Time flies when you’re running (yes it really does!)
So week 2 cranks things up ever so slightly, from 33 miles to 35 miles. The extra two miles come from the long run going from 9 to 10 miles, and an interval session early in the week which is 7 miles.
The interval session was the hardest run of the week. It’s a 2 miles warmup, and then 7x800m intervals, with 45 seconds passive rest between each (passive rest is walking, rather than jogging/running easy). It’s one of those workouts that looks easy, starts out easy, and then bites.
The first lap is supposed to be 4:24, then a reduction of 2 seconds each lap if you feel strong enough. If you’re at full stretch, then maintain the speed. My splits were 4:21, 4:26, 4:24, 4:20, 4:15, 4:13, 4:12 – not bad for an old timer. I do remember doing this last year and starting faster and ending slower, which was the wrong thing to do. With a heart rate monitor, it’s interesting to see how your body responds to such a workout.
Above you can see the splits and the effect of the interval and following rest. For my age, my workout heart rate is quite high, and my resting heart rate if about 62bpm currently. The idea of this exercise is to get a high intensity workout without introducing the fatigue of a race. The heart rate peaks show this is exactly what is happening.
After this interval run, my easy run and regular runs immediately afterward felt hard because my legs were sore, but I’ll be feeling the benefit of this workout within a couple of weeks.
As for 2014 Vs. 2015, after figuring out my GPS error last year, I’ve adjusted all of my 2014 workouts to reflect the times I would be getting with a GPS watch (i.e, reducing the distance by about 5% or 0.05 miles per mile. With this adjustment, I can see in 2015, I am very slightly faster (which I would expect)
One thing that jumps out is that in 2014, even with the adjusted pace, week 2 was faster than week 1, with a lot more mileage. In 2015, I’m slightly slower with marginally more mileage. One of the reasons is that my watch still counts the rest times during intervals as part of the total workout, and I was walking in one part of the track to stay in the shade so it looked like no movement. Otherwise my average speed is 9:38, slightly quicker.
Another thing is that for most of my regular runs, I have actually missed my target speed. I should be going for 9:05 – 9:20, and over the last two weeks my average regular run speed has been 9:27. It isn’t far off the low end of the expected speed, but it’s enough to be noticeable. I’ll see if my coach recommends switching to a more conservative plan until my fitness improves.
Week 3 cranks it up a notch again to 36 miles, introducing 7 miles to my regular run and a 7 mile fartlek. More on that next time.