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Week 6: BQ Training with Run Less Run Faster

Here is my report for week six of sixteen of my Outer Banks 2013 marathon training. I am following the 3:25:00 Boston Qualifier plan outlined in the book Run Less Run Faster.

To review past weeks, click here.

Short version: Tough, disappointing week, but still feel like I’m OK.  Completed track work successfully and was a whisker short on my time goal for Run #2, the tempo run.  However, I did not have a good long run.  The goal for the 20 miler was an 8:34/mile pace and I could only manage an 8:44 pace.

For the long version, keep reading.

Cross Training. Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

Successfully completed the two prescribed swim workouts. This week’s swims called for five sets of eight laps free immediately followed by two laps of kick board, allowing a one minute rest interval between sets.  This was a good tough workout.   I was also able to get in a two hour bike ride on Saturday morning.

Grade: Pass

Run workout #1. Monday

The usual weekly trip to the high school track. This week’s workout was a new one, calling for two 1200 meter runs at 4:47, followed by six 800m runs at 3:08.  There was a two minute rest interval between runs.

Results:

  • 1200 #1: 4:45
  • 1200 #2: 4:42
  • 800 #1: 3:05
  • 800 #2: 3:07
  • 800 #3: 3:08
  • 800 #4: 3:06

Grade: A. A warm 85 degrees, but a taste of fall low humidity.  I felt flat, with no energy, though.  Had to resort to tunes from 5150 to make it through the last one.  Is that cheating? 🙂

Run workout #2. Wednesday

The dreaded run of the week.  Wanted to redeem myself from an earlier miss on a 5 mile tempo run.  This run called for seven miles total: one easy warm up mile, then five miles at a 7:19 pace, then one mile easy cool down. This target pace for the five middle miles was 15 seconds slower than last week’s three miler, but 15 seconds per mile faster than week three’s miss. Here are the results:

  • Mile 1: 10:17
  • Mile 2: 7:25
  • Mile 3: 7:26
  • Mile 4: 7:14
  • Mile 5: 7:29
  • Mile 6: 7:06
  • Mile 7: 11:11

Grade: B+.  The taste of low humidity fall disappeared by Wednesday night, and we were back to typical hot and humid August.  I  wanted to do a negative split, and after the first two miles, I realized that would be very difficult to do.  My effort level was near 100%, but with the almost 90 degree heat, I felt like I was stuck in the mud.  With one mile to go my overall pace was 7:25/mile, and I thought there was no way I could hit 7:19.  The last might was slightly downhill, and I was huffing and puffing as hard I could.  As my watch beeped, I hit stop and switched modes to see my pace – it said 7:19.  Couldn’t believe it.  However, when I plugged the individual miles into a spreadsheet to get the average, it said 7:20.  Since I don’t want anybody to think I’m an easy grader, I’ll go with 7:20 and give myself a B+.

Run Workout #3. Friday

The long run for the week called for the second of five 20 milers in the plan. Target pace was 8:34/mile.  Having completed 18 last week at 8:30, I felt like I could do this.   When I walked outside at 6:15 am, I knew I had a tough task in front of me.  The sun wasn’t up and it was 75 degrees and high humidity – almost 100%.  This run seemed like a continuation of Wednesday’s tempo run – I was putting forth the effort but seemed to be in slow motion.

With five miles to go, my overall pace window on my GPS watch said 8:39.  Still have a chance, I thought and picked up the pace.  I averaged 8:20/mile on miles 16 & 17, but that was all she wrote.  I crashed and burned and averaged over 9:00/mile on the last three.  Overall time was 2:55:15, an 8:44/mile pace.   I lost almost five pounds despite consuming over forty ounces of water.

Grade: B-.  Maybe C+?  A disappointment, for sure, but I will just have to chalk it up to the conditions. 

Week Six Summary

A disappointing week.  I know the heat/humidity combination of the week was the major factor keeping me back.  That is a physiological limit of my body that I cannot help, so I try to remember training in tough conditions will make the cooler conditions of November be even better.  Here’s a graphic showing hit or miss on the workouts over the past six weeks.  For the tempo and long runs, I included mileage and pace targets (not including the easy warm up and cool down miles for the tempo runs):

StatusThroughSixWeeks

Up Next

Here’s what is in store for week seven:

Run #1: Track work. 6 x 800m in 3:08 with 90 second rest intervals.
Run #2: 1 mile easy, 6 miles @ 7:34/mile, 1 mile easy.
Run #3: 13 miles @ 8:04/mile

Cross Training: Swim 3 x (1 length fast, 1 length easy; 2 fast, 2 easy; 3 fast, 3 easy; 2 fast, 2 easy; 1 fast, 1 easy) 1 min RI (Tough to keep track!)

Runs #2 & #3 are going to be tough.  Fall weather needs to come back fast!

Stay tuned and POFIFOTO!

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