Week 10: BQ Training with Run Less Run Faster

Sep 30, 2013 by

Week 10: BQ Training with Run Less Run Faster

Here is my report for week ten 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: Excellent week, accomplishing all three runs.  A cold front blew through last weekend, sweeping summer away (I hope!).  The cooler weather made a big difference in my ability this week.

For the long version, keep reading.

Cross Training. Wednesday and Thursday

Successfully completed the two prescribed swim workouts -4 lengths easy; 3 x (2 lengths easy, 2 lengths fast, 30 seconds RI); 6 x(1 length easy, 1 length fast, 15 seconds RI).  A really short work out.

Grade: Pass

Run workout #1. Monday

Yep, Monday track time  This week’s workout was a new one, 2 sets of 3 x 1200m in 4:47 with 2:00 rest interval.  Had a four minute rest interval between sets for a total of 6 x 1200m.

Results:

  • 1200m #1: 4:46
  • 1200m #2: 4:44
  • 1200m: #3 4:47
  • 1200m: #4 4:46
  • 1200m: #5 4:45
  • 1200m: #6 4:43

Grade: A.  Maybe A+.  I took care to ease up on the first couple, hoping I could finish faster on the last ones.  It worked.

Run workout #2. Tuesday

Up until this week, all the tempo runs had been a mile or two easy warm up, followed by two to six hard miles, then an easy mile or two cool down.  This week, seemingly out of left field, the plan called for 10 miles at a 7:49 pace.  Seemed quite a jump.  I can’t remember the last time I did a mid week double digit run, either.  This run worried me for three reasons.  The first was the just mentioned big jump in mileage at a pretty aggressive pace.  The second reason was my schedule.  I had to violate one of the main principles of the program which is not running back to back days.  Unfortunately, with two cross country meets this week, I couldn’t figure out another way.

So, I set out at 6:15pm Tuesday night with the third worry – impending darkness.  Now I run in the dark a lot, but I stay in my neighborhood, where it is safer.  For a 10 mile run, though, I rarely do the neighborhood because that is four laps and too many hills.  For the tempo RLRF workouts, I’ve tried to balance the hills.  So, I headed out of the neighborhood with an hour of daylight left and my reflective gear.  Don’t know if it was the attention to nutrition and hydration during the day, the new gels I was trying or the cool weather, but this was one of my best runs yet.  I did the 10 miles in 1:17:15.

Grade: A+. That’s a 7:42 pace for the ten miles.  It was also a negative split.  I average 7:46 on miles 1-5 and 7:39 on miles 6-10.  I was 7:45 through nine and pushed it on mile 10, coming in at 7:13 for the last mile.  That will lower the average a bit.

Run Workout #3. Friday

This week’s long run called for 15 miles at an 8:09 pace. After last week’s disappointing 20 miler, I wanted to redeem myself and finish up strong for a great week. I set out at sunrise to almost perfect running weather, low 60’s and comfortable humidity.

As usual, besides meeting the time goal, the secondary goal was a negative split.  I had not been too successful with this on the long runs.

Grade: A. I started out a bit fast, and after five miles was on an 8:07 pace.  I slowed it down a bit on the next five and with five miles to go, I felt great and my overall pace had slipped to 8:10.  Time to turn it up a bit. I ran the last five miles at a 7:55 pace, including stepping down 7:57, 7:55, 7:54 on the last three.  This gave me 2:01:38, an 8:05/mile pace for the fifteen miles.  Also met the negative split goal.

Week Ten Summary

This week was a good confidence booster, especially the ten mile tempo run at 7:49.  If you recall, 7:49 is the marathon target pace.  This was the first double digit run at that pace, and I did very well.  Still a long ways to go, but it felt great to pull it off, especially the day after a tough track workout.

Here’s a graphic showing hit or miss on the workouts over the past ten 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). The actual pace result is in parentheses:StatusThroughTenWeeks

Up Next

Here’s what is in store for week eleven:

Run #1: Track work. 1000m in 3:56; 2o00m in 8:14; 1000 in 3:56; 1000m in 3:36.  400m RI between each
Run #2: 1 easy mile, 5 miles @ 7:49/mile, 1 easy mile
Run #3: 20 miles @ 8:19/mile.

Cross Training: Swim, of course: Kick 4 lengths; swim 20 minutes; kick 4 lengths

Big concern this week is the twenty mile long run.  I haven’t met goal on the last two twenties, and I’d really like to meet this one.

 

Stay tuned and POFIFOTO!

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Week 9: BQ Training with Run Less Run Faster

Sep 23, 2013 by

Week 9: BQ Training with Run Less Run Faster

Here is my report for week nine 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: Disappointing week.  Bad news was I came up short on the track workout and the long run.  Good news was it was my fastest twenty miler yet, just a bit short of target.

For the long version, keep reading.

Cross Training. Tuesday and Friday

Successfully completed the two prescribed swim workouts – 10 x (2 laps with 15 seconds rest); 4 kick laps; 10 x (2 laps with 15 seconds rest).  I did the laps at a medium effort, I guess.

