A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Half Marathon Training: Speed Work (8x563)

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I mentioned before that it took me quite a long time to feel like myself after the 10 mile race I ran on November 8th. My quads were very sore for several days after the race. The couple runs I did do were pretty pokey. It took three days for the soreness to go away. I rested, ran slow, and didn’t worry too much about it. By the weekend, I was starting to feel like myself again. I did back to back 8 mile runs on Saturday and Sunday at an 8:12 pace and a 7:58 pace respectively. Good stuff!

Monday was a rest day because I was going to make myself do speed work on Tuesday. Usually I do it on Fridays, but my training schedule got all screwed up from the race. I was in some dire need for speed training, but I was nervous. How would it go? What should I do?

In my usual fashion, I didn’t decide exactly what to do for my speed work until I was actually out there doing it, and my goals changed during the course of the workout. I did a 1.5 mile warm up, which brought me to a relatively flat loop around a block in the neighborhood adjacent to mine. I knew from previous runs that the loop was .35 miles around, and since I couldn’t decide whether to do 400s or 800s, .35 miles seemed like the perfect happy medium! (Google just told me .35 miles is 563 meters… so I did 563s this morning!)

I rarely look at my Garmin during speed work. Speed work makes me so anxious to begin with, and the thought of looking at my Garmin made me want to throw up. I generally just go by feel. Run hard, run easy, run hard, run easy, until I am done and can do a mile or two for a cool down.

When I started the 563s, I thought I would do six. Then as I got closer to six, seven sounded like a good number. I was so tired and spent, but I made myself eke out one more to make it an even eight. “You’ll feel like a million bucks if you do eight!” I said to myself. I didn’t feel like a million bucks, but I was proud of myself for pushing myself to the point of feeling uncomfortable. “Anyonecan run and feel good,” I thought to myself. When my 563s were over, I cooled down with a mile run and then a little bit of walking. (My IT band felt a little sore at the end of my workout and my knee pulsed a little the rest of the day. ARGH! It had been feeling so good lately!)

I got in a total of 8 miles at a 7:30ish average pace. Other than that, I have no idea how fast I was running my hard intervals because I did not look down at all! I am too chicken!

Getting a speed workout in was important, and now I need to get a LONG run in this weekend. I want to run 13 miles with about 10 of them around a 7:20 pace. That’s where my thoughts are now, we will see if they change by Saturday!
Did you ever run an oddly measure interval, or do you stick with round numbers like 400s, 800s, etc?

23 comments:

  1. I've definitely made up my own intervals before, (I know many runners who use telephone or light poles as markers and have no idea of the distance). Speedwork makes me very anxious as well and any little pain or near injury is hurting after I do speedwork.

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    1. Hearing that makes me sound like my body isn't TOO much of a mess! I feel good this morning... looking forward to 5 easy miles with hopefully no niggles!

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  2. Wow--great workout, Megan. How are you feeling today? Hoping IT band and knee are not so angry. Since I always do run/walk my intervals are an odd number when I go by time but if I don't use my timer and do my intervals manually, then I keep them even numbers. The nice thing about the timer is I don't even think about it and never look at my Garmin (which for me is a good thing). But the nice thing about doing it manually is I can stop or start when I want.

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    1. I did a SLOW 5 miler today and everything feels good! I guess I am no worse for wear.

      I bet I could set up a timer on my Garmin but I think I only understand how to do 2% of what my Garmin actually can do!

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    2. YAY! Your body is just adapting and getting stronger!

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  3. Nice work Meg! Those gut busters will pay off. The oddest interval I do is .66. Not terribly weird but it is what it is.

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    1. The loop around my block is .66!! I do those too! :) Is it a neighborhood loop that gives you that strange number?

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  4. I do whatever my coach tells me to do. Usually they are mile, 2 mile splits. This summer I did 3 mile repeats. I made them into 5ks, just for fun. Because my idea of fun is different than most people's. I do love speedwork. You get to run balls out and then you get a break to recover!

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    1. I bet it's nice having someone who knows what they're doing to tell you exactly what to do.

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  5. Good job on those intervals! Sometimes a body just needs a good speed workout for sure! I do all of my intervals on the treadmill, so it should be pretty simple - but most times I print off a sheet to tell me what to run because I just can't do running math early in the AM!

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    1. I can't do the math early either! And it's too dark to see what my Garmin says. I don't know how to use the light on it. The light only turns on when I do it by accident....

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  6. That's hilarious that you ran such an odd number! Your plan sounds good to me. Go nail that 13 miler! 7:20 pace is no joke! You can do it.

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  7. Haha! At first, I thought it was a typo. 563s. I love this! I also really love how you determine your speed workouts. It's clear that it works well for you, because you are one speedy lady!!!

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    1. It's the anxiety that makes me do "fly by the seat of my pants" speed workouts. I have determined that any type of speed work helps me (since I have a lot of room for improvement) so yah it does seem to help no matter what the interval is.

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  8. What a kick butt work out! This makes me want to go for a run :)
    I never look at my watch much while I am doing speed work. I just try to push! and not get sick....lol
    I bet your long run will go great :)
    I am dying to run my lops now!

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    1. Oh yay I am glad it inspired you! Bookmark it to read when you are back to doing speed workouts! :)

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  9. 563s! Hahaha that's awesome.

    I have done speedwork with random length intervals - mostly just like "sprint between every other light post" or something like that. I don't do it often since I like a structured workout, but it's fun to do sometimes!

    PS: Sorry I didn't respond to your long text yesterday! I read it in between meetings and then forgot until later last night. At that point I felt like it had been so long and I debated whether I should text back or not. Plus I wondered if it was too late at night to text you since I know you get up early ... I dont know what text msg etiquette is! LOL

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    1. No worries, I don't think there IS any texting etiquette- anything goes! And if there is etiquette, I certainly broke it when I sent you the longest message in the world. My flip phone was 'bout to 'splode!

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  10. Haha! I love the 563s. I often do pick out weird intervals, but I don't usually look to see how long they actually are. I'll decide to go around a park or up a hill as an interval and just do it 5-6 times. Honestly, I don't remember the last time I did round numbered intervals.

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    1. You sound a lot like me! I have always found that no matter what interval I do, as long as I run FAST it makes me faster. I am sure there is scientific data to support certain intervals for certain things, but I will have to look into that once I have plateaued. Right now I still have so much room for improvement, so even if I just do "whatever" it helps. :)

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  11. Ugg! This is the 5thh time i've tried to comment so I will keep it short now..lol

    You did a great job! I can't wait to see how you do on race day. In fact I know you'll do awesome!
    I guess there is no right or wrong way to do intervals as long as it feels right to you!

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    1. Oh dang I am sorry if it was my blog that was eating your comments. I know how frustrating that is- I hate when it happens to me! Let me know if you continue to have problems, okay? Not that I am tech savvy enough to fix it but I will try to figure it out!

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