After my last 10K I thought I wouldn’t be racing for some time, summer is approaching and it’s getting too warm, there aren’t many races happening.
However, I have found 2 races I want to run in the coming month, one is a 5K this Friday organized by a “Run at Work” group, that’s my loose translation of the name of the group in Hebrew, but basically a few runners from different work companies in Israel.
The other is a 10K night run in the park, I’m not very excited about racing in the park, especially at night, but both these races I want to run for fun. Yes, I want to concentrate on training and taking it easy for a few months, and I don’t want a race to take away from that.
I want to train hard but also light… if that makes sense, or at least lighter/smarter than I’ve been training. Stay strong, build some speed, but at the same time find the balance to get some rest, so I can start marathon training in September.
I haven’t decided on a marathon yet, but I want to run one this winter, and since I want to run it in Israel as opposed to flying somewhere, my options are relatively limited. But then I only need one.
A few of the main points I’ve built my upcoming training around:
• Distance: I want to stay steady with 65K/40M a week, which is not a distance I’ve been running for long, although I was at 60K/37M for a while. I’m feeling fine with 65K, and want to get even more used to it during the summer, so I can safely go up a bit come marathon training.
• Lighter weeks: I’m planning on making a week every 2-3 weeks a lighter week, about 50K/31M. Replacing my long run with a shorter run will take care of that, and hopefully my legs will feel and appreciate the rest.
• Speed: There’s a line that kept coming up in the running articles I’ve read in the last few weeks: “keep your slow runs slow, and your fast runs fast”. I haven’t been good at doing this in the past, I can push at the fast runs, but then the slow runs become moderate or even fast-ish sometimes. I admit this gives me a confidence push, but it’s just not smart training. I’m aiming for my speed time to be no more than 15% of my total weekly running time (although I am taking it up a notch speed wise on my intervals and tempo runs so I can gain some speed), and the rest will be mostly easy, with some moderate runs as well. I must learn to keep an eye on my watch and slow down when I have to.
• Strength: I don’t usually skip workouts, but when I’m low on time or have to skip a session, it’s strength training that I give up first. I need to keep a balance between running, swimming, strength and core work, and not always skip (even if for good reason) what I like the least.
On the home front, I stayed home from work today because my boy is sick. Wish he didn’t have to be sick for us to be able to get a quality time day together. I took him to the doctor and walked around the mall for a bit when we went to buy his medicine, since he was feeling well from the effect of the fever reducer.
I bought him the World Cup sticker album and we’ve been pretty busy with that all afternoon.
And new earrings for his sister, because we couldn’t come home without something for her as well. He’s such a good brother.
Any training mistakes you’ve realized you were making?
For me, not enough runs at an easy pace.
Who are you rooting for in the World Cup?
It took me some time to understand how to do a tempo run right.
It sounds fairly easy, run at a comfortably hard speed for about 30-60 minutes. But that definition is quite vague, there’s a huge difference between 30 minutes and 60 minutes, and what is a comfortably hard speed anyway?
The time (or distance) and speed of your tempo run should be set depending on what kind of race you are training for, and if you are not training for any particular race then you can decide time and speed based on your preference of getting a bit faster, or getting better at longer runs.
Keep in mind that the tempo run starts after you are warmed up.
Figuring out your pace for a tempo run:
If you’ve run races before, or are an experienced runner, you are most likely familiar with what your average pace at race effort is for a specific distance.
If you are relatively new to running and haven’t run races yet, you could time one of your regular ones, preferably one where you’ve made a bit of an extra effort.
For example, if you ran a 10K in 50:00 minutes, your average pace for the run was 05:00 Min/KM or 08:03 Min/Miles. That is the pace you should run your tempo run at if you were training for a 10K.
I actually really like the 10K distance for racing, but also for training, it’s not too short that you have to go all out on speed, but it’s not too long that you are training more on endurance than on speed.
This is a great calculator to figure out your paces/times for other distances, even if you haven’t run them, but entering a distance and time of a recent race/run.
Figuring out your time/distance for a tempo run:
The time or distance of your tempo run will be directly related to the distance you are training for.
Since you will be running at goal race pace, you should not run your tempo as long as the race distance, leave that for race day.
Guidelines of tempo Run distance for a particular race:
For a 5K, a 3 KM (approximately 2 miles) tempo run will be enough. For a 10K, do your tempo run for 5-6 KM (approximately 3-4 miles). For a half marathon distance, start with 9KM/6M and go up to around 14KM/9M. For the marathon distance, between 13KM/8M and 19KM/12M should be enough.
How to make the most of your tempo run:
A tempo run should take some effort, so whether you are trying to gain speed or endurance, you should make the most of it.
Be smart and think thoroughly beforehand of how you want to run it, study your race times and recent runs times and find a happy medium. For me taking a conservative approach is best, there’s always time to go up in speed/distance next time.
Listen to your body while running your tempo to gain experience on how a pace feels, especially as time goes on and you get tired. You don’t want to run too fast or too long to the point of exhaustion, although taking it to easy will not shield any benefits either.
I really believe there is no shame in cutting a run short because you were too ambitious in planning of your pace/distance. This doesn’t mean you are quitting, it means you need a few more weeks to gradually get to the point where you can do the run without burning out.
I went for a tempo run this morning, 11K/6.8M total, the first 2K/1.2M being a warm up, the next 5K/3.1M at a comfortable pace of 05:00 Min/KM (08:03 Min/Mile), and the last 4K/2.5M at 10K goal pace of 04:20 Min/KM (06:58 Min/Mile).
