What I learned? It’s all about that pace. When it comes to training, there is a lot to think about. One of those things is pace. This could easily be a whole blog post by itself (wait for it…it’s coming!) but today, I’m going to talk about my struggles with pace. I have two problems with pace.
My first problem with pace is not pushing it hard enough. When I’m having a really good day and the temperature cooperates I like running at a hard pace. Not out of breathe but a really good breathing hard pace. Most of the time when I am running, I like to run at a comfortable conversational pace (PS – running science says this is a good thing). My problem is that if I could I would run all of my miles at a conversational pace which is not going to help me get faster.
My second problem is appropriately pacing and not going all out only to crash and burn later. Sometimes when the adrenaline is pumping it just feels good to run fast…until it doesn’t feel good any more. My mind and body aren’t always in tune with this. It takes a little bit of time for my body to realize that I’m going too fast before my breathing gets out of control. We’ll revisit this later in this post.
Planned: Rest Day » Actual: Rest Day
To be perfectly honest, I can’t remember what I did on Monday aside from catching up on blogs. Maybe I was just a couch potato?
Planned: Track Workout » Actual: Track Workout
Today was my first official track workout of my new training cycle. And while I should have been working on this for the past 8 weeks of my base training phase, I let other things get in the way. To make sure that I hit my splits, I took hubs to the track with me. My goal times for today were 1:42 400’s and 3:27 800’s.
Actual Workout: 1:40, 3:33, 1:41, 1:42, 3:30, 1:39
One of my downfalls with this workout is my pacing. My goal should be even 25 second 100 meter splits (really it should be 26 seconds but I like 25 better). I would always start off fast and then slow down by the last 100 meters. My range would be 18 seconds – 30 seconds. By the end of this cycle, if I can run splits less than 25 seconds per 100 meters I’ll be excited but until then, my focus is even with a kick at the end of the interval.
For the heat and humidity, I was pretty excited with these numbers.
Planned: Cross Training » Actual: Cross Training
Today, I went to the gym after work for 45 minutes on the elliptical + lower body strength exercises. I still haven’t taken the time to write out some key workouts yet but I hope to do that today. I know that I need to focus on core/glute/hamstring strength to keep a good balance and increase my speed.
Planned: Tempo Work » Actual: SCRR Flash 5k
I don’t know what it is about Thursdays but I always just want to come home and sleep after work. Today, I pushed myself out the door for this flash 5k. It was a hot one! 80 degrees and 90% humidity. My warm-up mile clocked in at 8:10 and I was happy to see that number. It felt like a good solid effort. Taking the weather in to consideration, I had planned on running most of the 5k at 8:40 pace (which is tempo for my half marathon training) with a kick at the end.
Like usual, I was feeling good from the start…probably a little too good. I set off without looking at my watch. I have found that when I don’t look at my watch I can almost always push myself harder than I think that I can run. Looking over my shoulder, I expected to see hubs but he was nowhere near me. That should have been my first clue. At about 0.5 miles, my friend that is coaching me caught up and asked if I knew I was running 7:30 pace. Face palm.
I knew that would come back to haunt me but at the time it felt good so I pressed on. Mile 1 clocked 7:40 pace. I backed off on the pace and was still feeling good but about a quarter mile later I got a side stitch that I couldn’t get rid of. I took a couple walk breaks which is just bad news in hot weather for me because then I just feel worse. I pushed through even though the run just sucked by this point. Finish time 28:43 with a pace of 9:14
Not a great race strategically but I’m a glass half full kind of girl. I’ll take that first mile time as a win for my first week of training. If I had reversed my splits and started at an 8:40 pace, I would have had a much better run. Strategically and overall pace. Live and learn.
Planned: Rest Day » Actual: Lower Body Strength
Today should have been a rest day but I decided to do some strength training for two reasons. First, I am going to switch up my training days next week which will change my Sunday to a rest day. Second, I am pacing two races tomorrow and figured that taxing my legs a little more today will help me keep a slower pace tomorrow. I jumped on the elliptical for 15 minutes to stretch my legs out before completing my usual circuit. After lifting really heavy on Wednesday and completing structured workouts this week, my legs felt dead today.
Planned: Long Run » Actual: 5k x 2
One of my favorite pacing days! Today, I paced two different races in two different states. The first race, I was co-pacing a 10:00 minute mile and the second race a pace the 9:30 minute mile.
In the morning, we went to the St. Barnabas 5k in Gibsonia. This is a wonderful race that supports the St. Barnabas free care fund. This year they had great little swag bags, shirts, tons of food post race and three different beer companies. This course has rolling hills and is a nice little challenge. It was really fun helping people push at the finish to come in before us. There were a lot of high fives and smiles at this finish line!
In the evening, we drove out to Weirton, West Virginia for the Debbie Green 5k which is also the State RRCA 5k championship race. Love this race! Once again, it not only supports a great cause raising funds for local families with children battling leukemia but it is also a great community event. This race is a mass start gun time event. Although I was fast out of the gate trying to get around the crowds, I eased into pace by a quarter mile in. This is a really fast race with a nice downhill in the first mile and a flat course for miles 2 and 3. I had a small crew around me as we were nearing the finish and every single one of them pushed to cross the finish line before I did! I love seeing people put it on the line at the end of the race. After the race, everyone went back to the WesBanco arena for a post race meal. They had community tables set up and offered salad, pasta, pizza, cookies, bananas, and drinks.
Planned: Cross Training » Actual: Rest Day
Since my training schedule is going to change for next week, today changed to a rest day. Hubs and I took advantage of this by going to brunch after church at Bartam Bakery. Love the treats here – they are soo good! The rest of today will be spent getting ready for next week…Meal prep, writing plans, laundry, blogging and relaxing!
Meal Prep Inspirations
I also still have some work to do here. I need to tweak my eating habits to lose the last 7 pounds I have been chasing for what seems like is forever. 7 weeks to go and 7 pounds to loose… I can do this. I still don’t think that I have been eating enough food which is causing my body to store fat. With my increase in training effort, I will need to spend some time today getting this figured out for a 2,000 calorie a day meal plan.
Breakfast: Cinnamon Roll Protein Breakfast Shake
Dinner: Avocado toast with eggs and carrots with hummus
Sharing the Love
What’s your favorite part of training? Do you struggle with pacing?