Friday, April 20, 2007

The Upward Spiral

Thurs- 3 miles- jog/walk- blah
Friday- 21 miles- 17 miles w up, 3x mile at 6:00 (min rest) 1 c dn

Freaking Awesome workout! Okay today was one of those days where I was unsure what kind of workout I really wanted to do. I had thought of doing a Long long run since it has been 6 weeks, but I still am of the mindset that I need to let this phase (the get the speed back period) play out a bit longer. After one 4 mile loop in 31 minutes I felt good and was still thinking about doing 30+ miles, then in the 2nd 4 mile loop I felt real tired in my quads as it had only been 48 hours since the tough mile repeat session. So I decided to abort the long run and just do another strong effort with threshold pace miles at the end. I finished the 2nd 4 miles loop (31min) and took a gel and headed back out, 3rd loop (31min), I was still feeling tired, but it was not progressing. I decided to press a little bit and felt better. thus the 4th loop was 29:50. I hit another gel, walked for 3 minutes then jogged over to the area where I run my "Sinai mile" loops.

So with 17 miles and 2 hours 11 minutes in my legs I began a 3 x mile with one minute rest bout hoping to run at my threshold pace which is now about 6:26-6:30 per mile. Well it was windy today and the first half of the loop was into it so I pressed a bit. Additionally I felt tired so I figured I needed to press as the last 6 weeks of doing lactate threshold pace stuff has always felt like a PRESSING PACE. But, not tonight. I flew through the first mile to a surprising 5:40 for 1520m or 5:58 pace! Holy crap! I took my 60 sec rest and ran as fluidly and relaxed as possible and hit 5:48. Now I realize this is just one of those special times when the conditioning just catches up to you and WOW, suddenly you are fit. I ran the third one with a bit more effort than the 2nd to make sure the workout stayed even and ran 5:33. Damn. Surprising stuff considering that was mile 20. I took my pulse 90seconds after the third repeat and had 100bpm. Great. I then jog/ walked another mile and called it good for the night.

Fitness is a funny thing. I have been doing speed workouts for 10 weeks now. And consistent strong mileage for 5 months. The work is starting to show. It is an upward spiral. Steady mileage has given me endurance and strength. Thus I can handle longer efforts and recover from them I can do more hard efforts. The speed work has increased my neuromuscular efficiency and coordination so my stride is fluid and powerful. I can feel it in my foot plant when running at a good clip. The increased speed makes me feel like running faster. Which with appropriate recovery allows adaptations that let me run yet faster. The spiral continues on upward.

It is surprisingly simple. If you want to be faster...well then RUN will get there. Today I ran a 3 x mile at a faster clip, with less effort, and 1/3rd the recovery time than one I ran 10 weeks ago after a mere 3 mile warm up.

Lets hope it continues.


Addy said...

Wow! What speed!!! I don't know that I could ever ever run that fast, especially not after putting in all that mileage before.

Congrats on the upward spiral! I'm on a bit of one myself, though it's going nice and slow. Hills are starting to get easier for me, though, which is wonderful, and I am a bit faster than I used to be.

It's so much fun to see improvements from all the hard work we put in :)


The Mule said...

Damn Big Brother, That is FAST!
When you get home I want to sit you down over a twelve pack of Blue Moon and a dozed chocolate covered Krispy Kreme doughnuts and explain to you my workout regime.

Just kidding- Will you coach me when you come home?

flame said...


So inspiring. Funny how through the weeks leading up you may not know if/how you are truly progresssing. Then- BAM- you get this breakthrough!

Very awesome. Thanks for sharing!

(in denial about the necessity of speedwork! but preparing for 1st MMT; blog under construction)