A Running "Tip of the Week"

>> Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I've been trying to re-do some of the workouts that Coach Jen gave me last year for the TC 10 Mile. They really have me thinking about what the POINT of the runs were when Coach Jen gave them to me a year ago. Last year, I just did the runs like coach said - like a soldier receiving orders. "Yes Ma'am." Don't think I'm complaining... she got the job done! This year, I really started looking at WHY I was given certain runs. There's one thing that really stood out in the workouts I was given.


And lots of 'em.

My issue in the past was that I was OVER-TRAINED. I would run most every training run HARD. I knew that when I worked with Coach Jen last year that she'd "slow me down" a bit to keep me from over-training and burning out my legs. But as I look back over my training from last year, I saw something familiar in every run: there were at least 2 miles in about 80% of my runs that were at race pace.

- If it was an easy, easy, easy day, I wasn't doing race-pace running, but that was only about once every-other week.

- If it was an easyish day, it might have been 6 miles with miles 4 and 5 at 6:00 pace (my goal pace last year for the TC 10 Mile).

- If it was a tempo day, the run contained 4 or so miles FASTER than race pace.

- If it was a long run day, I'd maybe run a total of 10-12 miles, but 5 or so would be around race pace.

There was always an easy warm-up, and always an easy cool-down, but most runs contained some FAST running. And all of this did NOT lead to over-training, and I nailed my sub-60 goal with a 59:05 finish:

Half way into the 2010 TC 10 Mile

So, here's my "Tip of the Week:" add in some race-pace running to a number of your weekly runs. Don't go nuts and go "all out" all the time. But pick up the pace for a few miles on a long run to get your legs moving the speed you WANT them to go during your next race. They need to LEARN to move at that pace. (I think this idea would only work for about a 5 mile - 10K race or longer... anything shorter and you probably shouldn't be running THAT fast all the time.)

Back with more on my TC 10 Mile training shortly. I've been doing many of the same workouts as last year, but with different results....


Carolina John 8:09 AM, September 21, 2011  

I like it! I'm going to be trying hard to get in some 6:00 miles after ironman. Just wrote a post last night about speed. Very good timing Steve! Thanks man.

Karen 12:02 PM, September 21, 2011  

When you do race pace miles in your long runs, do you slow down the other miles to be sure you hit your goal? Or do you run at a normal pace and then hit the gas for the race pace part?

Jennifer Harrison 1:41 PM, September 21, 2011  

YOU MISS ME!!!:)))))
Feeling ready, Steve? your race is coming up, eh? yay!!!

GoBigGreen 2:28 PM, September 21, 2011  

Oh yes he misses Jen, espec in the pool.
Said with an evil laugh...

Steve Stenzel 3:29 PM, September 21, 2011  

Karen, the other miles ARE a bit slower. I'm really running pretty easy (except for maybe a "building" mile) or I'm going pretty hard.

And yes Jen and Julia, I miss you guys..... :(

Rach @ Girl on the Run 10:41 AM, September 23, 2011  

Good point - it always makes me nervous to do all my long runs "easy" and then wonder how I can maintain race pace over 26.2 miles (or 13.1) on race day

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