Week 10 – Friday Speedwork

08292014-friday-speedwork

After Tuesday morning’s tempo run, I did another easy 5 miles Tuesday night, 4.5 easy miles on Wednesday afternoon (at work) and an easy 3.0 miles Thursday morning.

Then Friday afternoon, I did a fairly long bike ride (about 19 miles) before doing my Friday speedwork in the early evening. Not surprisingly, this was a tough run. I did this on the treadmill (it was still pretty hot outside) and basically I ran an easy warm-up mile, then cycled between 2 minutes at speed 10 (the treadmill’s fastest pace) and speed 6 (10:00 min/mile).

I repeated this four times. I would have liked to do it six or more times, but four pretty much wore me out. You can definitely see the intervals on the HR plot above, but the splits were a little disappointing. My average HR on the fast two minutes was in the mid-170s, but on the slow two minutes, it only dropped to an average close to 170. Ideally, the fast pace would be about 170 bpm (right now), but the slow pace would be lower.

The good news is that the last cool-down mile (done at the first mile pace) was a pretty low heart rate. And… I left the Garmin on for two minutes after finishing to see how fast it dropped when slowing to a walk. It dropped over 30 bpm the first minute which is pretty good. It dropped a little more the second minute of walking but for the most part had settled in the low 120′s by about 80-90 seconds after slowing. I’m considering this positive progress.

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Week 10 – Thursday 5.0 Miles at 6.6

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Tonight was a pretty decent run- much better than I expected. Having already run this morning (albeit only 3 miles), then working all day, eating a big supper, then going for a walk with the family… I finally got on the treadmill about 9pm.

I figured I’d do 2-3 miles at the 9-minute pace (about 6.6 on the treadmill) and see how I felt. Surprisingly, I still felt fine and my heart rate was quite low. So I finished up doing 5 miles with my heart rate average at 155.

This is the third time this week I’ve done 4+ miles at 6.6. I did it Monday, Tuesday and now Thursday (all in the evening). Monday my HR was high– about 165. Tuesday was back to 156 and tonight’s was 155. The only difference I can think of was that I lifted weights Monday morning and might have been more fatigued then than either Tuesday or tonight. Not sure, but I’ll try to monitor that going forward.

Week 10 – Tempo Tuesday

08262014-tempo-tuesday-4miles

A decent run today. I’m going to try and repeat this Tempo Tuesday on the treadmill for the next few weeks. It’s pretty simple: one mile at speed 6, one at 7, one at 8 and the last mile back to 6. This is actually a pretty easy four miles but I want to repeat it and track my heart rates over the next few weeks and see if the faster parts of the run start getting easier. I guess we’ll see.

Heart rates for today’s run: 145, 158, 171 and 155. Ideally, the last mile will be close to the first mile. And miles 2 and 3 will get to where I’m barely having to exert myself.

One encouraging note… on the third and fastest mile my heart rate was very flat. Of course, I can’t run at a 170 heart rate for hours, but this was a pretty fast pace and my HR wasn’t crazy high.

Week 9 – Sunday Long Run – 12 Miles

08242014-sunday-long-run

Today was my longest run to date. Six miles out and six miles back. While it wasn’t my fastest 10+ miler, it was still a pretty successful run. My average heart rate was 153 bpm and average pace about 10:30.

Note to-do: when I get a few more 10-mile runs in, compare them to see if I’m getting faster or am able to run with an easier effort. This could be another good benchmark to measure progress.

Notes on today’s run: no pain, but my legs were aching a bit toward the end. I ate an energy gel at six miles, and drank both water bottles in my belt by mile 11.

Week 9 – Quarter Mile Repeats

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Today was our first day back from vacation and I did this run in the late afternoon (after lifting weights in the morning and cycling about noon). So it was hot, and fairly hard. Since I’ve been trying to do speedwork on Fridays, I decided to do 1/4 mile hill repeats. And wow, this is hard.

I jogged down to the end of the cul-de-sac in my neighborhood and ran as fast as I could for a quarter of a mile up a hill. Then I walked for a few seconds to get my heart rate back down quickly and jogged back to the bottom of the hill. Then I ran fast back up. I had no idea how many of these I’d be able to do, but it turns out I can only do four. Yep, that was it and I was hurting. Maybe next week I can try to do six. We’ll see.

Note- my “fast pace” was about 6:30 for the first one, and by the fourth one it was closer to 7:00. And oh  yeah, I jogged for about a mile or so when I was done just to make the workout at least a half hour long.

Week 9 – Tempo Tuesday – 4 Miles

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I think today was my second “Tempo Tuesday” in a row. My plan for these is to run a mile at my easy pace (~150 bpm), then run a little faster for a mile (~9 min pace), then run the third mile roughly as fast as I can (~8 min mile). Then slow down to a 150 bpm, or as close as I can get to it for the last mile.

In a few weeks, I should be able to use these as benchmarks to see if I’m getting any faster, or running them at an easier effort.

Worth noting, my heart rate for the second mile (the 9:00 min pace) wasn’t as high as I thought it would be. It was 164 and if I could run at 164 and 9:00 minutes for a lot longer, I would be pretty happy.

Week 8 – Sunday Easy 4 Miles

04172014-easy-four-miles

Yes, today should have been my long run but we were going to Water Country and I didn’t want to get up at 5am on vacation to run before the kids got up. So I did a quick run and postponed my long run to Monday. Again, I started with the intent to run it at a heart rate of 150 but quickly gave up and ran it at an average of 157 bpm. Still pretty slow at about an 11:00 minute pace. Nothing spectacular about today’s run.