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.

Published by elisariva

I want to encourage everyone to follow your passions, not just what is easy. It is in overcoming hurdles and barriers that we truly test our limits and abilities. There is much more we are capable of if we only believe in ourselves.

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