Former 2:24 marathoner hoping to parlay a life overhaul at age 45 into competitive éclat • Magazine writer, book editor and commentator on the sport of distance running since 1999 • Adviser and confidant of other perambulators • Paradoxical hater of exercise fanatics • Chihuahua whisperer • Sentence-fragment impresario
Sunday, March 19, 2017
Training, March 13 through March 19
I have done almost all of my running in recent months by myself. Here's a training-solo trick I wouldn't get away with if I were on a team or part of a group: setting out to run X repeats of a given distance, reaching a total of X/2 of them, and justifying ending the workout because I was running far faster than I planned or even thought possible. I bet I have done this at least a dozen times in my life as a well-fortified jogger.
Today, I was hoping to hit 8 x 440 yd in about 77-78 with 220-yd jogs in 1:30; I haven't done quarters in a long time, so this was just a decent guess regarding my capabilities. But after getting through four of them in ~72, with each slightly faster than the last -- 73.1, 72.1, 71,8, 70.3 -- I decided enough was enough. (Actually, when you think about it, there is never an instance of "enough" that doesn't translate precisely to "enough." It is what it is.)
These were on a very gently rolling stretch of road. I actually covered the 220-yd jogs in about 1:15 (10:00 pace), but gave myself the extra 15 seconds anyway because I knew I would need them before long, and probably would have at low altitude. Only the last one was sufficiently hard to leave me in the hands-on-knees gasping position afterward, so a 5:00 mile at sea level is probably not off the table right now, even though most of my mind shrieks and gibbers at the very idea. Then again, my mind never stops shrieking and gibbering, especially when my mouth is engaged in the same activity.
On Thursday afternoon I cranked through a three-mile stretch on a bike path in about 19:30. This is not "fast," and is remarkably only in that I would have guessed I was running closer to 7:00 pace than 6:30 pace.
There's some other stuff I'd like to talk about now, but I will distribute that throughout the next week. This blog has become nothing but a de facto training log for me lately, not that the world is losing out thanks to me keeping some meandering thoughts to myself.
(The broken promise I am referring to is my claim that I would do a tempo run on a treadmill this week. I didn't, although this was mostly because the treadmill isn't as trustworthy as I believed and also because the place where I went to try the tempo was balls hot.)