speedwork

Back on track

Today was my first time at the track in forever. I did a 5K speed workout to get ready for the 5K I run almost every summer in my hometown (it’s July 4). I would not say I have been specifically training for it but I thought it might be useful to do a little prep since I haven’t done a 5K since March and I’m rusty. Last year I ran a 29:55 unofficial (they NEVER PUT UP THE RESULTS) which was a course PR and 18 seconds off my 5K PR. This year I’m going to try to PR because, heck, why not?

The workout was: 8-10 repeats of 1 minute at goal pace, 1 minute recovery jog. My goal pace overall for the 5K is 9:30 so I tried to run these between 9:00 and 9:30 pace. In retrospect, maybe too big a window? Paces for splits were as follows: 9:20, 9:04, 8:51 (too fast), 9:09, 9:05, 9:25, 9:28, 9:22, 9:07. I had a lot of trouble with finding the pace – on all of these I went out too fast, and repeats 6-8 where I thought I was running more evenly, I think I was just running slower. Still, after the first one (which was a little shock to the system) I felt they were fast but not all-out-gonna-die fast.

What makes all this pace talk somewhat irrelevant is that the 5K in question is very hilly (almost no flat portions), so it’s unlikely I will be running 9:30 pace for any of it; I’ll just be trying to hammer the downhills and hang on for the uphills. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ At least I feel like I’m doing something.

Unlike most mornings I wrote this over a nice leisurely breakfast because I didn’t have to be in till 9:30. It would be nice if I had this schedule all the time, but I would probably waste that time (took me FOREVER to stop dawdling and get out the door today).

Anyone use SmartCoach?

I’m using SC to train for my first race of the year. I may have been too conservative with my 5K time. I’ve only been running half-assed for almost 8 months since the ankle break. This is the 2nd week of the training plan.

Today was Speedwork
Distance: 5 mi
Pace: Warm: 2x1600 w/800 jogs; Cool

I haven’t done 1600’s in over a year, so I was nervous if I would be able to do the goal pace.

Shaved off 39 seconds! Woot!

There is hope that I will be able to get my speed back and hopefully without injury!

Yee Haw!

These are my new kicks. Ignore the bulging vein. What’s up with that?!

P.S. It was 48 degrees outside. I do believe that is my perfect running temperature.

so at run club today i told the speed workout coach that he should totally kick it up a notch, and that i expect my innards to be spewing all over the track for the speed workout tuesday (this is roughly the PG version of what i actually said).

TOTALLY can’t wait for tuesday. may have to make sure i get extra rest before then too.

Two workouts for the price of one? I was going to do 12x400m at the track in the morning, but rain pushed that to the evening and unfortunately a lacrosse game later was the other shoe to drop.

I decided to do 6 easy miles instead. Alas I saw the game was over on my way back. I’d already run almost 5 miles. Could I still fit in the speedwork before the sun went down? Why not?

79.4 81.5 79.9 80.8
78.3 78.7 78.8 78.5
78.5 79.6 78.6 79.4

I was shooting for 80 (5:20/mi), so this was a success. All said and done I ran 10.5. Certainly not what I expected when I went to bed last night!

Three good things

Later this month, I get to attend some focus groups for personal trainers for work. My department is managing the project overall and my manager put me in charge of pulling all the strings in the right direction. (I don’t actually get to ask the questions or anything. Still it’s VERY cool.) 

I’m cat-sitting for a friend so last night I went to her place, fed the cat, changed, ran to the track to do my speedwork, ran back and let the cat sit on me and head-butt me till I pet her. She’s so cute and bossy. I was hesitant to volunteer for this job because I’ve never had or lived with a cat (unlike, conservatively, 90% of my friends here) but so far so good! 

On Sunday I’m running a 10K. The race itself will probably not be so fun; it’s either going to rain or be disgustingly humid the whole time. But I’m happy because this is a race my husband picked out and decided he wanted to train for, and I’m just going along for the ride. I worry that I imposed this hobby on him (well, I kind of did) and that I would make him hate it, but he has taken to it in his own way. I’m happy that we can do it together. Now I just have to figure out if I can beat him! 

