Monday, January 11, 2010

Small steps

Small steps meaning running steps.  Little bitty steps on a long, hard road to being fast again.  Well, that's assuming a lot.  Like I was fast in the first place.  That's very subjective of course.  Sometimes I probably did look pretty fast.  I'd like to think that I always look fast, but some might disagree.  My run times in triathlons is what mainly had me concerned last year.  I never felt like I performed to my potential (that's a whole different ball of wax as everybody's view of their own potential is certainly inflated) in any longer distance race.  In fact, the only race where I felt I actually ran fast was Lake Murray Sprint where, according to the finish splits, I set a PR in the 5k of 17:19.  I actually FELT fast that day.  Every other race it's been a slow jog full of suffering and bad language.  Not one more than the other; it has pretty much been a lot of both. 

So last week I began my "Run Build 1" phase of my run focus by running 45 miles and including some light fartlek-style workouts.  My workouts for the week were Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.  They entailed 10x1 minute "on," 1 minute "off;" 3x4 minutes at threshold pace with 2 minutes rest and a 15 mile long run on Sunday.  I think it's very important (for me and everyone else) to really have a large disparity in their paces between non-workout days and "quality" days.  A fartlek is one of the lightest forms of "quality" runs but it is also one of my favorites.  I probably ran somewhere around to just below 6 minute pace on my fast sections.  My long run was a hair over 8 minute pace.  That allows my body to either get in some nice aerobic speed work or some awesome aerobic endurance work.  By not going too fast on my "in between" days I make sure to keep myself fresh and ready for the next workout.

I also finally discovered my breaking point when it comes to swimming.  Over the course of 7 days (I swam each day) between the week before and this one I compiled 22,100 yards.  That's over 3,000 yards a session without a rest day.  On the 8th day I got into the pool and said "No thank you."  I had reached my mental and physical point of exhaustion; I needed a break.  So I took one!  Done and done.  The benefit of this is obviously the amount of swimming but that I also know exactly how much NOT to do!  It's fantastic!

Biking is taking a back seat until the time changes.  That's all for now.

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