Tag Archives: speed

Ultra Training: Speed

Training for my first 50 mile race continues. I have several races built in as more serious training runs essentially prior to my 50 mile race. I “planned” other races into my training before I reach my date with a 50 miler, but I will admit most of them were not particularly strategic. They are more that I just want to run that race. 

I am a little under a month away from the first race of my race season. My first race is a road half marathon. It will probably be my only half marathon and possibly my only road race. This will be the third time I run this particular half marathon, Skunk Cabbage Half. I have enjoyed this race in the past and I ran a PR there last year and achieved my goal of my first sub 2 hr half marathon. This year I would like to PR again. PR’s at half marathons have really been my only time goals at races these days. To that end I have been trying to be much more consistent and attentive to doing speed work during my training plan. I had speed wok on my training plan last year but I would not say I took a very good approach to it. Most of my gains in speed have simply come due to consistent running not by any specific strategy.

So far during this year’s training I have seen significant improvements in my speed at the 10k distance. I never really thought of this distance as on I could show much improvement in as I did not feel I had the stamina to run hard that long. I have generally focused on running longer and farther not necessarily faster over the last several years. My runs have been long but relatively slow. Earlier in the year on a cold wintry day I found myself running hard for my entire run because I was simply freezing cold and running hard was the easiest way to stay warm and also get done faster and get home and get warmed up. On that run I ended up running a 10k PR. Then I started incorporating speed work into my training plan. I decided to use fartlek’s as my speed work because I am not well versed in speed work, as in I basically no nothing about speed work, and fartlek’s seemed easiest to understand and easiest to implement. I decided to run 1 minute fast 1 minute rest fartlek’s for 4 of my miles on either 6 or 7 mile runs with a warm up mile in the beginning and at least 1 mile cool down at the end. Since I started that routine I have achieved multiple PRs at the 10k distance. Also depending on which running app you subscribe to Garmin or Strava I either PR’d or ran my second fastest time at the 5k distance on my most recent speed work, with the difference in times between the two apps being only 1 second.

To be clear I am not a particularly fast runner. I am very much a middle of the pack runner if not back middle of the pack depending on the race.  But it is very nice to see these added benefits of speed work really showing up in measurable visible ways on my training apps. It really helps me to stay motivated and keeps my drive up to stick with these hard speed workouts. I have never really done much speed work and these are definitely some of the hardest workouts I have ever done. It is really easy to stop doing something hard if you don’t feel like you are getting results. I am glad to be seeing these results or I would be very tempted to give up on the speed work.

I am looking forward to seeing how this new emphasis on speed work translates to my first race of my season at my only race with a time goal at this point. Hopefully it results in another half marathon PR.

If you enjoy my work please consider becoming a Pateon supporter for as little as $1 a month. Click the link here. https://www.patreon.com/KRNaturalPhoto

Don’t want to run? Run anyway.

I went to bed last night planning to run in the morning. I woke up this morning and I did not feel like running. I was able to convince myself I was going to run and get my gear on to get out the door. As I was going out the door I was obviously going to run but I didn’t really feel like I was going to have a good run. I was in the mindset that I was just going to go out and get a run in. I was thinking that I was just going to run a nice easy coasting run. I just wanted to get the miles to keep my body in tune.

After I started running at about 1/4 – 1/2 mile I realized I actually felt pretty good. I was cruising along pretty well. My legs felt good and my mind felt good. It felt like a good run was in progress. I wasn’t running for a particular pace. I was just going to run my normal approximately 5k distance I run from outside my house up on Mt. Zoar. I know the route and the distance it covers so I never even looked at my watch. I like to run these runs by feel.

When I got done running and stopped my watch (My brand new Garmin Forerunner 230 by the way.) I was pleasantly surprised to see the readouts. I ran a sub 29 minute 5k which is pretty good for me. I ran a 9:18/mi pace which is pretty fast for me. The fact that I had such a good run when I didn’t feel like even running it made me vary happy that I had forced myself to run. I had overcome the psychological hurdle that was trying to prevent me from running.

When you don’t feel like running, run anyway. You might surprise yourself. You just might have one of your best runs yet. Once your feet hit the road your mindset can shift and your body can shift and you become the runner you know you are.

img_3373-2