I volunteered at the Mighty Magnolia on Saturday. It was tough watching the athletes. I wanted to be out there. The weather was beautiful. I think I could have competed well.
When I got home from the race I was a little bummed out. I decided to jump on the trainer and smash out a workout. I loaded up a difficult session. It would be 3 x 6 minutes at a challenging wattage. The recovery would be relatively short at 3 minutes. If you remember I was first successful with this workout at the beginning of the summer. I have since failed twice.
I killed the workout out. Yes it was tough but I was able to complete it. However, there were a couple of different variables. First, my heart rate monitor was not working. In addition, my Garmin malfunctioned. One of the buttons got stuck. I could not see my heart rate – not on my computer (hooked to the trainer) or on my Garmin. I was riding blind. I also decided to pedal at a lower cadence so that I could start to build some leg strength.
So I do not know how hard I was working but I was able to complete the session. Once again, I would not say that it was easy but it was achievable. I was satisfied with the effort.
On Sunday I had a solid run. I have been trying to add some speed into my workouts. I have a half marathon at the end of the month. I will be using this race to base my training for the next few months. I believe that my running is improved from this time last year and it should allow for me to build on this base.
Instead of running by pace I decided to mix it up and run by my LTHR. I had previously determined this level by my average heart rate at my last 5k (the pump and run). My LT zone was 175 – 185 beats per minute. I started out on my run at my easy pace – about 8 minutes per mile. I then picked up the pace and tried to keep my heart rate in the mid 170’s.
I ran the next 8 miles at this hard level. This level starts out comfortably hard and then slowly increases to hard. I tried to my pace and just concentrate on the heart rate and rate of perceived exertion. I continued along just running hard. My heart rate climbed a little bit as the run went on but I was successful. After the 8 miles at pace I slowed it down for the last mile. I completed the run on 1:10:24 for an average pace of 7:02. I have run 10 miles at 7 minutes per mile pace before – a couple of times. This can be hard but it is achievable – even in training. However, I was pleased with the 8 miles at speed. I completed the 8 miles with an average heart rate of 172 BPM in 53:46 (6:43 minute per mile). Now this was a training run and in a race situation I should be able to push a little bit harder and a little bit further. On the flip side, I only ran 8 miles – about 5.1 miles short of the goal. I have 20 more days to put it all together.
All in all, I am faster than a year ago but I still have my work cut out for me.