Do you know the 3 types of runs you should be doing every week in order to improve as a runner? These are them. 🏃

Interval runs: Speedwork improves your race pace as well as your post-workout calorie burn. 🔥 There are so many different ways to approach it, so don’t be intimidated if you’re a beginner!

Long runs: This is in the middle because it’s the bread-and-butter of most runners who are training for distance races. Long runs build endurance and the mental strength to know that you will be able to make it through race day, because you made it through training 🤔

Tempo runs: These faster-paced, but not race-pace sessions, are one of the secrets of Kenyan running success. Train your body to hold a sustained effort and your lactate threshold will improve. 💪

If you have more than 3 days available a week to run, that’s great! Just make them easy runs. 😉

5

Glad I went through with my decision to run (NOT race) the Laurel House 5K this morning. Zero leg problems, my first sub-8 miles since Buffalo Half, and a surprisingly well-organized event! Aimed for ~7:30 pace, but was prepared to pull back if needed.
Mile 1: Hot, sunny, and uphill. Passed a lot of people who went out too fast before we even hit halfway up the hill. I was already glad I wasn’t competing because I was toasty! 7:19
Mile 2: Flat/downhill and in my groove for this race. I wasn’t feeling great in terms of breathing, but also haven’t done speedwork in months at this point or run double digits in 2 weeks. 7:22
Mile 3: Rough. Just really really rough. Contemplated stopping, but didn’t. Man are these comebacks tricky! 7:24
Finish: 22:50 - 20th overall, 3rd female, 1st in AG
Hot, sunny, sweaty, and mostly feeling better about my mysterious injury. It started in Newark, so I guess we’re finishing it there too? I’m feeling ready to ease back into my “normal” training schedule and chase more PRs. Hard race, zero regrets ✌🏼

WORKOUT ROUTINE

Since I get asked this a lot, I figured why not make this wonderful convinient one-stop shop for all my wonderful and supportive followers? :D This page will be periodically updated.

First of all, everyone is different. I want to stress the importance of sticking what works for you. This is what worked for me, and I hope you find what works for you. :) You can also find everything I did every day since December 2013 when I first made this blog if you go under my “diary” tab on desktop.

http://irungracepace.tumblr.com/tagged/diary

I credit all my accomplishments in the year of 2014 to my change in mindset. The most important principle if you want to achieve anything in life is happiness. If you don’t enjoy what you do, then you won’t do it so you won’t improve. Pain is a major barrier for most people. Associate that with happiness because pain is an indication that you’re achieving all that is possible in that given moment and isn’t that just fantastic??

This post is about how I changed my mindset: :)

http://irungracepace.tumblr.com/post/86711151312/1-how-to-be-happy-recently-ive-been-trying-to

I also think my post about how to achieve your goals complements my post:

http://irungracepace.tumblr.com/post/86939337242/2-how-to-be-productive-productivity-is-one-of

I would also like to stress the importance of sleep and recovery. When I start feeling something, I shut it down and cross train until it’s completely gone. I also take at least one rest day every week. On rest days, I’ll go on a short 20-30 min walk with my mother or lightly cross train.

Part one: Running!

You can find my thoughts/reflection of each season on the “about me” tab if you go on my blog on desktop.

http://irungracepace.tumblr.com/aboutme

This is so important to me: I love races because I love making friends from other schools. Ever since I started going up to people and introducing myself and warming up/cooling down with them. Now races seem like I’m not running against people, I’m running with my friends and we’re helping each other to achieve our goals. People are no longer intimidating.

