3 Mile Fartlek

I’m trying to get back to my pre-injury schedule while still holding the mileage down, and today was Fartlek day, so I did a Fartlek. I’ve found that I enjoy these type of runs much more after I looked up the literal translation of Fartlek: speed play. Despite the effort, they are kind of fun. Today’s speed was aided quite a bit by the liberal number of light stops during the first half, but I was still pleased with the effort.

Start Time: Around 6PM.
Distance: 3 miles.
Time: 20:53, or around 6:58 mi/mile pace.
Workout Structure: Each half mile began with a 30 second “sprint” which I tried to get the pace down to around 5-5:30 mi/mile pace, followed by the remainder of the half-mile at a moderate pace. The lap times were pretty even, most hovering around 3:31 with one particularly speedy lap bringing the total time down under 7 mi/mile pace.
Route: Same as yesterday, which is becoming the “standard” 3 mile loop.
Pre-Run: Another 4PM snack, water, light stretching.
Notes: Felt good throughout, enjoyable, actually easier with the sprints than yesterdays constant pace effort.
Post-Run: Stretching, water, shower, dinner.

Tomorrow’s plan is another 3 miler, this time actually at a reasonable (i.e. 7:30ish) pace.

Short Hard Run: 3 Miles

I’m trying to train myself to run at my (dream) target marathon pace of around 7:15 mi/mile. It’s no coincidence that this is suitable to produce a Boston Marathon 25-35 age bracket qualifying time. It’s kind of how I picked it.

In any case, I’m convinced that I need to get to the point where 7:15 is automatic, the pace my legs naturally fall in to when left to their own devices. I want to be able to feel pushing the pace below that mark, settling in to right around on pace, and also falling off when going over hills or whatever. So I want to do a lot of miles at that pace before I eventually try to run 26.2 consecutive at it. Anyway, this is all to say that the goal today was to go out and do 3 miles (still going easy on the IT band) at around 7:15 pace.

Unfortunately, I get nervous when on these short pace-driven runs, and habitually go out faster at the top of each mile. That leaves me looking at a fast pace at the half-mile point and trying to decide if it makes sense to really throw on the brakes, to sort of “punish” myself (and my legs) with fast-half/slow-half effective intervals, or whether I should just push through the mile mark and try to take it easier the next mile. However, inevitably that doesn’t work either. Anyway, hopefully once these Goal Marathon Pace (GMP) runs become longer I’ll be able to frighten myself into slowing down. Today it didn’t work and I came in 45 seconds too fast.

Start Time: Around 6:30PM.
Distance: 3 miles.
Time: 21:01.
Pace: ~7 mi/mile even.
Route: Same as yesterday: Eliot Bridge to Western Ave. Bridge. Slightly shorter today as I walked to the footbridge before beginning but still finished right at the Anderson bridge.
Pre-Run: The usual: light stretching, water. Had a bit of a snack at around 4PM, bagel with peanut butter, yogurt, some carrots.
Notes: Felt good throughout, maintained a pretty steady pace. Fairly tired by the end and (again, should have trusted yesterday) should have brought a bit of water. Shoes in particular felt quite good, nice cushioning but didn’t really seem to slow me down too much.
Post-Run: Full stretching, more water.

Tomorrow’s distance will be similar, but this time I’m really going to try and keep the pace down! I promise!

Return to Running: 3.2 Harder Miles

While yesterday I did, in fact, lace up my shoes, today was more of a real effort: 3.2 miles in 23:37 for around 7:22 pace, although that’s a bit deceptive. The first 1.6 miles was around 7:40 pace and the second right around 7 min pace. Felt OK, although I’m going to have to readjust to the Boston humidity. Today the run was right after a thunderstorm and the ground and the air were both still wet.

Start Time: Around 5PM.
Distance: 3.2 miles.
Time: 23:37, or 7:22 pace.
Route: Eliot Bridge to Western Ave Bridge.
Pre-Run: Light stretching, water.
Notes: Felt fairly strong, although could have used some water at points as it was fairly humid. Right knee hurt a bit at points but never enough to slow me down. Tomorrow will likely be a rest day.
Post-Run: Stretching, shower. Going to take some more Ibuprofen but forgot to ice the knee so that will have to wait until later.

I’ll probably go out again tomorrow and keep the pace down a bit, but I’m hoping to get around 15 quality miles in this week in the smallest intervals possible, probably 5 x 3 miles.

Return to the River: 3.2 Easy Miles

Today was too beautiful a day to pass up, and I was interested in seeing how my knee, babied for a week and feted with new shoes would respond to a bit of work. So Suz and I went out for a nice easy (for me at least) 3.2 mile loop around the river.

