February 11, 2014

Training Tuesday: Easing off the gas pedal

This post has nothing to do with driving or cars.  So if you're interested in those things, sorry to burst your bubble!  Back in December, I registered for the Anthem Half Marathon as part of the suite of Shamrock events in Virginia Beach.  And I had (and still have) one thing on the brain - a big PR in the 13.1 distance.  I developed a training plan using my favorite training book - Run Less, Run Faster. The plan was based on my shiny new 5k PR from Dec 14th and I put it away for a bit.

I dusted off the plan two weeks ago when I was ready to lace up my sneaks after my two week break after Dopey Challenge.  And let me tell you, the plan has been kicking my butt!  Tempo runs at 7:50, 800s at 3:24 and long run paces of 8:24.  To put it bluntly, it's very aggressive and I knew this when I wrote it (it's heavily based on the Run Less, Run Faster plan).  In the fall, I was running tempo speeds of 8:30-8:45ish and long runs at about 10:15.  So you can see that this is a big leap for me.

In all sincerity, I think I can do it, but my body has been a bit shocked by the intensity of these workouts.  And remember how I was hitting the pool and weights with the same intensity?  Yea…that caught up with me, big time.  I was within 5-10 seconds of every pace for the first week, but had a totally different experience last week.  A busy work week and a tired body yielded less than awesome results.  I would be lying if I didn't say I was disappointed, but I'm proud to say that I listened to my body and pushed myself to a comfortable level of discomfort.  I could feel it in my long run on Saturday in the most significant fashion.  I was huffing and puffing to hit 9:05 pace for the last mile when I was out with the running group.  I attribute part of that to running on a muddy trail which definitely requires more effort than a paved road, but my body was just plain old tired.

I took the weekend to reevaluate my plan and think hard about my upcoming half.  I feel pretty confident that I'll PR but the primary question in my brain is by how much.  Do I want to just do sub-2 or do I want to crush it?  If you know me, you know I want to do the latter.  I mean look at the third line on the bottom of my training plan.  I was brought up on bone- and soul-crushing workouts, metaphorically speaking, when I was a swimmer.  I'm comfortable with being uncomfortable, but I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm not sure I can sustain the intensity of my training plan until race day and stay happy and healthy.  So I've told myself that I can back of paces if I need to and if I need to cut a tempo run short, so be it.  Running is my hobby and should be a balance of fun and hard work.

Ever had to reevaluate a training plan because it was really really tough?
{Christine}

19 comments:

  1. Is that the run less run faster plan? I took a look at this last week and was SUPER intimidated by the pace and overall workouts. I know that running 3/4 days per week is best for my body but I'm concerned about the intensity.
    I'm reevaluating training and racing right now as well.

    Karen @karenlovestorun

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    1. It sure is! Yes, the plan is very aggressive. I'm at a point now we're I'm comfortable (and confident) in my running ability that I can handle it a bit better. It was a very tough plan as a newer runner! And as you can see, the paces are still lightning fast!! :)

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  2. You will crush that race! If the weather warms up I might come down and watch you and Lacey run. If the weather is like it was last year I think i'll just stay at my house..haha! I like that you said running is your "hobby". We all have to remember that it's not our "job". ( unless you get a check for crossing that finish line of course)!

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    1. Aww thanks Meranda! I'm so excited for this race and I'm glad it's coming so quickly. Would love to see you there if you're able to make it down. :)

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  3. I used the Run Less Run Faster to train (for the most part) for the Women's Fitness Half last year and I PR'd by 24 minutes! I'm trying to follow the same (with slightly faster speeds) for the Brooklyn Half Marathon in May, although my speeds are VERY different from yours...maybe some day! :) With that plan, you will definitely crush that sub 2-hour mark! Good luck!

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    1. Thanks Kellie! I really love this plan - it's so prescriptive and I enjoy that aspect of it. 24 min PR is amazing - great job!! If I did that, I would probably collapse in shock! :)

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  4. I think listening to your body is the most important. I think you will be surprised come race day....even though you may not have stick to your plan exactly you are still putting in hard work and it WILL pay off come race day! :-)

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    1. Thanks Mindy. That's what I keep telling myself - keep on pushing but don't go overboard. The last thing I need is an injury! :)

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  5. No, I'm in the nothing coming to those who slack camp. It's quite delightful, as my mother says, "you weren't going to win anyway!"

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    1. Your Mom is funny. I definitely won't win but I figure a new PR is winning for me. :)

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  6. Wow, that plan sounds really tough! I feel as though if you really want something, you should definitely go work it/work for it, but also at the same time really listen to your body. If your form slacks and possible injuries start coming into play, definitely scale it back. Like you said, it should be a comfortable level of discomfort, not torture lol :0)

    Best of luck with your half marathon PR - you will do great!

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    1. Lauren - perfectly stated! :) It's a fine line between over training and pushing just hard enough. I haven't quite found the line yet but I'm working on it.

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  7. I agree with the above poster: listen to your body. If you can do the workouts, then rock it! If you are feeling an injury happening, then scale back and watch yourself. You'll be awesome either way!

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    1. Yes, this has been a very important realization and one I plan to take to heart very much so. I need to show up to the starting line in one piece!

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  8. I'm not a runner, so I def. have nothing to add to that topic. But the whole issue of finding balance has hit me like a million times since this new year.... I think it may be my word of the year. I'm sure you will do GREAT! Crossing my fingers you get your PR! :)

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    1. Thanks Kelly. Yes, balance is my theme for 2014 and I've found myself a lot happier and more relaxed. I'm making time to do other things besides work and run which is fantastic!

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  9. Looks like a great plan but for sure listen to you body! I love the mantras that you have at the bottom of the page. So cool.

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  10. Baby steps!! That's what I have to keep telling myself because I tend to lean towards "too aggressive" and ended up getting hurt! I'm definitely taking baby steps and not pushing it too hard til I know my body can handle it!! I'm tired of being on the sidelines... put me in coach!! :)
    Good luck with your plan! It's great that you're listening to your body... LOVE your mantras at the bottom of your plan! :)

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