This is what I think about during races:

http://irungracepace.tumblr.com/post/106378282847/what-do-you-think-about-during-races

I ended cross country 2013 with a 9th place finish at Junior Olympic Nationals in San Antonio and took a two week break from running. When I take breaks from running, I always cross train. I find it difficult to go through my days without doing anything because exercise feels liberating to me. During this time, I swam almost every day since it was finals week and school ended earlier and winter break, so I had time. I also ellipticalled/went on the strider machine at the YMCA, What I’m doing this year is also relatively the same.

When I got back to running, I started my first week alternating between 2-3 miles each day, and the next two weeks 3-4 and slowly up from there. It’s important to build up slow so you won’t get injured since your body isn’t as used to using those muscles again yet.

January:

For the month of January, it was just mileage and no speedwork. In track, we tend to do more speedwork on the track, rather than hill repeats. We’ve done less than 5 sessions in the hills throughout the whole season. In the beginning of the season, we started with longer workouts, more focused on building a strong base. By April/May, the workouts got shorter and faster.

In January, I also swam on the weekends and cross trained on my stationary bike at home since I wasn’t running as much. Cross training really helps build base without the pounding on the pavement of running.

Febuary:

An example of a workout we did in Febuary would be something like 1600/1200/800/400 twice through. To be honest, I know this might be important, but I never really pay attention control what pace I run, so I always run however I feel like. We would also do hill sometimes and long runs in the hills. I don’t remember any my splits, but if you’re ever curious, everything I do is recorded under my “diary” tab.

Our hill repeat workout is always relatively the same. We use the same 400m hill and run it 5-6 times with 400m recovery jog. I usually run continuously but some people rest in between.

March:

This is when racing season starts. When racing season starts, I stop cross training and only run/blogilates until the end of the season. We did lots of 1200/800/400s and hill repeats here and there. I started with my season with all PR’s! I ran my mile in 5:20 (previously 5:38) and 2 mile in 11:16 (previously 11:48) and I was so happy and pumped about the whole season!!

April:

We also did lots of 1200/800/400 but less hills. During March/April, we typically have a dual meet on Thursday and an invitational on Saturday, so we probably did one or none workout a week. I plataued this month, staying at around 5:20/11:16

May:

Suddenly at league finals I ran 5:08 (8 second PR in one week) and 11:04 (10 second PR) all in one day! I was thinking happy thoughts the whole time during the race! I’ve never doubled 1600/3200 before and this gave me so much confidence. The workout on the Tuesday I did right before CCS Finals on Friday when I ran 10:54 was 8x400 with one min rest in between each one, to kinda simulate the race. I think I averaged around 73-75.

June:

I took two weeks off from running again and swam almost every day. I swam almost every day the whole summer since I had time. I also biked a lot on my stationary bike. I usually attended summer cross country practice in the morning and went swimming in the afternoons for most the days this summer.

July:

I attended a Nike cross country camp at Stanford and met and ran with lots of cool people! I noticed that almost everyone had a garmin, or some kind of watch that measures and times the distance you run. I also attended another camp, Coach Dudley’s summer cross country boot camp, and met lots of runners from the CCS section! I highly recommend that camp to anyone that lives in my area because I had a great time making friends my competitors. Coach Dudley is a really passionate and experienced about distance running and he also sends great information regarding training and nutrition. I can tell he’s doing this from passion.

Lots of people there also owned garmins, and I thought it was so cool how it would beep at every mile and give you a split, I was inspired to get one myself. After getting one, I noticed that I run all my runs a lot faster since it’s so satisfying to see nice numbers. My goal was to get all my runs under 8:00 pace.

During the whole summer, it was just mileage and no track workouts. I also ran in the hills a lot, and I heard that hills are speedwork in disguise, but I never ran them hard. I ran an average of 4-5 miles a day. I cross train for longer than I run because it helps me build up my cardiovascular system without all the pounding on my legs to reduce injury.

August:

I ran a road race for the first time, called the “Dammit Run,” which is a 5 mile hilly and rocky course up a dam and down. I won my age division (2nd female overall) with a 6:43 pace and even ran one of my miles under 6:00 and I thought that was so cool since I didn’t feel like I was in race shape at all and my garmin really motivated me throughout the whole race.

