Run Workouts Leading Up to Today's 5K (and Next Weekend's Half Marathon)

>> Saturday, August 18, 2012

I've had a good 3 weeks of running! My sore heel has been doing GREAT, and I actually attribute that to doing more biking in the last 2 months (since I started fitting in a handful of long rides at 4:30 am). The no-impact of biking mixed with the slight "stress" it puts on my heel seems to make it stronger.

Here's what running and biking has looked like over the last 3 weeks:

TWO WEEKS AGO, I just had 2 runs (which has been common since my heel flared up back in May). My 2 runs were:

- Easy 5 mile run with Henry on Tuesday, July 31st (3 days after a 5K).

- Long 12 mile run with Henry on Friday, Aug 3rd. We ran down the Greenway Trail for a few miles after a moderate warm-up on some hills. I pushed it up to "race pace" for 4 miles down the Greenway, and did those in 6:33, 6:17, 6:20, and 6:15 (25:25 for those 4 miles).

ONE WEEK AGO, I started pushing it a bit more. I had a hard run on Tuesday, a long run Friday, and an easy run (while cheering at the YWCA Women's Triathlon).

- 9 mile tempo run with Henry on Tuesday, Aug 7th. We ran the middle 5 miles HARD, and with no other goal than to go fast. (No "descend" or anything - just HARD EFFORT.) I hit the first mile in 6:13, and then dropped it down to 5:56 for the second mile! I was DYING, but it was a great workout. We did those tempo 5 miles in 30:15 WITH THE STROLLER! (6:13, 5:56, 6:03, 5:59, and 6:04.) I was just hoping to break 32:00!

(Photo from before our run that I posted about 10 days ago)

- Long 13.28 mile run with Henry on Friday, Aug 10th. Did the middle 6 at "race pace" in 38:31 (6:25 pace, with mile splits of 6:42, 6:23, 6:28, 6:18, 6:27, and 6:13). Felt GREAT! I was working, but not TOO hard. I've found there's a fine line (for me) between "working, but could run forever" and "working, but about to die." The difference is 6:25 to about 6:05 / mile.

(Photo from after our run that I posted about last weekend)

- Easy 4.3 mile run with Henry while cheering at the YWCA Women's Triathlon on Sunday, Aug 12th. We ran down to the river, played on the trail next to the road, and cheered on Angela as she raced by in her 2nd ever triathlon in 3 weeks!

You can read her lips as she shouted "HI HENRY!" as she went past.

Then, when Henry needed a little nap, I loaded him into the stroller and we went for a little easy run. Click here for my "sherpa report" from Angela's first triathlon a few weeks ago, and click here for my photos from the Women's Triathlon in an Examiner article.

FINALLY, THIS WEEK, I had 2 "Henry runs" followed by a race today. I did a tempo run on Tuesday, a totally easy run on Thursday, and now a CC 5K today.

- 8.3 mile tempo run on Tuesday, Aug 14th. I ran the middle 5 miles hard on some hills along the river. The goal here was to descend. After running the first hard mile in 6:52, I knew I was starting too easy. But it WAS hilly. Regardless, it was time to pick it up. The second mile of 6:22 was better. My 5 mile descend splits were 6:52, 6:22, 6:13, 6:02, and 4:28 for the final 0.75 mile (or 5:58 pace), and it looked like this:

Descend tempo miles in red.

(The dip in speed just after starting was a big hill, the dip in the middle is where we turned around, the dip before mile 6 and just after mile 6 were 2 hills, and then the dip at the very end before easing up was another big hill.)

- Easy 3.5 mile run with Henry on Thursday, Aug 16th. No effort. Just a way to loosen up the legs, work on my non-heelstriking form, and get a good stretch in afterwards.

Some notes on these runs:

- I'm not doing quite as many "descending" workouts as I used to. I got GOOD at doing those, and I need to keep mixing it up. That's why you see 3 tempo runs, but only 1 was a descend. (It was like 3 years ago when I got GOOD at doing 3x1600 with 90 seconds rest, but I stopped making race-day gains from that workouts because I was just GOOD at that workout.)

- I used to feel like easy runs were a waste of time. But not anymore. I use them to for 3 main reasons. First, just to "flush out the legs." Second, to work on my form and technique. And third, to get my legs warmed up for a good stretch afterwards. (Related to the second point here is why I could never run with my wife in the past. My PT told me 18 months ago that my form is better when I run fast. In the past, I could be in good enough shape to run 12 miles, but if I went out and ran 8 with my wife [at a slower-than-normal pace for me], I'd end up slightly injured by the end of the run. Really. So my form gets THAT bad when I run easy. So now I really try to use easy runs to work on that.)

- My "Henry running streak" is getting up there! Here are our current numbers:

- The last 55.68 miles STRAIGHT have been run together (since my last race).

- Take out my last 3 races (where I didn't race with him), and we've logged my last 77 "training" miles together.

- Take out my last training run without Henry (which was a BRICK), and we've logged about 102.5 miles together since late June!

- After my race today, that will make 5 runs in the last 9 days. TIME FOR SOME REST!! I'll take it easy next week, and maybe race a half marathon on Saturday. Then some REST after that.

- These workouts were really all "half marathon" based. The CC 5K I'm doing today is going to be more of a "wing it" race. I don't think it's uncommon at all for people to train for a longer race and just let shorter ones happen along the way. We'll see what I can do today!

Speaking of the cross-country 5K today, check my tweets to see how it went down, and check back Monday for a race report. Happy weekend!!


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