Saturday, August 3, 2013

Speed Work

Run: Yasso 800s
Distance: 2.5 miles
800 #1: 3:22:01
800 #2: 3:24:00
800 #3: 3:21:36

Sorry for the lack of posts this week, I am still trying to figure out how to balance blogging with my usual week routine. I'll get there, I promise! :) Here was my workout this week:
Monday: (Untimed) Easy Run (approximately 5 miles)
Tuesday: 4 mile Interval Work Out (2 mins comfortable hard, 1 minute recovery repeated) & Upper Body Weight Routine (Abs and Arms)*Nike Training Club
Wednesday: Treadmill Hill Repeats & Lower Body Weights Routine *Nike Training Club
Thursday: Cross Training (Wasn't feel well on this morning) 30 minutes on the Elliptical with high resistance
My husband and our friend Sarah typically do a Track Night once a week. I have always wanted to join them but have been hesitant because they are so much faster than I am (those little legs can only get me places so quickly). Speed work is something that I personally have been trying to work on. During this training cycle, I have really been focusing on areas of improvement and concentrating on where I struggle during my runs. It's much easier for me to run long distances at a comfortable speed. Speed work is hard for me, so I avoid it, I am aware and admit this. However, by focusing on my long runs, I am not learning how to maximize my training workouts when I cut this portion of training out. It is actually very important to incorporate speed work.
Speedwork doesn’t just make you run faster. It makes you fitter, increases the range of movement in your joints, makes you more comfortable at all speeds, and it will ultimately help you to run harder for longer.-Runners World.
There are a few different types of speed workouts:
Periods of hard running at 5K pace or faster, between 200m and 1200m in length, or 30 seconds and five minutes. Recovery periods can be short (30-90 seconds), or of an equal time or distance to the reps. Running at harder than race pace for short periods not only improves speed, but also allows you to work on your running form. When you’re pushing hard, it’s important to concentrate on things like arm and hand motion, posture and stride length. If you can keep these together during a hard session of reps, it will be easier to do so during a race. Don’t attempt reps until you’ve tried other types of speedwork for a couple of months.

Tempo intervals
These are longer than ordinary intervals in that they take between 90 seconds and 10 minutes (or between 400m and two miles) and are run a little slower than your 5K pace. These work a bit like threshold runs – they raise the point at which lactic acid builds up in the muscles.

Fartlek is Swedish for ‘speed play’ and is the fun side of speedwork. Best done on grass or trails, you simply mix surges of hard running with periods of easy running. Run fast bursts between phone boxes, lampposts or trees when you feel like it, and as hard you like. Great for newcomers to speedwork.

Simple: find a hill that takes between 30 seconds and five minutes to climb at 85-90 per cent effort, and run up it. Jog back down to recover. A great alternative to track intervals.-Runners World
I recently read My Life On The Run by Bart Yasso. It was a great book! Bart told humorous stories about the many races he had competed in. That man has done everything! Anyway, he also spoke about how the Yasso 800s had come about. Bart had a formula that has been tested (but not promised) through a track workout. The idea behind it is that if you can run an 800 at your fastest pace, your end result is a predicted marathon time. Example: Running 3 minutes and 40 seconds means that your predicted marathon time is 3 hours and 40 minutes. Bart speaks about doing this work out on the track beginning with three sets and building up to ten (when training for a marathon). The work out is 800 at a comfortably hard pace and a 400 recovery. In other words, one warm up lap, 2 comfortably hard laps around the track and one recovery lap at a comfortable pace (doing this three times).

I wanted to test this theory and give this work out a try! Friday night, Danny and I head to the track after work and waited for Sarah to join us. Unfortunately, Sarah got caught up at work leaving Danny and I to complete the workout together. We have both been wanting to try this work out for awhile and were excited to give it a try!

The first hard 800 was good, the second became harder and the first half of the last 800, I STRUGGLED. I wanted to quit but was thankful that my husband was there to cheer me on. Running is so much of a mental game. This is another aspect of running that I have been working on--mental games and distractions. Danny told me, "Keep pushing, you aren't tired yet, you can do this!" I pushed harder and pulled through. This workout really opened my eyes to my lack of speed and ability to hold that fast pace. It was such a good experience. Of course, being my stubborn, running self, I'm planning to add this to my workouts every week until I can get it right! Here are a few shots of our Track Night. If you are interested in learning more about the Yasso 800s, check out this link to Runners World: Yasso 800s

Until next something for yourself and have a great weekend!

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