Saturday, June 19, 2010

Ham hocks

That's what my legs have felt like for my last two workouts. Don't get me wrong. The workouts have gone well, but my legs just feel like they should be served to a hungry family after being simmered in a pot of beans. That's all. Despite my heavy-leggedness, I still managed to run a 17:40 5k this morning in my workout.

I had a 12 miler Thursday that included a 30-minute progression run. I stepped down the pace every 5 minutes from 8 minutes per mile to 5:59 pace for the last 5 minutes. My legs were not happy for this. I had commuted to work on Pinky 3 times this week including that day. While I don't ride fast (10-12 mph) and it's not very far (7 miles each way), it is 90 minutes of exercise in addition to my running workouts and yoga, and strength training, and... I decided that I wouldn't ride the bike on days where I had hard workouts anymore.

After the progression I did 10 x 30 second increasing effort uphill strides. These felt good. I used how far I got up the hill as my gauge of effort, trying to get a little farther in the 30 seconds each repeat. Of course, that made the 1 minute jog rest faster with each repeat too, since I I had to get down to the bottom of the hill (it was barely a 30-second hill) in time to start the next repeat. My rest pace actually picked up during the session.

This morning, I met Hover K for our long run. We both had a series of 1000m repeats to do, though not quite the same workout. She was smart and dropped her track spikes off beforehand at the track. I did the workout in my heavy trainers. I need to get my feet in those spikes soon!

I was still feeling the biking miles and strength training I had done this week in my legs, but I was excited going into my workout. It was 5 x 1000m @ 5k effort with 2 minute jog rests. Simple and hard to screw up--my kind of workout. We ran about 5-6 miles before heading to the track.

I did not look to see what my goal race pace per kilometer would be for a 17:30 5k because this was an effort-based workout. So I ran by feel. My splits were 3:29, 3:32, 3:31, 3:33, 3:35. That adds up to 17:40, obviously not including the rests. The last repeat felt hard, but I probably could have ground out another 800 at least at that pace. Today also marked my longest run since my injury: 17.6 miles total.

When I realized how fast I had run these, I wondered about whether this workout had any predictive value. My 6 x 1 mile repeats on the track last month perfectly predicted my 10k pace, for instance. I tried to research this, but I realized that it doesn't really matter. I ran what I ran today, and hopefully I can run even faster when I'm tapered, wearing track spikes and have some competition.

I feel like I'm getting fitter every week and now just need to be smart about my non-running activities so as not to compromise my hard workouts. Sorry, Pinky.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:La Riviera Dr,Sacramento,United States


  1. Ah, I'll have mine without beans.

    I'm feeling sorry for poor Pinky, but I think you're right about not overdoing the Phatness.

    You did well to run those so consistently by feel. I'm always bemused by imperial pace v metric pace on the track. Kilometre splits will be easy for you to keep track of in the race. First one is at the finish line, second at the 200 start, third at the finish etc. If you hold 3:30 ks you run 17:30, 3:24s will give you 17 flat.

    I'm not sure about a good predictor for a 5000. Decades ago I ran a lot of times in the 17:33 - 17:45 range. We ran 1000 repeats, but faster (1500 to 3k race pace) and with more recovery. I think your method is better - esp with the 200 session giving you the speed. Maybe 1000s in 3:30 with a shorter jog (1 minute) predict a 17:30? Esp if you run them in racing flats (or spikes) rather than trainers ;)

  2. Thanks, Ewen. As always, your comments and suggestions are helpful. This wasn't supposed to be run as a predictor workout. I just started thinking about it later when I downloaded my splits and saw how close I was to my goal time. I agree that a much better predictor would be 5 x 1000 w/ 1 minute rest. Maybe even a 6 x 1000 with the 2 minute rest.

    I like your suggestion of checking my splits each km. I was thinking about just keeping track using each 400m split, knowing that I need to be at about 84 per. I suppose that would get cumbersome, trying to remember all those splits.