Friday, May 11, 2012

The Mile, The Marathon, and everything in between

I am now in week 2 of mile training.  This is very different from any other training I've done.  There are no 20 mile runs, nor 11 mile runs with 6 miles of tempo.  No mile repeats on the track either.  All of the intervals are now 800s or less.  Who ever would have thought this 6 time marathoner would be doing 200s as part of training?

And speaking of the marathon, when Sarah and I were running after my time trial last weekend, she asked, "Do you miss the marathon?"  And I said, "Honestly, no."  And it's true.  The marathon has been so good to me, and I've had a few really good experiences with it.  But I do think I jumped into it too fast. No problems, but too young to be committing to the marathon on a forever basis.  So, the marathon is not only off the radar for 2012, but I think for 2013 as well.  I still have so much work to do in the shorter distances, and then I will return down the road to the marathon, and re-debut.  Plus, I have had so much fun with this shorter-distance racing.  I have done 6 races already this year, and in a marathon year, I would have only done 2.  And I think racing is a lot of fun.  It is great to get out there, and really try to crank out a really hard run.  In the marathon, there is just so much time for things to go wrong and everything goes into that 1 day.  In these races, even if you have an off day, you can come back in a couple of weeks, and try again.  It makes each race less pressure-filled and more fun.  Sarah thinks that I am ready to run 3:10 when I decide to return to the 26.2, but we both think it's important to hold off on returning.  So, in the meanwhile, I am enjoying being a miler-in-training.

Which also means following all of the mile elite racing too.  Jenny Barringer, Shannon Rowbury, and Morgan Ucenny are my new favorite elite athletes -- all have done really well in the mile (or 1500m - bring back the mile!), and so I have been following all of their training.  Not to worry Kara, Desi, Shalane, Magda, Deena - I still love you all too!

These are the two track workouts I've done this week (on Tuesday and Thursday).  After the 5:53 mile trial, Sarah sent me some revised (faster) times to aim for.

2.5 mile warm-up; 6x150 meter strides; 2x800; 6 x400; Aim for 3:07 for both
800s (1 lap jog between each); The 400s should be about: 91, 89, 89, 87, 86, 84; Jog about 200
meters between each 400 (a little more if you need it). 2.5 mile cool-down. Total=9.5 miles

I went out a bit too hard in this workout, but didn't blow up too much in the end:
2 x 800: 3:01, 3:05
6 x 400: 90, 88, 87, 88, 88, 87
Still a work in progress, but figuring it out, bit by bit.  Those 400s are hard!

And then yesterday:

2.5 mile warm-up; 6x150 meter strides; 6 x 200 meters; aim for 40-42 for
all; 200 jog between each; 2.5 mile cool down. Total=7 miles

The first 2 had me unsure how well they were going to go, but I think they ultimately loosened me up for the rest of the workout.  43, 43, 39, 39, 39, 40.  The nice thing about the 200s is that they are almost done before you can feel them.  Anyways, it was a good workout, and nice that the workouts are short enough that they can wait until mid-day or even the afternoon to do them - not like a 11 or 12 mile slog fest in the heat instead!  I have never run sub 40 in a 200 before, and I did it 3 times!

So, in just a few short years, I went from training for a marathon to training for a mile.  I think normally it's supposed to be the other way around.  Then again, I am working on a PhD in medieval history - not sure if normal describes my lifestyle!

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