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Sunday, June 12, 2016

My Quest for a PR Has Officially Begun!

Since I became a runner in November of 2009, I have competed in 4 full marathons, 24 half marathons, three triathlons, and a handful of 10K and 5K races.  I.  Fucking.  Love. Running.  2016 has been an odd race year for me - hardly any races during the first half of the year and the bulk of my competitions coming in the second half of the year.  My very good friend Crystal Collins arrives in SoCal on October 7th-ish, and together we will compete in the Long Beach Half Marathon.  My second time on this race as well as our second time competing together.  Crystal is a much faster runner than I am.  She can break 9 minutes on a regular basis.  As much as I would like to beat her - I don't think I will.  But I am determined to PR at this race.  No matter what it takes.

And it's going to take a lot.  Currently I'm heavy, not in great race shape, and not eating well.  So I'm on a quest for better habits, better health, and a PR in October!

But we need a plan, right?  Of course.  You can't expect to compete in an endurance race without a plan.  So I dug out my "Run Less, Run Faster"  book that I bought from a Runner's World website.  The premise of the book is that you can train for a race with only three quality runs a week.  That's right - just three.  The rest of your time is spent on cross training and rest.  Now, I'm a bit of an overachiever with training; while I'm sticking to three quality days of running, I'll be doing more cross training and swimming in the "off" days.

Now to start this mess and figure out your 18 week training schedule, we look for our goal time of finishing.  Using the charts in the book, you find your desired race pace.  For me, that's a sub-2-hour race.  Roughly a 1:58 half marathon.  THEN - you check another chart for your baseline 5K pace.  That's where all the other designated paces for your training days come from.  Using that chart, you determine what your short-tempo, mid-tempo, long-tempo, and HMP (half marathon pace).  Once you have all those times determined and written down, you begin to fill in the workouts for your three quality runs.

Speed Work comes first.  This is usually and all-out effort for certain designated distances.  They vary week to week.  They use the term RI for "rest interval" so you know how long to rest between speed sets.

Then you get to do a Tempo Workout.  The workout determines how far to run and at what pace.  It might be your short-tempo, mid-tempo, or long-tempo.  Or it may be your HMP plus 20 or 30 seconds.

Finally - there's the weekly Long Run.  Distances vary - you don't necessarily build up to 13 miles but you build to 13 then rest a few weeks, maybe do a 15-miler, and so forth.  I honestly have no idea how the formula works.  But I need to make it work.

It's alot of work plugging in the numbers and paces and determining what days you are going to do which workout.  According to the workout schedule I'm posting in this blog, I do my three quality runs on Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday.  I'm probably going to switch that around, (a) because I don't think tempo and long run should go back to back; and (b) I can no longer swim two days in a row either.

The training calendar is here:

And you'll definitely notice that Long Beach isn't the only race I've got going.  I'm still trying to earn that Cal-Half Series Medal, and that's what the Shoreline Half Marathon and the Avocado Half Marathon come in.  The Catalina Sprint Triathlon is a whole other quest, and we'll learn more about that after Long Beach!

As of the drafting of this post, I'm done with Week One.  My speed workout was tough - I was not able to sustain a full-out effort for 400 yards at a time, and I sure couldn't manage on just 90 seconds rest between sets.  This workout was modified to 12x400 TOTAL, with one 400 as fast as I could, followed by another 400 walking/jogging.  Then start all over.  So that was roughly a three mile run.  
The Tempo Run was supposed to be two easy, THREE miles at 9:40 pace, and one more easy.  Uh-huh. I did two easy, ONE mile at 9:40 pace, and one easy to cool down.  Okay, so far this training week is not going well because I'm tired, heavy, and slow.  Saturday I did my long run, which called for HMP + 20 seconds...meaning each mile at 9:42.  Which, now that I'm writing this down on "paper", I'm realizing that I will not PR with a 9:22 minute mile.  It should me more like a 9:09 minute mile.  Maybe I need to recalcuate - I will consult the book again.  ANYWAY - on Saturday June 11th I logged 8 miles in 1:35:47.  HOLY FUCK.  That's super slow at an average pace of 11:53 per mile.  My splits were up and down, ranging from 10:53 on the low end to 13:18 on the high end.  And not anywhere near "negative splits", as I'd done in so many of my earlier races.  So as you can see, I've got alot of work to do!

Monday, June 13, I'm starting a 10 day "Gut Bliss" plan, from the book I read of the same name.  Hopefully this will get me on the fast track to eating more high-vibrating foods and dropping some weight.  So that blog post comes later.  

Stay tuned for deets on Week Two and beyond!

1 comment:

Maria Barrientos said...

So motivated to start running again... Waking up tomorrow for an easy run...