>> Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Let me make my point with my "racing timeline" along with my thoughts during that given year. (If you'd like more info on any race that I mention, check out the sidebar under the given year.)
It was my second year of triathlon, and I was ONLY working on endurance. I did my first Half Ironman and my first (and so far only) Ironman. My finishing times weren't anything fantastic (5:49 half and 13:53 full), but I was in it to "get through it," and that's how I approached my training.
Pharmie and I after doing IM WI 2007 (her second IM)
The Monster Dash 5K, 2007
The next weekend, I WON my first race by posting a 19:11 finishing time at the Tesfa 5K. I worked on running some shorter runs HARD, and by Thanksgiving, I ran a 18:48 5K PR.
Giving Thanks 5K, 2007
I started marathon training in early March. That marathon training plan had me running intervals on the track every week. I'd never done so much speed work before. I was starting to FEEL fast. Near the end of March, I ran a 17:26 5K at the Joe Plant Memorial Run - a personal best that would hold up for 2 more years!
Hitting the line and looking for my time!
(Also, the debut of the "bowl full of sunshine" shorts!)
That fall, I ran the Tesfa 5K again, and I lowered my time on the same course from the year before by 30 seconds per mile and finished with my second fastest 5K time ever: 17:48.
Jon and I after the 2008 Tesfa 5K
Nothing really stands out in 2009. I did a Half IM at the start of the year, and then some shorter races throughout the year. I still was trying to hit the track to keep up my speed - I still swore by "the speed of the track."
I was building my mileage slowly, but I was still hitting the track pretty regularly. That combo lead to my current 5K PR on a certified course:
Flying to the finish of a 17:11 5K
A few months later, I set my Oly Tri PR of 2:15:37, and I got my first Age Group win in a Tri:
Liberty Olympic Triathlon
Nearing the finish of a 59:05 10 mile
My 2 good running performances in 2011 don't really add much to this conversation right now, but I can still point them out. Early this year, I ran my first indoor 5000 Meters, and I finished in 17:17:
25 laps is hella-fun
Looking back, here's what I realized:
- When I started doing intervals, I started getting fast. But WHEN did I start doing intervals? It was during my training for my first marathon. Looking back NOW, I don't know how much speed was from the INTERVALS and how much was from the LONG RUNS. I assumed it was from the interval workouts that I was able to run a 17:26 5K PR back in 2008, but I was also running 15 mile long runs at that point.
- I didn't point much out in 2009, but I did note that 2009 started with a Half IM in April (in New Orleans). That built up my endurance very quickly, and I could sort of "ride" on that endurance for a few months as I then worked on my speed. I didn't realize that then, but I can see that now.
- Last fall, Coach Jen proved to me that it was NOT all about speed work. I needed to build my endurance. Pure and simple. I had the short-distance speed, but I couldn't sustain anything near that for races much longer. Her longer runs got me there.
So, here's my "Tip of the Week:"
With regards to SPEED and ENDURANCE, work on your weakest of the 2! If you can run forever, but you aren't very fast, try some intervals or fartleks (hee hee) now and then. (Sorry, I can't say "fartlek" without giggling.) If you can run shorter races pretty fast, but you don't have that speed (or similar speed) in longer races, work in more longer runs. If you work on your weaker area, you WILL become a better runner!
I kind of think of it this way: if you go out fast in a race (but at a pace you think you SHOULD be able to sustain) but get winded right away, WORK ON SPEED with intervals. If you can maintain a solid pace throughout a race but end up really dying at the end, WORK ON ENDURANCE with more long runs. That's not a perfect rock-solid theory, but that's how I'm simplifying it.
Happy training everyone! We'll see how my slight lack of endurance this year will treat me at the TC 10 Mile THIS WEEKEND!!