Start Time: Around 4PM I think.
Distance: 3.2 miles.
Pre-Run: Decided to return to a bit more engaged pre-run stretching routing, so did some light stretches with Suz before we set out.
Notes: First 1.5 miles was around 10 mi/mile pace, and then we came in at around 10:45 or so for the remainder. I was a bit nervous about going so slowly since I’ve heard that this can be hard on the knees, but I was enjoying being with Suz and so it turned out quite well. It was really ideal weather and everyone was out enjoying the sunshine and the holiday.
At times my knee felt a bit twitchy but in general the left one was more sore than usual today, possibly because I over-tightened by patella strap, and the right one after a brief complaint early felt fine actually.
Post-Run: Usual stretching, water, etc.

Tomorrow I think I’m going to reprise this run and lift the pace a bit and see how everything is settling in. Should be interesting…

New Running Shoes

I treated myself to a pair of new shoes in response to the IT band issues I’ve been having lately: the Saucony ProGrid Triumph 5. Seriously though, the names of these things? Ridiculous. Anyway, these were marketed by the good people at Marathon Sports as “neutral cushioned” shoes, which I’m hoping means “neutral, cushioned”.

I’ve been a good boy and haven’t taken to the streets again after Monday’s disaster, so I don’t know how they’ll work out. I’m tempted to go out today but don’t have time and figure that an extra day of icing and Ibuprofen can’t hurt at this stage. Let’s hope that it all boils down to the new shoes, since I definitely want to taste some Gu sometime soon. As well as the fact that I have a bit of interest in my running club. Maybe I should use the downtime to figure out something useful to do with the XML-formatted data that I can pull off of my Forerunner 305 with this handy tool

Monday Hill Workout (Abbreviated)

Sigh. I guess whenever one starts a blog series devote to running they should expect it to become an injury report at times. This is one of those times, with my Iliotibial Band tightening up and causing some real pain today. Probably should have expected this after yesterday’s effort, but I idiotically went out for a hill workout today anyway. Dumb. Time to do some real serious rehab now.

Start Time: 5:30PM.
Distance: 2.3 miles (2-4 intended).
Route: Harvard Bridge band-and-forth, partially in order to get at the little hill at the BU bridge.
Pre-Run: Had a Odwalla bar about an hour before, and two Ibuprofen about the same time. Iced my knee directly before and did some light stretching.
Notes: Felt OK going out, but the right knee quickly started to get twitchy. Started hurting right around the time I got to the bridge, and for some reason thought that a few hill repeats would help. Did two quick up-and-downs, and then tried to continue on to the Harvard Bridge but quickly was reduced to walking. Stopped and stretched a bit, even tried moving my strap to the right knee directly above. Nothing helped, and the pain quickly became acute, at which point I was reduced to walking back to Eliot. It was damn cold too, and windy, which made things even worse.
Post-Run: Had some hot tea, iced my knee, stretched a bit and had dinner.

Moving forward I think it’s time for a few changes. First, I’m going to take a few days off before resuming some light running. I may bike either today or tomorrow but at least one day will be completely off. Second, I’m going to go out and grab some new shoes. The ones I’m in still seem new, but I guess I got them last winter, and the word on these shoes is that they wear out quickly. Finally, I’m going to go on a full Ibuprofen course and ice the knees regularly. Hopefully keeping the mileage down and doing a bit more cross-training will also help since I’d love to get back into some long runs by the middle of June.

Sunday Long Run

My first post in what will become an almost-daily running journal. I figured this would be a good way to record my times, distances, feelings, injuries and such for later perusal. We’ll see if I stick with it or not, that is running, blogging running, or both. Eventually I’d like to cross-link this against pages that I’ll create with data from my Garmin Forerunner 305 unit. That would be cool.

Start Time: Just after 2PM.
Distance: 8 miles (10 intended)
Route: Science Museum/Anderson river loop.
Pace: I didn’t have a target other than finishing, but I think that the total time was 1:02:41, so around 7:50 or so.
Pre-Run: Had breakfast (eggs, chicken sausage, sweet potato fries, toast, coffee) around 9:30AM, then a Clif Bar at 1PM or so. Had three or so beers last night, slept from 2AM-9AM. Iced both knees for about 10 minutes immediately prior.
Notes: Felt slightly dehydrated and light-headed throughout. Had a Gu gel at the 6 mile mark which went down extremely well and made me feel much more clear-headed, although by that time I was struggling with other things (see below).
Injuries: Although the left knee felt a bit twingy beforehand (which precipitated the icing, although its in general a good idea), the right knee started to act up at around 5 miles or so and was full-on sore by 6.5 miles. Coming around the curve past the BU bridge was fairly painful. Stopped and stretched right after the next light, but it continued to hurt and I jogged the mile or so left to finish.
Post-Run: Iced my knees again, rehydrated and had a PowerBar, took a few Ibuprofen.