Friday Fartlek

Usual 5-mile Fartlek today. Felt good and the hard intervals were a bit harder than usual. Otherwise nothing particularly unusual about it.

Start Time: 5PM.
Time: Round about 38 minutes or so, 7:45s for the first and last mile, 7:30s in between.
DIstance: 5 miles.
Workout Structure: Friday Fartlek, so 6 30 second sprints every half mile sandwiched between a warm-up and cool-down mile.
Pre-Run: Usual stretching, water, etc.
Notes: Shortened up my stride during the hard intervals which I think helped speed them up a bit towards the 5 mi/mile range.
Post-Run: Stretching, water, icing, some work with the roller.

Rest day tomorrow after which it’s time for the big weekly effort yet again…

More Like Tempo Pace

After Tuesday’s warm tempo-paced suffering and the bit of rethinking I did yesterday, I decided to go out and try to put in 4 real tempo miles today and just see how the pace worked itself out.

Actually, to be perfectly honest, I did have a goal, which was 7:15 miles, but I wanted to make sure not to sacrifice the lactate threshold purpose of the tempo run. To reign myself in I tried to keep my breathing very steady in the two strides in, one out pattern. How did I do?

Start Time: 4PM. Had to go out a bit earlier than usual since we stared moving Suz yesterday. Luckily it was hot but also quite dry, only around 30% humidity, so it was comfortable.
Distance: 6 miles total.
Time: Splits were around 7:45, 7:18, 7:14, 7:11, 7:04, 8:05, so around 46:27 for the whole thing.
Workout Structure: Easy start and finish miles, sandwiching 4 miles at tempo pace, and today I think that I actually did these right. They didn’t feel horribly uncomfortable; I mean, they weren’t fun, but in a race situation I could have probably done 4 more of them, so it’s close to a pace I can hold for an hour. The negative splits just happened really, which is interesting.
Pre-Run: Usual stretching and water consuming.
Notes: Again, the negative splits were interesting. I have noticed this about myself when running that sometimes it takes me a few miles to warm up, but I was trying to keep the effort fairly constant. Interesting. Maybe the negative split run should become a weekly staple?
Post-Run: A quick cool-down so that I could get started with Suzanna’s move.

Tomorrow it’s time for the last 5 miles of the week, what should be a fairly “nice” Fartlek, assuming the weather cooperates…

Rethinking Tempo Pace

Maybe it was just hot, but yesterday’s tempo run made me sit down and start rethinking exactly what pace I should be running these miles at. I think that, unfortunately, 7 mi/mile is a bit aggressive, at least based on the advice proffered here.

In particular, three things give me pause. First, my breathing. Although I usually keep a one-stride in, one-stride out pattern even when running easy-paced miles and just reduce the volume, I don’t think that I can really claim to be able to keep up the two-in, one-out rhythm they suggest at the higher tempo pace. Second, I’m pretty sure my heart rate is also a bit high. Using a few calculators online I think that 85-90% heart rate for me is around 162-172 bpm. During yesterday’s run I was definitely pushing above that, into the high 170s. Finally, I would really like to try and do around 15-20% of my weekly miles at tempo pace, which is going to mean about 4.5-6 miles of tempo/week at 30 miles/week, and I’m really not sure I can do 4.5-6 miles per week at 7 mi/mile pace even if I sandwich those miles into almost every run I do.

As an experiment, tomorrow I’m going to go out and do the 4 “moderate” miles at something more akin to tempo pace. We’ll see what it turns out to be…

Tuesday Tempo Miles

Today was another scorcher, and in the spirit of a week moving the mileage up a bit I couldn’t help but resist pushing the tempo miles on this run out to 2.5 from the 2/week I’d been doing for some time. Perhaps not the best week to do it, given the increase in mileage; maybe not the best day to do it, given the heat; maybe not the best day of the week to do it, given the hot 10-miler on Sunday and the hotter 5 miles of hills yesterday. But what the heck.

