just a hair. This is marathon training so no need to push the limits with max speed when a merely healthy speed will suffice.

     Recovery: 4 miles (Thurs): I would have preferred to do my recovery run on a nice wooded trail, but it just wasn't meant to be. Pressed for time, I chose to add a few side streets to my neighborhood run to make an even 1 mile route and then I ran it for 4 laps. The final pace of 7:46 is just a little faster than I had intended, but I held back all I could so I'm upping my target recovery pace to 7:45 for asphalt recoveries for the remainder of training.

     Long: 14 miles (Sat): I knew throwing in some trail miles would drag my pace down, but variety was more important than speed to me today since I had missed my trail run earlier in the week. I ended up running 10 asphalt and 4 trail miles with the miles 1,2, 8 &9 being the bulk of the Stewarts knob trail. Final pace of 8:30 is acceptable given the slowing effect of trails and with this having been my first 14 miler in months. Next week's 14 miler will be more telling as far as what I'm capable of, today was kinda just taking it easy and getting it done.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Training for Richmond: Week 2

     Intervals (Mon): Chose to take it to the parkway and sprint between the bridges (.44 mi) and do recoveries from the bridges to the mile posts on each end. Comparing these intervals to the last time I ran intervals on this course I was presently surprised to see that my sprints are still very close to where they were and that most of my slower pace was due to weakness on the uphill recovery interval.

     Tempo (Wed): Continued with using the treadmill for my 4 mile tempo run. Overall pace and results are very acceptable, but I was a little fatigued after 3,5 miles and backed the speed from 9.4 mph to 8.5 mph for the next 4/10ths of a mile. I made up for it a little by running the last 1/10th at 9.5 mph so as to finish strong. My treadmill 4 miler PR is 4 miles all at 9.4 mph steady and I did that after a swim. Now that I'm marathon training running always comes first when I do a double workout, so I think I'm in good position now to set a new PR next week.

     Recovery (Thurs): Even on recovery days I can't help but push a little bit, so today I took it to the Stewarts Knob trail. Trails have the natural effect of slowing me down so as to accommodate recovery speeds, but this trail in particular has always been challenging for me to match my typical trail paces on. On asphalt a good recovery pace is 8 min/miles. On trails I bump it up to 8:30 min/miles. For this trail an 8:45-8:55 pace would have been acceptable, but I pulled off the 8:30 anyway with a hard push on the last mile.

     Long (Sat): As I walked out the door I din't know for sure which route I would end up doing. Either the Dedicated Parkway 12 Miler or 3 laps of my 4 mile primary loop. I was disappointed by last weeks long run pace so doing the same route, the 3 laps of the primary loop, would have been a good measure for progress. Still, I went with the Dedicated Parkway 12 Miler because I wanted to see where I was at in comparison to other points in time and not just last week. I improved my pace by 20 sec per mile over last week with an 8:10 pace. My long run target pace is 7:30 so I can be content with measurable improvement over last week and the knowledge that 2 weeks into training for Richmond that I am about where I was when I was before I started training for the Blue Ridge Half and that race went well.