Monday, June 16, 2008

Week 1 Speed Work

Today officially began my training for the St. George Marathon. I'm following a modified version of the FIRST training approach. I'm taking the key runs given my this 3 day a week plan and adding additional work out to the plan. Today was the first speed session. The numbers that I generated for this training plan are based on my goal time of a 3 hour marathon. Some may say that isn't the correct approach as I'm not currently in 3 hour shape, but I like it as it pushes me harder. According to all my calculations, today included 3 1 mile repeats at a 5:51 pace. I knew going into the workout that I would not hit that number. There were various reason. Firstly, as I said, I'm not currently in 3 hour shape. As the goal marathon will be in much cooler weather and is a net downhill course, whatever times I'm able to do here during the summer will be easy to beat out there. Another reason I knew I wouldn't hit that number is because I've taken the last 2 weeks off. I'm coming off my taper, race and recovery from the RnR. So I'm not in prime shape at the moment. The last reason I knew I wouldn't hit that number was because it was 85 degrees when I started my run today. So the idea was to push hard, but not blow myself out in the first repeat so I couldn't finish the other two. That is what I did a lot last year. I'd do everything I could to hit that goal pace and then would struggle for the next few repeats. Here's what I was able to do today.

16:48 156 bpm (2 miles)
6:08.75, 182 bpm (1 mile)
1:01.43, 171 bpm
5:58.52, 185 bpm (1 mile)
2:01.20, 162 bpm
6:12.38, 186 bpm (1 mile)
1:00.90, 177 bpm
8:22.96, 172 bpm (1 mile)

I normally like to do slow jogs for my recoveries. Last year when following this plan, I found that I often had to walk the recoveries. Today was no different. By looking at the recovery and interval HR efforts, it's no wonder I had to walk. I even had to increase the recovery after the 2nd repeat to 2 minutes because I was feeling it big time. Usually after the last repeat I start the cool down. Today was I so tired at the end that I put in another 1 minute recovery before starting the cool down. I hit a max HR of 191 in the last repeat.

All in all, I'm not disappointed with the effort as I'm just getting back into it. It definitely was a harder workout then I intended it to be. My only negative/constructive thoughts would be to be more consistent and to not have pushed so hard on my first workout.

I looked back at my training schedule from last year when I likely did the same workout. I don't think I was in quite as good of shape at the time last year, but the run last year was on the road. Today I did it around the lake. The lake is definitely flatter than the route I did last year. This is approximately what I did last year.
6:21, 171 bpm
1:01, 151 bpm
6:41, 172 bpm
1:03, 166 bpm
6:29, 173 bpm

So I was faster today, in hotter weather on an easier course, but I pushed harder. It will be interesting to compare the workouts from last year to this year.

The schedule for the week is being slightly altered due to conflicting schedules. I'm doing my next speed session on Wednesday and not doing the 20+ work run this week. I figure 50+ is too much the first week back and it won't really fit into my schedule this week.

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