Sunday, May 15, 2011

I didn't run 10 miles

That's right. My run this morning didn't go as planned. I had planned to test my new and improved legs on a long run of 10 miles this morning. Dr. Ball and I had been talking about me running up to 90 minutes this weekend, so I set that as the upper limit. I didn't know how fast I would go.

During yesterday's run, I threw in a few strides to see how that felt. It felt good--smooth. So, I decided today I would try the workout I had set for myself for this weekend a month ago. Back then, I was optimistic that, with enough rest from running, I would be able to slowly ramp up my mileage and would be running 50 miles this week with a 12-13 mile long run. My plan came from a book I bought after seeing mention of it on Camille Herron's fantastic blog. The book is called Speed With Endurance written by Bill Squires and Bruce Lehane.

One of the bread and butter workouts that repeats throughout all of the training plans is a long run with pick ups. You start with baby pickups and progress to some pretty long ones as you get deep into the trenches of his marathon training plan. My plan for today was to do 1, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 1, 2 minute pick ups spread throughout my long run. This looks something like 1 minute fast and smooth, 4-5 minutes at your long run pace, then another 1 minute fast but smooth and then back to your long run pace, etc.

So, my run went awesome. I ended up running 12 miles at 7:02 pace with the surges as planned and at 5k-10k pace. No pain. No soreness. Lots of smiling. I really enjoyed this workout, probably because I was running care free and pain free and surging with some speed. One big thing I noticed today was that paces that have felt labored to me lately felt easy breezy today. I talked with Dr. Ball about this today during treatment and asked whether this could be because I am finally healthy. In other words, I'm not fighting my body to make it run. I am actually running naturally again. He said that this is likely what's going on. This was also something I hadn't expected from my visit to see the Good Doctor: that I might become a faster runner simply because my body was not having to work so hard to run. Cool.

I am so excited to resurrect my training plan and get started on more of Squires' workouts next week. Coach T will make sure I am smart about reintroducing faster running gradually. I asked Dr. Ball today about whether speed work was in my future and he refused to weigh in. He said, "I'm not your coach. But you're healthy now to start training again." I'm taking that as a yes.


  1. Awesome to hear! So you like the Bill Squires's plan so far? I've really enjoyed it and feel it's kept me fresher!

  2. Great update! the title threw me off and was worried that you still had issues with recovery. I'm a running book nerd and now that you bring one up in discussion I will have to check it out.

    Like the pick up theory for the long run. I tried that recently and it really kept the miles interesting and went by quickly. Long miles at all the same pace...ho hum. Keep it up and cheers to feel effortless!

  3. Yes, Camille. I am enjoying the program though I'm not sure a week is enough time to truly evaluate it:). I am sort of doing a sampler of the alpha and swep programs right now and will try some of the marathon program workouts over the next couple of months to see how I like it. I'm very interested in how you feel in Fargo having sent a couple of months doing his workouts.

    Willie, I would apologize for the misleading title, but I have to confess it was deliberately misleading. It appears it worked, though one of my observant friends pointed out that I actually did run 10 miles. You should check into the Squires and Lehane book. It's an interesting read.

  4. Yes, like Willie I was expecting some sort of a problem from the title. It's great that Dr Ball has you feeling like you're running healthy again (for the first time?) - hope it continues. Coincidentally, I've just read the Squires story in Running Times. I recall that age of US marathoning well from magazine stories I read in the early '80s.

  5. Hi: a little late to this party but I am having no luck tracking down a copy of the Squires book, Speed With Endurance. Can anyone help me at . Thanks.