Last Run for the Water post, I promise! But I mentioned in my race recap that I would write about some of my workouts in the last few weeks before the race and I want to make a concerted effort to blog semi-regularly. I’m just covering highs and lows because some of these runs were over a month ago, so unless I bothered to write significant commentary on Daily Mile I have no recollection of how well things went.
- The long runs with race pace miles in the middle (10/10/15 and 10/18/15): These runs had 2 and 3 race pace miles in the middle, respectively. On 10/18– which was an 11-miler– I purposely included a significant incline in the last hard mile in preparation for the hills in the middle miles of the Run for the Water. Neither of these runs felt particularly amazing but I think it’s mentally satisfying to have a few “fast” miles during a long run.
- The supersets that hurt so good (10/09/15): 3 x 400m/800m/1200m at 20 seconds faster than 5K pace/5K pace/half marathon pace (i.e. 6:50/7:10/7:45). I did two sets of these a week or two earlier and it was hard but doable, so three wasn’t going to be too bad, right? LOL. I did manage to hit my target paces within a few seconds on every set but it was a challenge.
- The long run that I ran entirely too fast (10/3/15): This was one of the first weekends when the weather here registered somewhere on the spectrum of “not blazingly hot”. It felt wonderful. It felt so wonderful that I got really excited and kicked off my long run at 8:38 pace and then kept running mostly sub-8:20. It felt great to not be drenched in sweat and struggling to run sub-10:00 miles but running 11 miles in that not-quite-easy/not-quite-race-pace gray area wasn’t very beneficial to my training, especially because my legs felt more tired than usual the next day.
- The supersets that hurt so bad (10/21/15): 2 x 800m/1200m/2400m at 5k/10k/half marathon pace, which translated to 7:08/7:30/7:41 pace on the treadmill. I don’t think I would have been hitting those paces on the second set if I’d been running on the track. This was brutal. I soldiered through and finished but I was so tired the next day I had to cut my easy run short.
- The 8 mile run that wasn’t an 8 mile run (10/25/15): A week out from the race I planned on running 8 miles with 4 at goal race pace. I ran later in the day than I’d planned due to very heavy rain in the morning. I felt okay on my warm up but then had a really tough time trying to hit my target pace. The first two race pace miles were on a gradual incline– so a 7:57 mile 1 wasn’t too off my target– but then mile 2 was 8:22 but felt much, much harder. I decided to slow down to a jog for a bit to regroup…and then felt incredibly dizzy when I stopped for traffic at a corner. At that point I knew I had to quit and head home and rehydrate. Ugh.
Some final thoughts on my training now now that I have the benefit of hindsight :
- Supersets are much better track workouts than shorter repeats if I’m training for anything longer than 10K. All of the workouts I mentioned in this post were brutal. I hate supersets when I’m running them. HATE THEM. But the beauty of them is that running target 10 mile or half marathon pace right after running a much faster pace makes the target race pace feel a hell of a lot easier. Also, having to maintain a 7:00-8:00 pace for 2-3 miles at a time instead of running a bunch of 800m repeats is way better for building my stamina.
- I should have done more “fast finish” long runs. Working some race pace miles into the middle of my long runs was definitely beneficial but I want to run some faster miles at the end of my long runs before my next goal race. My legs were toast in the last mile of the Run for the Water. Running faster paces on tired legs during my training should help.
- Overall, I’m pretty happy with my training and the outcome. Yeah, sub-1:17 eluded me but I definitely feel like I built up my speed and endurance in the 12 weeks leading up to the Run for the Water. My 8K time in September had me pegged for a 1:17:39 10 mile time (per the McMillan calculator) and I knocked more than 30 seconds off of that on a tough course. Onward and upward!