Unfortunately I didn’t run the last 4K/2.5M at an even pace, the first KM of the 4 was slower (I really couldn’t push my pace any more), and the other 3 were faster. Talk about our bodies needing time to adjust to a certain speed. In the end I did average the last 4K at exactly 04:20, so mostly mission accomplished.. although I do wish I had run more evenly.
1) I wish I was a better cook and baker: I know I’m not great in the kitchen, but it just took me over 3 hours to make 3 simple cakes.. The kitchen counter is a mess, so let’s say it will be another hour before I’m done. How do some people host dinner parties, I’ll never know.
2) I can’t believe my son is 6 years old: My little boy is turning 6 tomorrow, how can that be? It seems not long ago we came back home with him from the hospital. Time is a weird concept.
3) Races are awesome: I thought I was done with racing until next season (October), and then a friend sends me a message today asking if I’m in for a night race on June 12th… and I said yes. Now I’m thinking of the training runs I want to do and I’m all happy inside.
4) I love reading blogs: Most nights after the kids go to sleep I sit on my computer and read blogs, the perfect way to unwind and just enjoy what I’m reading. I hardly remember when was the last time I read a book, and I don’t miss it.
5) I’d be fine with every date being a coffee date: Every time my husband or a friend asks me what I want to do when we meet, I think of talking over coffee. There’s something so perfect about that combination. But I don’t want to seem so uncool so sometimes I just say other things, like going to a bar or a movie..
6) My left arch hurts and I wonder if it’s because of my running shoes: I seem to get a bit of a soreness every time I run in my Brooks Pure Flows 2. This doesn’t happen with my Mizunos or even my Brooks Pure Cadence 2. I need to pay more attention and figure out what is causing this.
7) I need new work shirts: Seriously, since spring started, every night I get my clothes ready for the next day, I can’t find any nice short sleeve shirts I want to wear. I stand there for 5 minutes trying to figure it out, and in the end choose to wear a dress. Not that I don’t like shopping, but I can’t find the time to do it.
About running, after Tuesday’s easy 10K, I did another easy 10K on Wednesday, and a fartlek run on the treadmill today, first run with speed after last weekend’s race. 3 x 10 minute intervals at pace Min/KM: 04:50, 04:35, 04:20 (Min/Mile: 07:47, 07:22, 07:00). With warm up and easy breaks, I ran 45 minutes. It was a hard run only because it was too hot in the gym, it really made me want to be outside.
Do you run by time or distance on your runs?
I go by distance and pace outside, and by time and speed on the treadmill.
Would you rather cook a meal or bake?
I prefer baking, and I enjoy it when I do it stress free. If I’m baking with a deadline then I get stressed of messing things up.
This morning I ran my last 10K of the season, the Herzlyia Race, most likely my last race of the season too.
Overall Place: 315 out of 1514
Women’s Place: 20 out of 410
Category (30-39) place: 8 out of 127
I PR’ed by 10 seconds.
I’m not happy about it because I was expecting to do much better than that.
I had an ambitious time goal of 43:30. Forget ambitious, I guess it was very ambitious.
I’m not too bummed that I didn’t make my goal, and I’m surprisingly not embarrassed about sharing my goals in advance and failing.
What bothers me the most is the 10 second PR. 10 seconds means I’m exactly at the same place I was before. I’ve been training hard and pushing myself, and I have nothing to prove for it. That bugs me.
And at the same time excites me. It gives me drive, pushes me forward. I have something to work for.
I would have a lot of room for improvement even if I’d done better today, but the fact that I didn’t pushes me even more. Now I still have my current goal hanging there in front of me, waiting to be achieved. And I’m looking forward to good training and great runs ahead.
As for the race, it was one more race.
The course was mostly on the highway, which was nice, a straight out and back stretch.
Everything else: organization (the race started 15 minutes late), water (they ran out), snacks, entertainment, etc.: just OK, and I’m being nice (I’ve heard and read quite a few complaints).
Have you ever gotten a PR or a great result and still were bummed?
I actually went to sleep after 10:00 PM last night, because I knew I wouldn’t be running this morning, or tomorrow. 2 days straight of no running or working out, brought to me by tapering.
I didn’t drink coffee for breakfast today.
No, not because I didn’t need it due to waking up 2 hours later than usual, but because I wanted to drink my new health elixir (aka green juice), which a coworker brings me to work, on an empty stomach.
I had the juice when I got to the office at 08:30, and a granola bar about half an hour later. Gave the juice some time to work its magic on me.
I wonder if it makes a difference to drink it on an empty stomach or not, but it usually doesn’t happen that I come to work without first having breakfast and going for a run, so today was a good day to try.
I’m no longer able to drink office coffee, it’s just too bad, so that’s how “no coffee” happened this morning.
I saw a really good tip on Single-Tracked Mind’s blog about withdrawing caffeine for a couple days before a race, and then drinking coffee on race morning to get an extra boost, so I thought I might give that a try for my 10K race on Saturday, since I had one morning of no coffee under my belt already.
However at noon I made an emergency call to a friend to go out for coffee, yep, I’m addicted I guess. I couldn’t stand the headache any longer, which of course went away after the first sip.
See the empty coffee cup? It took me about 30 seconds to finish it.
Coffee and ice cream loading with a good friend. It made me happy.
And then I got an email about the race I’m running on Saturday, letting me know of my bib number: 888.
OMG. Is that a cool number or what? Now I have to rock that race. The best bib number I’ll ever get just cannot go wasted.
According to a random blog on the internet, 888 is the luckiest number in Chinese numerology. I will be able to confirm or refute that piece of information on Saturday morning.
Are you physically addicted to coffee? From all the bib numbers you got, do you have a favorite?