Grade: Pass

Run workout #1. Monday

Yep, Monday track time  This week’s workout was 2 x 1600m at 6:31 with 60 seconds rest interval followed by 2 x 800m in 3:08 with 60 seconds rest interval.

Results:

  • 1600 #1: 6:19
  • 1600 #2: 6:20
  • 800 #1: 3:15
  • 800 #2: 3:15

Grade: B-. Not happy with this workout at all.  After two really solid weeks to end the first half of the training, I wanted to kick off the second half on a good note.  I had two problems here.  The first, and probably biggest factor, was I did a terrible job of hydrating and fueling during the day.  I sat in a training class at work all day and did not follow my usual eating and drinking routines.  Once I went out too fast on the 1600s (problem number 2), the lack of proper preparation showed, as I hit the wall on the 800s and could not make myself go.  On the positive, this was a good reminder of the importance of proper nutrition, even for a work out.

Run workout #2. Thursday

A Wednesday cross country meet meant I had to push my tempo run to Thursday.  This week’s tempo run was six miles just like last week, but there was one more faster mile.  So, after one mile easy, I needed to do four miles at 7:19, then have an easy cool down sixth mile. With Monday’s preparation problems still fresh in my mind, I made sure I did much better during the day Thursday.  It showed:

  • Mile 1: 9:12
  • Mile 2: 7:13
  • Mile 3: 7:12
  • Mile 4: 7:10
  • Mile 5: 7:03
  • Mile 6: 9:23

Grade: A. That’s a 7:10 pace for the four hard miles.  It was also a negative split and a step down (each mile faster than the previous).  The second half had more downhill, but it was still a very good workout.

Run Workout #3. Saturday

This week’s long run called for 20 miles at an 8:19 pace.  That’s two miles farther than last week but at the same pace.  This was the third of five 20 milers during the training,

Grade: B.  This run was a struggle from early on.  I knew by mile seven that the last thirteen miles would not be fun. About mile fifteen, with the sky sunny and the temperature around 75 degrees,  the wheels started getting pretty wobbly.  Then, with three miles to go, I was still on track, but, unfortunately, it was crash and burn time.  The last three miles were 8:34, 9:21, and 9:00.  I finished in 2:49:06, an 8:26 pace.

Week Nine Summary

Very disappointing week after the last two outstanding weeks.  I was reminded of the importance of nutrition and hydration, even in training.   I also have some work to do on my long run nutrition planning.

Here’s a graphic showing hit or miss on the workouts over the past eight 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). The actual pace result is in parentheses:

Scorecard Through Nine Weeks

Scorecard Through Nine Weeks

Up Next

Here’s what is in store for week ten:

Run #1: Track work. 3 x (2 x 1200 in 4:47 w/2 min RI), 4 min RI between sets
Run #2: 10 miles @ 7:49/mile
Run #3: 15 miles @ 8:09/mile.

Cross Training: Swim, of course.  4 lengths easy; 3 x (2 lengths easy, 2 lengths fast, 30 seconds RI);6 x(1 length easy, 1 length fast, 15 seconds RI)

Going to be a another tough week all around.

 

Stay tuned and POFIFOTO

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Week 8: BQ Training with Run Less Run Faster

Sep 16, 2013 by

Week 8: BQ Training with Run Less Run Faster

Here is my report for week eight 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: Very good week.

For the long version, keep reading.

Cross Training. Tuesday

Successfully completed the two prescribed swim workouts – swim 25 minutes continuously. Did them both on Tuesday.  First was at lunch, then I went back to the gym after work with my son.  Not sure if both in one day is cheating, but that was the best option for me this week.

Grade: Pass

Run workout #1. Monday

You should know by now, if it is Monday, it is track time.  This week was two sets of 6 x 400m at a 1:32 pace with 90 second rest intervals. There was a 2:30 rest interval between sets.  That’s a total of twelve 400’s.   The weather was mid eighties, but the humidity was very comfortable.

Results:

  • 400 #1: 1:22
  • 400 #2: 1:25
  • 400 #3: 1:21
  • 400 #4: 1:27
  • 800 #5: 1:23
  • 400 #6: 1:22
  • 400 #7: 1:22
  • 400 #8: 1:27
  • 400 #9: 1:25
  • 400 #10: 1:27
  • 800 #11: 1:27
  • 400 #12: 1:24

Grade: A. After completing these in an average 1:24 vs. a 1:32 target, I was worried I may have overdone it.  I ended up with some soreness in my hamstrings, but since I was able to meet the other two workouts, I guess I was OK.

Run workout #2. Wednesday

No mid-week cross country meet meant I could stay on schedule for my runs.  This week’s tempo run was six miles.  The first two miles were easy warm up, followed by 3 at a target pace of 7:04, then a one mile cool down.  The low humidity was still hanging around:

  • Mile 1: 9:12
  • Mile 2: 8:53
  • Mile 3: 7:01
  • Mile 4: 6:58
  • Mile 5: 6:54
  • Mile 6: 9:23

Grade: A. Ended up with a 6:58 pace for the three hard miles.

