Monday, May 23, 2011

Today, I Rock

This workout was blogworthy. I just finished my first post-marathon speedwork session exactly 1 week after the marathon. And I felt GREAT! It was a perfect speed workout- challenging throughout, increasing to I'm-not-sure-I-can-even-do-this level of difficulty in the middle, and ending w/ the last 2 repeats at the puke threshold. But don't worry, I didn't cross the threshold. I haven't had a runner's high like this since, well, I guess since last Sunday. For some reason I'm really excited about this lil' old hour long work-out. I think it's because I wanted to quit so many times, it was REALLY FREAKIN' HARD, but I pulled it off anyway. Hurrah!

Here's what I did:
--1 mile w/u @ 8:57 pace. Since Rockford I've increased my "easy" warm-up pace from 9:13 min/miles to 8:57. It feels good to have my "easy" pace sub-9, since I so clearly remember when my goal pace was 10 minute miles.
--8 x 800m @ 7:30 pace w/ 1:30 recovery intervals
--0.95 cooldown at various paces around 8:57. I played around with the pace a bit to ensure I got 7 miles in the hour.

Overall pace: 8:32. For me, that's blazing fast for 7 miles. So excited!

I have a couple training questions though, and I'd love input/advice.

#1: I almost always (speed)walk my recovery intervals. I think I enjoy the mental break of actually stopping running in b/t intervals and the opportunity to drink water and pick a new song if needed to psyche myself up for the next interval. Do you think I'm losing any benefit of the speed session by walking rather than running during recovery? My heart rate definitely does NOT get back to normal during recovery, so I'm thinking walking is probably okay. (?)

#2: For the past 6 months or so I've really been focusing on leg turnover. In doing so, my form has improved quite a bit. I've read that a good 'goal' leg turnover is 180 per minute. Mine is almost always over 190 and closer to 200, on the treadmill at least. I need to count it outside, I suppose. Does anyone see any problem with such a fast leg turnover? I'm tallish (5'9") and I'm all legs so this means my stride is pretty short compared to what it could be. I believe this is good in that it decreases the impact of each step and I figure it will lengthen as I get faster. But I'm just making this up, I don't know if this is true or not. Any thoughts?

Okay, I'm off to shower and head to work. Oh yeah, and I pulled this workout off after 3 nights of working nights thus my sleep has been very poor. I bet I'll be really tired tonight!

Happy running!


  1. Have no idea about your questions but just wanted to give you "props" for an awesome workout :)

  2. 180 is an arbitrary number - it was an "average" many years ago. Elites are doing 200+ so at 190+ you are kickin' booty!

  3. I'll comment on question 1. Recovery is recovery so fast walk is fine in my mind. I'll ask around about the turnover but your logic seems good to me as well. Most important thing is to balance competitiveness with health and fun...this means whatever it takes to avoid injury from over-training. Your running well, you are still having fun, and you are healthy. Means its workin'.

  4. Yeah! Nice job!
    I walk/jog butmostly WALK my recovery intervals, too, to drink water/mess with music. I checked the Furman FIRST program about that early on and they say you can do either. You're still getting the benefit of the speed work. They mention that the point of the recovery interval is to do whatever you can so that you can run the next repeat at the target pace.

  5. Your leg turnover is great where it is, but I would measure it out on the roads. On a treadmill with an incline the number might not be the same. Your stride may or may not legthen as you get faster.

  6. Wahooo!! That is so awesome. It always feels good to come back from a workout all fired up. Nice work.