Start Time: 5PM.
Distance: 4.5 miles.
Time: I think around 33 minutes or so, with splits of 7:45, 7 (2.5), 7:45.
Workout Structure: One easy mile, followed by two “tempo” miles, followed by an easy mile as a cool-down of sorts.
Route: I chose a different route for this run, given that the route into Boston gives a nice one-mile stretch between the B.U. and Harvard Bridges, but its not right to extend out to 1.5 miles. Instead I took the run the other direction, out of Boston, to exploit the underpass on the Eliot St. bridge. Started by doing my 5-minute warm-up walk towards Boston, then turned around and did the slow mile past the Anderson Bridge, then picked up the pace. I was at around 1.33 miles, or a bit more than the 1.25 I needed to turn around, by the time I got to the Arsenal Street Bridge and turned around, and finished the 2.5 tempo miles right before heading back into the wooded section that is just past the Eliot St. bridge.
Pre-Run: Had a bottle of Nuun-ized water, the usual amount of stretching, etc.
Notes: While running, particularly I think when it’s humid, I have been having some problems with the IT-band strap I have been wearing, namely that it slips down and usually either comes to rest right above my right kneecap where I doubt it is doing much good, or slips down even past that and threatens to end up around my ankles. I stopped a few times to address that today, but finally got fed up and removed it for the last slow mile. Not sure exactly how much I need this anymore, so it may be time to stop wearing it, or find something that works better.
Post-Run: Good round of stretching, foam rolling, and a shower!

Hot Hill Miles

Nice little 5-miler today, although not really that nice. Nasty heat and humidity made this run a challenging one.

Start Time: 6 PM. Waited as long as I could.
Distance: 5 miles.
Time: Not sure but not all that good, maybe averaging out to 8:30 miles? Hot up-and-down puts me just about at my worst.
Route: Same as last week, a run I’m starting to grow fond of calling “Spring Hill Served 3 Ways”, referring to the short nasty uphill you get at the beginning up Lowell St. from Somerville Ave., the longer nagging uphill you get when you approach from Davis Square up Summer St., and then the also short but even a bit nastier effect of adding some hill sprints to the first, steepest approach. A lovely dish, best served piping hot, like today.
Pre-Run: The usual, light stretching, etc.
Notes: Nothing too much to comment on. Weather was gross and I was sore from yesterday’s 10-miler.
Post-Run: Immediately jumped in to help Suz make dinner, so didn’t cool off right away, which was potentially a mistake.

Tomorrow the heat is supposed to hold up and I’m supposed to go out for a pretty hard effort. Should be fun. Hopefully this business about being able to acclimate to heat is actually worth something.

Running Recap

I’ve gotten a bit lazy of late at blogging my runs like I should be. In an attempt to catch up before another week begins again this afternoon (although that already really happened yesterday), a quick recap of last week:

  • Tuesday: 4-mile tempo run. Felt good, strong, quick times out and back.
  • Thursday: 6-mile moderate ladder, 7:45-7:30-7:15-7:15-7:30-7:45. Everything felt pretty comfortable with the 7:15 miles feeling a bit quick. Good run overall though.
  • Friday: 5-mile Fartlek workout. Definitely felt a lot better than last week, and relatively relaxed overall.
  • Sunday: 10-mile long run. This was a good run, accompanied by my friend Thaddeus. A nice relaxed cruise around the Science Museum loop with my knees cooperating throughout. Good times. The heat was a bit oppressive however, with that being about the only drawback.

The goal this week is to get up to 30 miles and then hold there for a few weeks allowing my body to get accustomed to that level of effort.

5 Hill Miles

Today’s run was warm and a lot of up-and-down. In the quest to get my mileage (back) up in the 30-miles/week range I’ve been adding a few miles each week, and the easier workouts to add miles to in my opinion are the Sunday long run, the Monday hill workout and the Thursday “moderate” run. So this week the goal is 28 miles and the hill workout goes from 4 to 5 miles, giving me more time to explore the Spring Hill environs. Turned out to be a good time, and the hill is nice in that it offers several different approaches of varying length and gradation.

Start Time: Around 6PM.
Distance: 5 miles.
Time: Not completely sure here but the pace in the hills wasn’t great, I think a bit over 8:30 mi/mile pace; the out-and-back miles were OK.
Route: Out-and-back to Spring Hill in Somerville and then several trips up-and-down the hill. I started up over and back on Lowell St. which is steeper, about 0.3 miles to the summit from Somerville Ave and around 0.2 miles down the back to Highland Ave. I then climbed back to the top again and cruised down the Summer St. approach down into Davis Square which is about 0.75 miles down and an equal amount back with a correspondingly gentler grade. I think that that point, right around the intersection of Summer and Lowell is the peak of Spring Hill, and so all roads leading out from there lead down (including Summer St. the other direction which I didn’t try today).
Pre-Run: Nothing special, the usual stretching, water, etc.
Notes: Knees felt a bit more twitchy on the hard cement of today’s run but felt good coming in and I was happy in general.
Post-Run: Did a long stretching routine partly to compensate for the lack of one after yesterday’s long run. Legs felt good, sore but limber. Hopefully ready for a few harder miles tomorrow…

