Sunday, November 18, 2012

Amazing what a difference fresh(er) legs make

Remember that horrible 800s workout last Saturday (and the week before, and the week before that...)? Today was a complete opposite.
After not being able to run faster than 4min/km (6:24min/mile for you, Americans) in tempo/intervals type of a workout I have decided to forgo those tempos before intervals.

And that's exactly what I did today. No tempo, just a 20min w/up, stretching, 2 strides (I am lazy), 5x1k w/ 2min jog btw, 10min c/d. (Although I considered doing a tempo for a moment but then decided not to do it because last thing I need two weeks before a race is to be reminded that I cannot hold a 4min kilometers on tired legs)
I wanted to do this on a trail (I really did) but I got there and there was a sign that trail is closed. Hunting season... So I had to do everything on a track. Of course, I was not too disappointed about that:) I do not like doing intervals not on a track. I do not like it but I do it (it is actually one of a very few things in my life that I do not like doing but do it nevertheless.). As I was driving home from Louisville last night and thinking about today one of my hopes was that I will forget to charge the Garmin before going to bed and then I will have to do workout on a track. But dang it!, I remembered so I put it on charger.
So 1k repeats:
3:52 - little slower than I wanted to but it is normal. My legs felt little heavy (must be that 70min run I did yesterday) and I was kind of glad that I did not do that tempo.
3:49 - great, my pacing strategy for this type of a workout is basically this: go through 400 slightly under 1:30 (to give me a confidence boost for the next 600m, and to give me a slight time cushion), 800 in 3:00 and then cruise home, if I am over 3:00 at 800 I pick it up a bit for 200m because 200m is not too long and I can suffer for 45sec. I do not know whether legs felt heavy because I forgot about them and did not try to "evaluate".
3:48 - great, still not too hard although a stretch from 600 to 800 felt little hard, then I do not know what happened, I somehow forgot evaluating how I feel and just ran
3:49 - great, although now it started to feel little harder at 400m, for like 2sec and then I forgot about it
3:45 - I do not remember much, although I expected it to be harder and it really was not that bad. I used a very effective strategy on this one: At 100m mark I told myself that I am almost done (yes, I know that I still had 900m to go but read further) because I just work a little bit for the headwind stretch (from 300m mark to 200m mark), then cruise to start/finish line with a tailwind, then work again little bit to the wind, then cruise again and then practice 200m finish kick. It was faster then the others because of that 200m kick at the end. Breaking it down like this helps a lot.  

It was not easy, but it was not all-out efforts either. I was harder than 1k intervals I did on Oct 31 (I ran faster today) but it was easier than 1k intervals in 3:45 with tempo before two years ago (yes, I do remember how those felt.) Anyway, I do not know why I am comparing it because honestly it does not tell me anything.
Anyway, I do not think that I can hold 3:50s for a 5k in two weeks but I am going to try and see what happens. Maybe if I do not bike to work that week and do only a very easy bike spins, no intervals. Yeah, I am going to do that that week.

Unfortunately I cannot say with 100% certainty that dropping a tempo alone helped here. Since I have spent only around 8 hours on a bike last week (as opposed to 12 the week before). But I did my long run yesterday so I did not go to this workout completely fresh.

Then I did a hilly 2h30min bike ride (well, American Midwest style hilly so you can imagine how hilly it was) to work on my biking strength. I need that badly!
Then spent some quality time with my beloved foam roller.

And I almost forgot. So I ran 70min yesterday and 60min today, which are the longest back-to-back runs in something like a year and a half. Of course I prefer not doing something like this but when I have PT treatment and thus cannot run for a day or two afterwards it totally screws my running schedule. Anyway, I had to do it and my ITB feels good, no problem. And that's something to be happy about.

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