Tuesday, October 18, 2011

where did all my fast go?

I went back to track this morning for the first time since....July?  At least?  But the last time I was consistently doing track workouts was March, so it's been a long time.  I wasn't sure whether or not I would want to talk about this in detail but now that I've been through it and seen the carnage, I think that it's important to only so that in a few weeks/months I can feel a bit better about the progress that I hope to make (and quickly!!).


I've spent the past few months rebuilding my running base, but my "easy" pace has gotten slower and slower.  I've done almost no speed work at all, and while I have come to a bit of an understanding with how HR training works and that it is a process, I also think that my zones weren't set up properly 2 months ago when I started down this road.  Because of that, I think I've been doing all of my interval work far more slowly than I should have been - 3x8 minute Z4a intervals should not be a 9:40 pace, as far as I'm concerned - and while I don't think this did any lasting damage, and possibly even helped me rebuild a stronger base, I definitely have lost all the speedy pep in my running step.  


Since this was my first workout back, I wanted to avoid pissing off my body as much as possible and talked to George before the workout about how to handle it.  The workout was 1x1600, 1x1200, 1x800, 1-3x400.  He suggested skipping the mile and just starting on the 1200, and to dial it back down to about 10K race pace.  I don't know exactly what that is for me right now, but I guessed it would be somewhere in the 8:20-8:35 range.  


I was surprised how good it felt to blow out of the gate for the 1200 and finally run FAST again.  I was also surprised how quickly my heart tried to explode out of my chest and I wanted to stop.  It was dark at the track and I didn't have my screens set up properly for intervals, but I figured it's better to just go off effort anyway, since I knew I was going to be annoyed no matter what.  The 1200 felt a tiny bit on the easy side.  The 800 felt good although I was horrified at the time when I stopped, and the 400s felt like I was finally starting to figure out how to push again.  I think that part of what I have to relearn here is not exactly how to pace myself, but how to go into that place where it hurts just a little because it's hard.  Spending 3 months running very easy makes it tough to remember exactly how and when to push and pull back.  So, here's the carnage (this makes me cringe, thank you).  (Also, general Garmin PSA: the pace is horseshit because of the way GPS works but I lap the interval - i.e. pay attention to the number on the left, ignore the one on the right).
Oof.  I don't have an exact replica of this workout from last spring, but it looks like we did a similar step-down (1x1600, 1x1200, 1x800, 1x400) the first time I went to the track in my training cycle for the National Half.
Yeah.  Like I said.  Carnage.  Right now I'm running about 10 seconds/400 slower off where I started last season.  Granted, I was taking it slightly easy this morning, but my effort on the 400s felt pretty hard.  The good news is that everything feels pretty okay after this workout.  My right adductor was tight after the last 400 (probably because my form went all to hell on those) and my right hip flexor is a bit tight, but in general things feel much better than I would expect.  So I've got some work to do here, but I'm happy and excited to be jumping right in.  

18 comments:

  1. Thanks for the PSA!! Otherwise, its basically what you expected, no? Still faster than race pace intervals...

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  2. It sounds like a step in the right direction. I can't even remember the last time I did speed work...

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  3. The Garmin is always right. The end.

    It was so fantastically awesome to have you back on the track!

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  4. Ditto Amy - wonderful to have you there (now we just need Beth).

    FWIW, I think that short distance speed is muscle memory as much as fitness. And muscle memory is both lost and gained very quickly.

    You'll be back (/terminator vox)

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  5. good work. it's good to see that your form is holding up. and don't worry everyone's gets wonky the last interval. so long as you can keep building and running, i'd say this was a good workout.

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  6. Glad you were back this morning! I'm sure you'll get back up to speed quickly.

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  7. good for you jumping back in! i bet you will gain it back quickly too! i am so bad about sticking with speed training week to week but am inspired by people that do!

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  8. That "carnage" will be repaired faster than you think (hah, pun not intended). This is actually a lot of the reason I stopped training with the HRM - yes, that probably means I'm missing the point entirely, but my "easy" was never defined so by the range standards and I was going slower and slower...and...slower. Not fun.

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  9. I've never had TEH FAST, so I get excited for other people when they start to get it/get it back. So woohoo for a good baseline. I'm attempting to add speedwork next week. It's gonna be gross.

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  10. Isn't that funny how that works? My everyday paces always slow down during marathon training, and then when I try to get back into "fast" paces for shorter distances, my throat wants to close up and my lungs want to explode.

    It's awesome. Our bodies are working.

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  11. I'm asking myself this same question. I'm nervous to go back to track since I haven't had a run in recent weeks that didn't make my body want to explode. Sigh.

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  12. Quit complaining - those are my FAST intervals.

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  13. I'm going to agree with Cris on that. 1, loved having you back out with us! 2. I find that when I'm just getting back to the track, not paying attention to the time for the first couple of weeks. Your body has great memory and it doesn't take long for it to get back in the game... your times will be back before you know it!! :)

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  14. Your fast is just hiding, scared to come back out and play. It needs to come out of its shell again. Have you mentioned to your coach about redoing your HR zones?

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  15. Your fast is there. It is just starting to see the light of day after being asleep for a bit. You know morning eye boogers and all. These workouts, new HR zones and you'll be back to normal before you know it.

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  16. If you give me the name and address of the ho who stole your fast, I'll knock on their door and steal it right back!

    With that being said, I think that for HR training to work properly (and I'm FAR from an expert, obviously, as I'm learning right along with you) is to abide by the hard-easy principle. Part of the reason of running easy is to improve your heart/endurance/cardio/etc. The other part is to actively recover after a BALLS FAST/HARD workout. I think that I made a mistake this summer while training for my half marathon, in that I only had one HARD workout a week (not including my LR). I think I probably should've had two to really capitalize on the HR training principles. But I was definitely scared to b/c usually 2 days of speed causes me to break.

    Hopefully you get things figured out and get your FAST back.

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  17. You will get it back. Just keep doing the track every week and it those times will drop!

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  18. I can relate completely! I haven't done speed work in over a year due to this stupid leg.

    Try not to worry too much about where your speed is right now. That endurance base is the MOST important piece to solid running and it takes the most effort to build. We can build speed relatively quickly so it will pop back where you want soon enough. And with a solid base your speed will be even faster!

    Great workout!!

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