Sunday Long Run: 8 Moderate Miles

Today’s run was a long scheduled 8-miler to start off a week in which the goal is to hit 28 miles. We’ll see how we get there. In any case, 8 miles seemed a bit daunting and I was worried how far my still slightly peckish right knee was going to get me. Turned out pretty well, it did.

Start Time: 6PM.
Distance: 8 miles.
Time: 60 minutes, for a 7:30 split, with a 30-minute 4 mile split and a bit of extra effort needed to keep the second half at even pace.
Route: Science Museum to Anderson Bridge loop, 8.6 miles on the maps meaning that it allows for my 1/3 mile warm-up and cool-down almost perfectly.
Pre-Run: Really hadn’t had a full meal until after completing this run on Sunday, so that was notable; had a snack in the morning around 11, another energy bar around 2 and then another energy bar around 4. Otherwise light stretching, water, electrolytes before setting out.
Notes: LIne of thunderstorms moved through the area right as I was leaving meaning that the first half was quite damp with steady to hard rain continuing throughout large portions of the run. Left me out there with the real hard-core guys looking over our shoulders wondering if the next lightning strike was going to be goodbye. Never got too close though, at least under a few seconds lightning to thunder delay, and the rain was wonderfully soothing. First half was right in at 7:30 pace, but the pace flagged a bit afterwards and I needed to push the last half to come in under an hour. Took my four-bottle belt and had a Gu at mile 4. Knee felt unstable at points but never painful.
Post-Run: Didn’t really do a proper stretch since was running to meet some friends for dinner and that was dumb. Tried to get some fluids in but really the first thing down my throat was a bit plug of Pad Thai and then later a beer, which, of course, made me feel not-so-good almost immediately.

Week in Running Recap

Being home for a week in Detroit I wasn’t able to post regularly, but I did manage to complete my assigned runs for the week. Monday’s hill workout was done in Cambridge before getting on the plane; don’t remember much about it other than it was 4 miles. Tuesday’s 4-mile run with 2 tempo miles was moved to Wednesday due to scheduling constraints; on Wednesday it was a hot, damp run along the Clinton Valley Trail, starting at a Vietnam Veterans Memorial near my house and continuing along this recently-completed rails-to-trails project which runs out in nice straight, soft and flat miles.

Thursdays effort was 5 miles in a 7:45-7:30-7:15-7:30-7:45 ladder, which brings us to Friday’s 5-mile Fartlek, which is supposed to be a fun workout but turned brutal in the hot sun and as the output of a three-day running binge that normally is limited to two, i.e. moving Tuesday’s workout to Wednesday really made Friday suck. In any case, I got through it, logged my 25 miles for the week and am shooting for 28 this week. My IT band felt pretty good throughout so am keeping my fingers crossed that new shoes, icing, foam rolling and my new strap are keeping the inflammation under control. I guess we’ll see tomorrow…

4 Moderate Miles

Today’s run was quick and relatively uneventful. However, my thighs in particular were quite sore headed out and my right knee felt quite loose along the way. At points I experimented with tweaking my form a bit to try and work the feeling out, but really the only thing that worked was moving off of the pavement onto grass or dirt when possible. Doesn’t bode well for today, so we’ll see if the IT band problems are returning. Please God no.

Start Time: 6PM.
Distance: 4 miles.
Time: 30 minutes, with mile splits 7:45, 7:15, 7:15, 7:45 mi/mile. That is, as requested, two easy miles and two “moderate” miles. Of course 7:15 mi/mile (GMP) is a bit more than moderate at this point but these things happen.
Route: Anderson to Arsenal St. Bridge loop, with a bit extra tacked on to get the mileage correct.
Pre-Run: Bagel and PB, icing a bit too early I think, light stretching and water.
Notes: See above. Bit of IT band weirdness but never devolved into pain.
Post-Run: Used the foam roller a bit, not quite enough stretching since I was racing out to get Suz, water, shower.