A Brutal Workout During the Middle of an "Easy" Week

>> Saturday, September 12, 2015

This is the end of my only "easier" week of training leading up to the TC 10 Mile and the "Loony Challenge" in 3 weeks. The timing of my recent achilles injury meant I had to consistently build and not back off my mileage for a rest week in the middle, so I told myself I'd try to throw in a week where I scaled back the intensity a bit. But I was feeling good after a moderate run on Tuesday, so I decided to do a harder run on Thursday. I did a Coach Jen Harrison workout from the 2 months she trained me leading up to my only sub-60 10 Mile in 2010.

It doesn't sound bad, but if you do it right, it sucks: it's 6 x (3 mins hard / 3 mins moderate).

The brutal part is you have NO time to recover. It's not 3 mins hard and then 3 mins EASY. So the 3 mins hard is brutal PHYSICALLY (obviously), but the 3 mins moderate is nasty MENTALLY. You can't ease up.

I did 8x(3/3) first in August of 2010 under Jen, and then again last August as I was gearing up for last year's TC 10 Mile and Loony Challenge. Five years ago, I covered about 7.23 miles over those 48 minutes, and last year, I covered 7.10 miles in the same workout. But that workout (48 minutes of hard running) is too far for me to be going right now.

A few days ago was my 3rd time doing 6x(3 mins hard / 3 mins moderate). I first did it in late Sept of 2010 (about a week before the TC 10 Mile) and covered about 6 miles. I did it again last year leading up to the Loony Challenge, and I covered about 5.5 miles (it was no secret that I wasn't in as good of shape as I was in 2010 - I don't know if I'll EVER be!). Finally, I did it 2 days ago and ACTUALLY COVERED A LITTLE MORE GROUND THAN LAST YEAR: I went 5.70 miles.

Here's a graph of my 6 intervals from Thursday:

5:43.0 average pace "HARD" interval, 7:01.8 average "MODERATE" interval.

Then I added in last year's version of this workout in lighter red and lighter blue:

My HARDs were all faster this year except for the last one, and
my MODERATEs were all faster except for the 5th (where I was climbing a hill this year).

That last moderate was REALLY slow last year, and it was still quite slow this year. I finished my final HARD effort, and as I was TRYING to keep a moderate pace on Thursday, I saw my Garmin told me I was currently going at 14:xx/mile pace. Yikes.

This is the FIRST time I can point to a workout that was FASTER this year than last year. I'm not about to say that I'll run the TC 10 Mile faster this year - this was just one workout. But it feels good to be seeing better numbers!

When I tweeted about the workout, Steve Q asked what "moderate" was, and then I got PRAISE from Caesar herself:

Follow Steve Q and Coach Jen on Twitter.
(Oh, and this was before I figured my ave speeds: I needed to add 20 secs to my moderate pace.)

That hard run was Thursday. Yesterday (Friday), I hit the trainer for nearly an hour during the boys' nap. Today, I'm not doing anything (maybe just a few PT leg exercises and stretching). And hopefully tomorrow I'll have a good 9.5 mile long run! It's 3 weeks until the big race! Actually, in exactly 3 weeks, Pharmie and I should have just done the TC 10K and 5K, and the TC 10 Mile (and Marathon for Pharmie) will be the next morning!


SteveQ 12:07 PM, September 13, 2015  

I got a mention AND a "follow on Twitter?!" Boy did I pick the right conversation to just jump into.

Jennifer Harrison 9:20 PM, September 13, 2015  

You are still tough, Steve! Great to see !!!

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