Run Workout #3. Friday

This week’s long run called for 18 miles at an 8:19 pace.  The fastest 18 miles target to date (week 5) was 8:34, and I did that one in 8:30.  Started out about 7am, and it was 75 degrees.  The humidity had crept up again (90+%), and I knew I would be at my heat index limits for speed by the run’s end.  I had a good first half, around an 8:15 pace, but as the day heated up, my pace started to slip a bit.  Still managed to make the  time goal and came in at 2:29:43, an 8:18/mile pace.

Grade: A-.  Met the time, yes, but didn’t accomplish a negative split.

Week Eight Summary

Nice to have back to back really good weeks.  I can feel and see real progress in my abilities.  There’s finally definite hints of fall in the air, and I’m looking forward to the great running weather that is just ahead.

Here’s a graphic showing hit or miss on the workouts over the past eight 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). The actual pace result is in parentheses:

Scorecard Through 8 Weeks

Scorecard Through 8 Weeks

Up Next

Here’s what is in store for week nine:

Run #1: Track work. 2 x 1600m in 6:31 each with 60 second rest intervals, followed by 2 x 800m in 3:08 with 60 second rest intervals
Run #2: 1 mile easy, 4 miles @ 7:19/mile, 1 mile easy.
Run #3: 20 miles @ 8:19/mile.

Cross Training: Swim, of course.  10 x (2 lengths, rest 15 seconds); 4 lengths kick; 10 x (2 lengths, rest 15 seconds)

Going to be a tough week all around: Running & family/work schedule.

 

Stay tuned and POFIFOTO!

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Week 7: BQ Training with Run Less Run Faster

Sep 8, 2013 by

Week 7: BQ Training with Run Less Run Faster

Here is my report for week seven 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: One of the best weeks yet.  Especially satisfying after last week’s tough time.

For the long version, keep reading.

Cross Training. Tuesday, Friday, Sunday

Successfully completed the two prescribed swim workouts. This week’s swims were the longest yet, but complicated.  Had to do three sets of free style like this: 1 fast, 1 easy, 2 fast, 2 easy, 3 fast, 3 easy, 2 fast, 2 easy, 1 fast and 1 easy. There was a one minute rest between sets.  Also managed to get in an hour easy bike ride on Sunday.

Grade: Pass

Run workout #1. Monday

Track time.  6 x 800m in 3:08.  Being the Labor Day holiday, I was able to go in the morning to beat the heat instead of after work.  I did a leisurely bike ride the 4+ miles to the high school as a warm up, and used the return trip as my cool down.

Results:

  • 800 #1: 3:07
  • 800 #2: 3:03
  • 800 #3: 3:07
  • 800 #4: 3:05
  • 800 #5: 3:08
  • 800 #6: 3:06

Grade: A.  Speed work is tough at 8am, but I did it.  I was just about out of gas on #6 and had to dig deep.

Run workout #2. Thursday

The dreaded run of the week. Wanted to redeem myself from earlier misses on five mile tempo runs. This run called for eight miles total: one easy warm up mile, then six miles at a 7:34 pace, then one mile easy cool down. This target pace for the five middle miles was 15 seconds slower than last week’s five miler target Here are the results:

  • Mile 1: 9:26
  • Mile 2: 7:41
  • Mile 3: 7:24
  • Mile 4: 7:22
  • Mile 5: 7:22
  • Mile 6: 7:46
  • Mile 7: 7:30
  • Mile 8: 9:32

Grade: A. Finally a solid tempo run and one of the best of the seven weeks, averaging  7:30 per mile.  The temperature at 7:00pm when I started was close to 90, but the humidity was no where as oppressive as last week.  Did a new route for this run as my son swam at the gym.  This allowed me to treat myself to a Chick-fil-a chocolate milkshake afterward.  That was good.

Run Workout #3. Saturday

A short long run.  Yea! First 13 miler since week one and a welcome break from the 18’s and 20’s.  Goal pace was ramped up a bit, though, at 8:04.  A crazy schedule for the week pushed the run out to Saturday.  This turned out to be a good thing as  I headed out early to temperatures in the mid 60’s.

A nice solid negative split run.  Broke the 8:00 mark for each of the last four miles, including saving my fastest mile for last at 7:46.  Ended up 1:44:26, an 8:01 pace.

Grade: A.

Week Seven Summary

A  good bounce back from a disappointing previous week.

Here’s a graphic showing hit or miss on the workouts over the past seven 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).  The actual pace result is in parentheses:

StatusThroughSevenWeeks

Up Next

Here’s what is in store for week seven:

Run #1: Track work. Bunch of 400’s for the first time.  Two sets of 6×400 in 1:32, taking a  90 second rest interval been each 400.  Take a 2:30 break between sets and do it again.
Run #2: 2 miles easy, 3 miles @ 7:04/mile, 1 mile easy.
Run #3: 18 miles @ 8:19/mile.

Cross Training: Swim 25 minutes any stoke and kick board.  Much easier to keep track.

The long run looks to be the toughest for me this week.

 

Stay tuned and POFIFOTO!

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Week 6: BQ Training with Run Less Run Faster

Sep 2, 2013 by

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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