Friday, January 05, 2018

Running Fast, Slowly

The new year got off to a reasonably solid if entirely unspectacular start. I've re-started the run commute, but only one way at a time. The mileage will be slightly lower the next few weeks because speed work and long miles don't mix very well, and I want to get some speed into my legs now. There won't be the opportunity to do so later in the training cycle.

I need to be careful. After years and years of injury-free running I then acquired 2 injuries, both related to workouts. Plus, too much speedwork got me into an overtrained state that took a long time to get out of, and I sure don't want to repeat the same mistakes again.

Therefore, my speed workouts will not be spectacular, neither in length nor in pace. I'll try to run faster but not go to the well, and when I feel that the workout should be over, it will be over.

Case in point, I went to our local dirt track this morning. Since a track is 400 meters long, 400s were on the cards as it just makes things simple. There's no light available but it's an almost Full Moon and the night was clear, so a moonlit workout it was. Neither the early time nor the low temperatures were in my favour but you just get on with things. Since it was so dark that I couldn't see the numbers on the watch it was a workout entirely by feel. I also lost count early on and had no idea how many repeats I had done, but at some point realised I was tired because I had inadvertently jogged past the point where the next repeat should have started without realising, and a frazzled brain seemed to indicate that the workout should end soon. I finished with one last effort, a bit faster than the other ones, and went home.

To be honest I was a bit shocked to see such slow numbers. The first and second one don't mean much as I was taking my time to ease into the effort but then I still only ran at about 6:15-6:25 pace. Come to think about it, that is probably reasonably close to my present 5k race pace, which sounds like the right effort for 400s, but I used to run them closer to 5:30 pace, so that was a bit sad to see. But let me repeat what I said earlier, I'd much rather do an easier workout than dig myself into a hole again or get injured, and I think and feel I got the effort level right.

I just need to get used to being older, that's all.

1 Jan
10 miles, 1:18:02, 7:48 pace
2 Jan
7.5 miles, 1:06:10, 8:46 pace, HR 131
   hill sprints
3 Jan
9.7 miles, 1:15:21, 7:46 pace, HR 145
4 Jan
9.75 miles, 1:19:01, 8:06 pace, HR 141
5 Jan
6.7 miles, 57:14, 8:25 pace, HR 136
   9 x 400s, 200 rest

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