Speeding Up and Slowing Down

This morning I ran a speed workout that is designed to really push my limits. Two weeks ago I did a similar workout where I had two sets fast at 18 minutes. I didn’t quite make it through the entire time, but I definitely felt the effects of the workout. Today’s workout was three sets of nine minutes sustaining upper zone three into zone four, my anaerobic zone. After a mile warm up I set the treadmill at 8:49 minute mile pace, although my foot pod recorded me running closer to 8:30 pace. The first set of nine minutes went well. I barely touched my AT at 158 by the end. In between sets I have a three minute recovery. I walked the recovery – my heart rate would not have fallen below 150 otherwise. The second set I felt the burn more and hit my AT after 7 minutes, I made it through the full 9 minutes and had no problem taking a walking recovery. The final 9 minutes I made it through and hit my AT after about 6:30. It was a push, but I did it. After my recovery I had three sets of 50 seconds very fast – I set it at 8 miles an hour – with a 50 second jog (yes I jogged). The purpose of this part is to get my legs accustomed to running fast when fatigued. And that I was. In all I ran 5.5 miles in 55:43 – including warm up, recoveries and cool down.

The speed workout I did two weeks ago I also pushed into my zone 4 and my lungs were fried all day, even after using my inhaler. Today I did not feel quite as much stress in my lungs and what I did feel passed before lunch. Of course I used my inhaler before this workout too. I am noticing that when I do hard speed workouts I can tell when my body is pushing out my anaerobic threshold (AT). After the marathon I am looking forward to testing again to see if my feeling is correct. It continues to amaze me how in tune I have become with listening to my body.

Part of listening is also acknowledging that I am tapering. As a result, I did Pilates this evening in place of resistance training. Strengthening my core is, well, my core focus. Causing any muscle strain with resistance work this close to the race is a risk I don’t want to take.

Tomorrow I will be able to get a swim in before going to visit my family for Thanksgiving. I will write more tomorrow, but for today I want to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving. We have much for which to be thankful. With all of my writing about speed work today, I want to also slow down and appreciate all around me. The tradition in the US of Thanksgiving is a wonderful day to reflect, but each day offers so much – and for that I am very thankful.

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