Friday, May 24, 2013

Speedwork Works and Memorial Weekend Running!

Say what????
You get faster... (wait for it) by training faster. Gather the pieces of your mind up off the ground. You would be surprised by the number of people that complain "I'm just not getting any faster" or "I hit a wall in my marathon time" then when I ask what speedwork they do, they side-head-tilt Scooby me. Hhhhh? Speedwork? Why would somebody need this? Well I figure the name in itself is enough to explain, but hey-- let's be blunt here...

Why Speedwork Helps: (Yeah there are articles that tell you day-by-day what to do and why it works. But, take it from a runner that has tried just about every "school" of running there is)...
1) Muscle Memory- You get your legs turning over at (around) the same speeds every time you run. To build gears, you need to get them used to moving faster and holding through the pain (more information on that in this article). Speaking of pain...

2) Blocking the Pain- I honestly believe that every runner goes out and experiences the same (relative) amount of pain. The difference is, runners are used to blocking it out. Half of training is (unknowingly) learning to block out what hurts. Don't believe me? The next time you're in a race and hurting-- just general soreness, not injuries-- kick it up. Seriously, speed up 10-15 seconds per mile and hold. It won't hurt ANY more than it already did. And I guarantee slowing down 10-15 seconds per mile won't hurt any less. So next time, kick it up and your body may respond in a surprising way!

3) Confidence- Holding faster paces for substantial training runs-- be it track sessions or tempo runs-- will leave you feeling much more confident when you slow down a bit at race time.

Speeding it Up...
Now the article referenced above tells you how to "ease" into speedwork. That's all well and good, but we all know I don't ease into anything. The best feeling in the world is walking (because you no longer CAN run) away from a speedwork session feeling incredibly sore and worn out. You've gone as hard as you could for as long as you could that day and you have pushed your threshold just a little bit more!

Yesterday I did my 3:20 yassos x 5!!! That's my speedwork of choice! Why? It's scheduled (1 time a week, starting at 3-4 yassos and moving up one every week), it's easy to follow and understand, you can do them anywhere (with a distance calc watch, a track, or a death-mill), it's goal oriented (3m 20s intervals for a 3h 20m marathon), and it works. Preach!!! Below is Bart Yasso. Remember his face-- he'll be the one you're cursing at around the 8-interval week.
Meet'll curse him later
For the past few weeks I've struggled mentally though these. I'm not too surprised since I'm NOWHERE near running a 3h 20m marathon right now. But hey! B***s to the walls, right? To supplement my speedy, speedwork I've done at least one tempo run and another (semi) tempo run as part of my weekly routine. Every time I go out, I can run faster for a longer period of time and I'm getting back to my comfort zone doing it. Word.
Completely "borrowed" for the betterrment of runners :)
It also helps to shed some of the extra winter time lbs. So far I've lost 6 lbs-- over about 6-7 weeks. Healthy but very much needed. I'm running lighter and faster and feeling much better! And I'm 4 lbs off my best racing weight. #sexy-fide.

Memorial Weekend Plan!
What do people do on memorial day weekend? Drinking? Pool time? Baseball games? Tim McGraw concert? Well yeah all of those will happen. But my goal is to do 3 days of 10+ mile runs. Why? 1) I have a marathon in 2 weeks and need to get some high mileage in. 2) I like to give myself random goals just to do it and 3) All of those other things are going to cost me calories and I need to work them off! Woohoo- wish me luck! Today it's an easy workout with some cross training to get ready for my long weekend.

One more note- The "Race Ratings" page (at the top) is up and running! Check it out for the race ratings (2) since this blog started (a month ago). More to be added in no time!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! What races are you using to celebrate?

"Run to Win" -Meb

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