Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Natural Air

On my way home from work a van went through the intersection in front of me. On the side of the van were the words: Natural Air Purifiers, Mother Nature's Little Helper. The thing that struck me as odd; the driver of the van was smoking a cigarette. Ironic?

Today I got back to speed work. There had been no rain since Sunday so the track had pretty much dried out. Corner #3 was a little rutted with footprints from people using the track when it was too wet. This corner seems to collect more water than the other three. I took my warm up run over there nice and slow. I tried hard to keep my breathing easy.

I did 6 440 repeats, followed by 6 easy laps. The speed laps varied from 1:56, my first lap to 1:47, my last lap. I felt really good. In the past I was beat at the end of each lap and walked around the first curve before beginning the easy lap. Today, I had no problem getting to the end of the lap and just kept right on with the easy lap. I didn't feel like I was gasping for breath or that my legs were about to fall off. I definitely enjoyed the fact that this seemed to be getting easier and that my body was getting used to this kind of training. I didn't realize until now that it has been a month since my last speed session. I definitely want to try to keep this up since I have the 5K's coming up the first weekend of the next months.

Today someone sent me a link to a pace calculator in Runners World online. The calculator determines the pace that you should run specific types of workouts based on a reasonable time for any given distance. I put in my time for the 8K race from a couple of week ago and come up with the following suggestions:

Your easy run training pace is: 9:51 min/mile
Your tempo run training pace is: 8:13 min/mile
Your maximum oxygen training pace is: 7:25 min/mile
Your speed form training pace is: 6:52 min/mile
Your long run training pace is: 9:51 - 11:06 min/mile
Your Yasso 800s training pace is: 3:48 min/800

I don't naturally run any of these times. My normal pace is 8:30 to 9:00 most of the time. Based on this table most of my runs are approaching tempo pace. I'm not sure I could make myself run 9:51 on an easy or long run, unless I was running hills and trails. Does an nearly 10:00 pace seem reasonable for a long run. I'm afraid that if I trained at that pace, then that's the pace I would run in a marathon. When I recalculated using my best marathon time, all the paces get even slower by about 30 seconds/mile. Should I try to do my long runs at a slower pace? Would this mean that I'll have more "race" left in my legs come marathon day?

Running can be so simple and so complex at the same time.

8 comments:

Robb said...

There is a wealth of stuff out there. Dozens of programs and plans that all seem to make sense. I've been sampling a bit of everything, but with a grain of salt. And, great irony with that 'Natural Air' story. That is pretty funny!

robtherunner said...

I agree with Robb about the variety of training programs. The Portland Marathon training program calls for running your long runs at about 1-2 minutes slower than projected marathon pace. My first year when my goal was to break 4 hours, which is just a bit over 9 minute pace the group long run for those who wanted to run a 4 hour marathon was a 10:30 pace.

I tend to run long runs a bit slower than marathon pace, but I like to get some faster work in as well. Good luck on figuring it all out and experimenting.

angie's pink fuzzy said...

Well, I guess the Natural Air guy has to show his customers how well his product works?

Liv said...

I know what you mean... when I plug my race times into those calcs, my projected "easy" pace is absurdly slow, but I have a hard time keeping up with the recommended "tempo" pace. I guess it all calls for a little adjustment.

Anne said...

I've often wondered about the much slower paces for long distance runs. The idea is to focus on "time on feet" rather than time between miles. But I've never been able to miraculously ramp up my pace a minute per mile faster during the marathon, even with speedier workouts throughout the week.

Rae said...

All of those calculators drive me batty. My fastest half time was right at 2 and it said for my marathon I should double that and add 10 mins. For my first M there was NO way I could do that! I'm sure after running more of them that would be a very reasobable thing to use, but not for the first time!

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Jerome said...

HAHAHa.. that's really contrasting.
Great that you always have time in that thing, unlike me who is always busy in work if not in office, in our house. It's so hard to skip the works at the office and at our house that's why I really don't have time for doing such warm up like running for body's air conditioning.