I was not able to get a trainer ride in on Wednesday morning and I even skipped the STADIUMS at lunch. I was planning for a ‘BREAKTHROUGH’ running session. I was not sure if this would be mile repeats or a hard tempo run pushing my anaerobic threshold. Either of these are hard runs.
I decided on the tempo run on the treadmill. The treadmills are getting a little bit old at the gym. I always use the same one but it was occupied. It took me a total of three attempts to get a treadmill that would 1. Turn on and 2. Let me set the incline (I always set the incline to 1).
I was all set to go and I thought that I could do a 4 mile tempo run at the pace that I last did mile repeats. I ran 3 x 1 mile @ 6:30 with a quarter mile recovery in between on Saturday. I remember this being challenging but achievable. Last spring I PR’d in the 5K with a 19:09 which equates to a 6:09 pace. That was really fast for me – obviously it was fast for me - it was a PR. But it was fast for me because I was pacing off of someone that I knew and I used them to get that PR. This just does not happen in training. In addition, I feel a bit slower than last year after training so much for ironman. Anyway, I thought that 4 miles at a 6:30 pace would be hard but achievable. I was wrong! I was wrong on a couple of levels. I was not willing to get into the RED zone – the deep RED zone anyway. I wanted to stay at or just barely above my anaerobic threshold. I know that I can average in the low 170’s while running hard for 30 minutes and averaging my heart rate for the last 20 minutes. In the last half marathon I ran (2 weeks ago) with an average heart rate of 168 (with a max at the end of the race at 186). This means that much of that run was in the mid 160’s and the level of exertion was picked up at the end (at mile 11 to be exact). A heart rate in the 160’s is a comfortably hard level for me.
For this tempo run I tried to keep my heart rate between 172 – 175. This is obviously just a little too high for me right now – I can hold it there for a while in a race but not on a treadmill in the middle of the day. I think that I need to back off of the speed in the tempo run and bring it up slowly (last Friday morning after warm up I ran 4 miles at an average pace of 6:52 with an average heart rate of 178 – and a MAX at 185). As much as I hate to say it - This week’s run was just a little too much too soon.
A little frustrated having only run 2 miles at the pace that I wanted I decided to ride the trainer after work. I geared up and set the trainer up for a steady zone 2 ride for 45 minutes. The DVD was on and I was ready. I made it about 5 minutes and then I aborted. My legs were burning at what should have been a pretty easy steady state ride. I gave myself a break and would let the legs have a rest.
I got up this morning and tried the same trainer workout again with much better success. While it was not SUPER easy - all cylinders were firing as they should be. I clocked off the 45 minutes. A good night’s rest makes a huge difference.