On Tuesday, I started my 12-mile workout at dusk. I had to get myself to a 1-minute hill, and the only thing close is a bridge at William Pond Park. The workout asked for 15 x 1 minute hills @5k effort with 1 minute jog down rests. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that you need a long hill to make that happen because a hill that takes 1 minute to get up at a fast pace will take longer to get down at an easy pace. So, you inch your way farther uphill with each repeat and run out of hill quickly, in my case. My bridge hill isn't much of a hill, but it can last for over a minute if you start at the right place. To try to meet the intent of the workout my coach suggested I run the effort a little faster than prescribed and run the rest a little faster too to keep the HR higher between the intervals.
This part of the American River Bike Trail can be a bit sketchy after dark I found. The hairs on the back of my neck were at attention for most of my repeats probably from the fraidy cat adrenaline rush that I got from being startled by the many Parkway residents: wild turkeys, white-tailed deer and homeless people. I ran my 15, one-minute hill repeats at 5:30 pace and ran down the hill at 7:45 pace, generally keeping the jog rest around 1:30.
Today, I tackled my 16-mile long run which included 7 miles run up a hill at lactate threshold (LT) effort. I dread this workout for weeks leading up to it when I see it on my schedule. I can't imagine that anyone could psych themselves out more than I do over this workout. Yet, every time I do it, I always walk away thinking it wasn't that bad. I do the 7 miles on a treadmill since, as you may have gathered, I live in a topographically-challenged area. I have done this workout on a "real" hill a few times, but the logistics require a near day-long adventure to make it happen.
I did a 7:30-paced 5k warm up outside before changing into an appropriate gym costume and hopping on one of the inferior Precor treadmills for the first 3 miles. The two good treadmills (less wobbly, better calibration, built in fans) were being occupied by two ladies walking at a breakneck 2.5 mph pace. I kept checking the good treadmills for an opening and was was able to snag my beloved Tready for miles 4-7. I had a plan for this workout to keep it interesting: change up my paces and incline each mile. Last summer I did this workout on a treadmill and ran a steady 4% grade between 7.8-8 mph for 45 minutes.
Here's how my workout played out today:
- miles 1-2: 4.5% grade, 8 mph (7:30 pace)
- miles 3-5: 4.5% grade, 8.3 mph (7:14 pace)
- miles 6-7: 4.5% grade, 8.5 mph (7:04 pace)
- added bonus: 1/4 mile @ 5%, 8.8 mph (6:49 pace)
I ended up doing some interesting research regarding equivalent paces for treadmill workouts after reading a treadmill workout suggestion from Magdalena Lewy Boulet in Runner's World. She referred to page 136 of the runners' bible, Daniels' Running Formula, written by her coach Jack Daniels where he published a chart with the conversions.
I did a bit of extrapolation, but my paces roughly equate to:
- miles 1-2: 6:28
- miles 3-5: 6:14
- miles 6-7: 5:56
- last 1/4 mile: 5:37
I also started a new weight routine last night and am paying for it in DOMS today. I imagine it will be worse tomorrow. Ouch, ouch, ouch, I say with every step.