Training update: PR’s, #RaceEverything and #TrackTuesdays

With the 2nd of 4 consecutive race weekends being this weekend (Rugged Maniac 5k, 1 Mile, BAA Half, 5k) I wanted to provide a bit of an update. I’ve been focusing on speed a lot lately and my coach’s workouts have been pretty tough lately. I’ve been used to hitting all of my splits and recently I’ve had a couple workouts where I didn’t even come close. His response: “It’s not supposed to be easy,” which I suppose makes complete sense. My last 5k race was on 9/18, and I PR’d with an 18:42, good for a 13 second PR.

Seconds before the finish line

I’ve added another morning group workout to my already 3x a week routine of November Project. Every Tuesday a group of us (from NP) have been going to the Harvard track for speed work. It started out as just one or two of us, and has grown into 5-10 people that regularly show up. Most people do different workouts, meaning everyone’s on their recovery laps at different times, which is great. It helps a ton to have that positive reinforcement right when you need it most. It’s much easier to speed up along the last 100m of the loop when you have a group of friends standing at the end.

My last track workout was 8×400 at 77 goal pace, and I ran most of the workout with a friend. My previous pace was 81, and then 83 before that and I was relatively close for all of those workouts. While running with a friend, I nailed 7/8 of the goal paces and was under for most, running at a sub 5 minute mile pace.

I’ve been doing more of the myrtl routine afterwards, which has been helping for hip strength/mobility. I definitely recommend checking it out and doing it 2-3 times a week.

After more than 2 months of showing up to the Wednesday November Project stadium workout and just hanging out, my coach has finally given me the green light to get back at it, since he’s interested to see what happens. I normally do speed work on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so Wednesdays have been an easier rest day with just a run to and from the stadium for about 3 miles total. He wants me to alternate easy and hard efforts, which will eventually mean a half and full tour, although at first I’ll go with a half and a quarter (at speed). I walked 5 sections the other day and still had the wobbly legs afterwards that normally happens after a full stadium run, so I’ll definitely ease back into it.

Today’s race was “just” a mile at Franklin Park. I went out quick (75 seconds for the first 400m) and hit a small hill near the half way mark which slowed me down by about 6 seconds overall. The middle half mile was done in ~2:40 (which was my goal pace), and the final 400m was at 72 seconds. I saw a friend right around the 1200m mark and she gave me the motivation I needed to push a bit harder. I finished with an official time of 5:13, which is good for a 10 second mile PR!

A bunch of November Project friends ran the race (as always… #raceeverything) which was awesome motivation whether it was from a friend on the side, or chasing the guy in front of me.

Next weekend is the BAA Half, and my coach has said to go for a 1:28-1:32, which would be another (big) PR. I’ve been slacking a bit on my long runs lately due to all these races, so I’ll be running my last long run tomorrow before my 4th half.

Nutrition/fueling update:

Perfect for hill sprints…

After a meeting with an NHL strength coach a while ago, we (ENERGYbits) began looking into the performance and recovery benefits of our RECOVERYbits, a different type of algae. What we found is that they have the ability to help with lactic acid buildup/muscle fatigue (among many other benefits) during anaerobic exercise (sprints, intervals, etc). I’ve been experimenting with taking RECOVERYbits both pre and post workout (along with ENERGYbits that help promote endurance and longer term energy) and I haven’t been getting the muscle/lactic acid burn towards the end of harder workouts like speed intervals or hill training, which has gotten harder recently too. Steven (my coach) now has me doing 5×30 second intervals up Summit Ave, which ranges between 9-17% grade. I look like a crazy person “sprinting” that hill but it’s a blast.

Rosa: “Wait, I didn’t get that on camera. Do it again!”

RECOVERYbits have been helping me push through these harder interval/speed sessions and next week’s workout will be a good test. Next week is 4×200, 5×1000, 4×200 (9 miles including warmup/cooldown) and I’m going to need all the help I can get. I’ll likely also have another serving of ENERGYbits after the second 1000m since it will be longer than an hour’s worth of speed work.

Shoes: I just started running in New Balance 1400’s for speed work and love them so far. I PR’d my 5k and mile in them, and they’re so much more lightweight than the Altra Torin’s, which I love for distance but feel a little clunky when going fast.

Have a great week!

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