Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tempo runs, sucky long runs, and Training Tuesday

Hey friends! It's Tuesday again, and around here that means I talk about my training! If you're working toward any kind of healthy living goal, feel free to link up and share your progress. Go on, brag about yourself a little!

Workouts this week
Tuesday Rested -- sort of. This was the day I discovered a spider had laid tons of eggs in the window I was sleeping next to in my summer apartment. So I disassembled my bed and moved it to the living room and put it back together -- by myself. So I counted it as a piece of cross training.
Wednesday I was supposed to choose to either run 3 miles or do intervals, but at the end of my intervals  (around 2.4 miles ish) I was feeling SO GREAT that I kept going and did the full 3 miles
Thursday Rest
Friday I attempted yoga! Now, I'm not a huge yoga fan, but I got it in my head that I was going to do yoga to start my day. I found this video and I liked it alright. And my shoulders were sore the next day!
Saturday My first tempo run! More below.
Sunday Had to pull a two-a-day to get all my stickers on my chart (a goal I set last week). Looking back -- probably not smart. But I did some pilates and had yet another sucky long run. More below.
Monday Easy pace 2.5 miles

The Tempo Run

Integrating new kinds of workouts was one of my goals for this round of training -- and one I definitely wanted to hit was a tempo run! In my experience/research, everyone has a different definition of what a tempo run is.

The training plan I follow describes a tempo run as this: "After a 3-minute warmup, run 2 miles at a “comfortably hard” intensity. This should be significantly harder than Easy pace, but not so hard that your pace varies or you have trouble speaking in full sentences. (Tempo pace should be around 30 seconds per mile slower than your 5K race pace.) Finish with a 3-minute cooldown." Eventually, it will up it to 3 miles at tempo pace instead of 2.

My tempo run went really REALLY well. I decided to challenge myself and set my goal for tempo pace between 10-10:20 minute miles, even though that's not a bad 5k pace for me. Still, I BLEW past that goal. My tempo pace occasionally lingered around the 10:20 mark, but most of the time I was around the 9:45-10:00 minute mile mark. Which is really good for me -- two hold that pace for two miles! Woooo! I mean, I've done it before, but it's not a regular occurrence, and my pace has not been what it used to be lately, so I left the gym pretty darn happy...

Sucky Long Runs

Only to follow it up the next day with yet another sucky long run. If you've been following along on Twitter or paying attention to my last couple of Training Tuesdays, you might have noticed some complaining about my runs.

More specifically, my long runs. They've been awful, even when my shorter runs are wonderful.

Two weeks ago, I ran to the halfway point, got dizzy, and walked back. Last week, I made it through the 5 miles, but I hated it. This week, I ended up walking. A lot.

So. I've been trying to figure out how to FIX THIS. Here are some of the things going through my head:

1.) Okay, so the time I got dizzy and this week's run I can tell I wasn't fueling properly. The first, it was an obvious water/hydration issue and this week I probably hadn't eaten enough since I was feeling guilty about overeating the day before. So I definitely need to work on that.

2.) I also have never tried to run these distances in heat before. I ran a lot last summer, but it was when I first started running, so the most I ran was about 30-35 minutes at a time, which is much shorter than my long runs these days. So maybe I should go a little easier on myself and realize that the heat is probably going to take a toll on my body, whether I like it or not.

3.) I'm also considering whether I jumped back into half training too quickly. I had taken a two-and-a-half week running break (pretty much) when I started this training cycle. I wasn't running the weekly mileage I had been before my first training cycle. Although, my last run before that break was my half marathon. How quickly do you get out of running shape? No idea.

4.) I need to remember that I had sucky runs last training cycle too. Looking back on training for my first half has kind of been the way they describe childbirth: I've glossed over it in my mind, remembering only the good parts. But there were sucky runs. I know there were. It happens. It's not the end of the world and it's not the end of running for me.

5.) Finally, I need to stop worrying about pace on my long runs and just try to finish. I'm not supposed to be paying attention to pace on my long runs, anyway. They're supposed be at an easy pace, one that lets me hold a conversation if I want. I think at one point the book says you should be running slow enough you'd be embarrassed to see someone you know. And I've never been good at ignoring my pace.

So here's what I'm going to try to do. 

I'm going to be more conscious of what I'm putting into my body -- making sure I'm hydrating and eating well.

I'm going to do my next long run either early early early in the morning or inside to try to combat the heat/see if that makes it any better.

I'm going to try to stick to my training plan more strictly -- no more two-a-days and, ideally, a rest day before every long run.

And I'm going to turn off the part of my app that tells me my pace and time and just run, ignoring pace altogether, until it tells me I've hit my distance.

I'm hoping that these changes will help me have a successful long runs again. Fingers crossed!

Have any of you been in a running rut? What got you out of it?


Katrin said...

I finally started running yesterday and I have to say that I am a little proud! :)

jaime said...

I had one of my best runs last week when I just went out and ran and ignored my pace and distance.

Summer running is tricky. You have the heat and humidity to deal with. When I was actually training in summer (right now, everything is for fun), I had to run super super early to avoid the extreme heat.

And hydrating is key. I feel so sick if I don't get enough water prior to and during running. You'll figure this out. Just remember to have fun!

Kate said...

It goes against your training plan completely, but once when I was in a rut, I just stopped. For a week or so. And I waited for the moment where my body basically told me, "I WANT to run." and then I was good after that.

I just got my Garmin watch and went for my first run yesterday. My pace was MUCH faster than I realized which I was excited about. But I'm so afraid that now that I have a way of keeping up with my pace... I"m going to focus on it so much more. I'm telling myself to only do so many runs with my watch and so many without, but it'll be tough!

And the heat KILLS my runs. I went around 9 AM yesterday, and by the time I finished 2 miles, I was so covered in sweat that I felt it was time to stop. It's such a killer.

Kaitlin said...

I love that you are taking it all in stride (pun intended?) and have a plan! I'm still in a funk because I have a pretty bad cold but I'm planning to run tomorrow regardless, even if it's just a mile! Also I totally think taking apart a bed and putting it back together counts as cross training!


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