Sweat-icicles and Boston Week 2 Recap

This morning I headed to the track for a speed workout.  There was no school today so I didn’t have to hurry and finish before the buses arrived.  And, since I didn’t have work, I could actually wait until the sun started to rise.  Win-win!  It was frigid – 19 degrees.  During my warm-up, it was so cold that I actually wished I was home in my warm basement on the treadmill, wearing shorts and a tank top.  I hate to be all bundled up!

I did a “ladder down” workout starting at 1200m and going down to 1000m -> 800m -> 600m -> 400m.  I did them at 10K pace with a 200m rest interval in between.  Since it wasn’t a super taxing workout I threw in 2 miles at MP (8:02 and 8:19), a cool down, and called it a day at 8 miles.

During the cool down I could hear my hair sweeping along the back of my jacket.  It sounded like it was frozen.  When I got to the car…and this is a first for me…sweat-icicles!  So gross!

Boston Week 2 Recap
MON:  6 miles speed (4×800 with a MP mile at the end)
TUE:  6 miles easy
WED:  rest
THU:  8 miles tempo with 6 at MP
FRI:  6 miles easy
SAT:  15 miles
SUN:  barre class

41 miles total with another yoga fail.  I’m still figuring out how to fit it all in and I need 1 complete rest day a week.

I need your help…can anyone recommend WARM and WATERPROOF running gloves?  As in, I can wipe sweat and snot away and they won’t freeze on me.   For LRs, I switch my gloves halfway through and today I doubled up on gloves.  

Ever get sweat-icicles?  It’s funny how I can get so sweaty and be so cold at the same time.  

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Why Speed Work?

2/2/11

6 miles speed

What the plan called for:  5x1000m (approx .62 miles) @ 4:28 pace (approx 7:12 min/mile)

What I did:  5x1000m at 7:30 min/mile.  I started at 7:12 pace and didn’t have enough kick in my legs.  So I dropped my pace to 7:30 so that I could complete 5 repeats.  Lesson learned:  when doing tempo and speed work on back-to-back days, do the speed work on day 1 and tempo on day 2 (or better yet, DON’T do them back-to-back).

Why do we torture ourselves with speed work?  Doesn’t it seem silly to train for 26.2 miles by doing 800m repeats?  Does that really help?  For me, the jury is still out on that one.  I’ve done speed work in the past and off and on recently.  I decided to pick it up again this training cycle.  We’ll see if it helps me come May but for now I hold more stock in tempo and marathon-paced long runs.

Speed work (aka track workout) improves your VO2max.  What is VO2max?  I found a few good definitions…

From good old Wikipedia –> VO2max is the maximum capacity of an individual’s body to transport and use oxygen during exercise.

Or for you visual people:

The point at which oxygen consumption plateaus defines the VO2max or an individual’s maximal aerobic capacity (source).

Most of the time speed work is done at current 5K pace.  This is an appropriate pace for marathoners since it will provide a stimulus for improving your VO2max but still leave your legs fresh for your other training runs.  For runners training for shorter distances, speed work can be done slightly faster than 5K pace.

Speed work is usually done in intervals ranging from 400m to 1600m, although I know in the near future I have a 3200m interval on my plan (ouch!).  The amount of rest time in between intervals varies.  My current training plan allows for very little rest in between intervals.  In the past, I’ve rested half the distance of that interval (for example, 800m repeats with 400m rest interval).  Jogging or walking for beginners is acceptable for “rest” time.

There you have it – speed work explained.  It’s definitely not my favorite choice but I can see why speed work has its place in training.

Off to watch Buried with Matt.  Did anyone see it?  It’s supposed to be good and (the best part) Ryan Reynolds is in it 🙂  I love me some Ryan Reynolds.  RR + psychological thriller = a good night.

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