When school and official practice started, we mostly did hill repeats, and I think we only did one track workout for this whole month.

September:

I had to miss my first race because I felt something in my hamstring and decided to be smart about it. I took four days off and a week later, we had a meet at our home course, and I ran close to my PR.

When racing starts, I stop cross training and only run. My mileage is also slightly higher. We mostly did hill repeats and minimal track work this month.

October:

Same as September, but more track work towards the end.

November:

The hill repeats have disappeared and all workout days were all on the flat track. We did long intervals, in contrast to track season. We did 1.5-2 mile tempo runs, (actually the first time I’ve ever done a tempo run), mile repeats (5:35-5:45 avg), and my favorite: 1600/1200/800/400 twice through.

My runs also got slower as the season prolonged, averaging 8:30 pace in contrast to the under 8:00 paces over the summer. I think my coach really likes really distinct easy and hard/quality days and I think it works for me as well.

The week before leagues, I started to feel something on the area behind my left knee, so I decided to be smart and take 4 rest days that week and had to miss another race. Then I ran 17:55 at Crystal Springs, a 15 second PR from a few weeks ago. Crystal Springs is a hilly course comparable to Mt. Sac. This reminds me the importance of rest and recovery.

We did a 1.5 mile tempo the Monday before CCS (saturday) and I felt really flat for the whole week. My legs felt like they were stuck in one speed and I couldn’t make myself go any faster. I was predicted and mentally prepared to earn CCS champion, but lost it in the last 200m. I felt burnt out and so ready for my season to be over as much as I love running.

Sure, I was disappointed at first, but I learned so much from the outcome:

http://irungracepace.tumblr.com/post/103016205372/ccs-race-recap-reflection

The Wednesday before State (Saturday), I ran the fastest mile I’ve ever ran at practice- 5:26 and it made me happy. I surprised myself with a 10th place finish, running 18:08.56 (yeah they rounded it to 18:09 but that time looks more glamourous).

What I’ve done differently for state is that I took Thursday off and ran the course on Friday. Sweet tomatoes is my favorite place to go for my pre race dinner. I ate three potatoes the night before and one the day of.

December:

After state, my enthusiasm for running was suddenly refilled. I signed up for Footlocker West senior race (I am eternally grateful for my father to convince me to go for the seeded) the second I got home. There was only one week in between state and footlocker, and my workout was 4x800m. I averaged 2:38-2:45 in the wind and rain.

For Footlocker West, I repeated the same thing I did for state- taking Thursday off and ate at sweet tomatoes again. 3 potatoes and night before, and one the day of.

Since school uniforms weren’t allowed, I ran for a club, BB Racing, and got to wear this cool bright pink uniform. It felt nice running with a team, and everyone there was so friendly. :)

During the whole race, I stayed around 15th place or so, and passed 6 people in the last 800m, finishing in 9th, with a spot to adnvance to Footlocker Nationals! This is the biggest accomplishment of my life.

I did the same 4x800m workout again, but this time, I couldn’t run as fast. I think I used up all my energy in that kick because I ended up running my slowest 5k this season there. I still had a great time meeting and running with the fastest high schoolers in the nation and several olympians.

As of now, I took two weeks off from that, and now I’m slowly building up my mileage, and I plan to repeat what I did last track season. :)

PART TWO: Cross training!

  1. Blogilates! I love the weekly videos Cassey puts out on youtube and I really respect her for her passion for wanting to help everyone achieve their goals.

I try to do at least one from each every day! I don’t follow any weekly schedule, I just do what I feel like on that day. I workout for around 30-60 mins every morning, depending on how much time I have! The only days when I don’t are race days, otherwise, this is year-round! Planks are my favorite since they strengthen all those wonderful muscles!! vI try to do at least one from each every day!

total body/core:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVdng_dq-sE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8tbcQPRJOc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70a_WjtgF6I

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZX1Xf59bgQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUgcHQJuQys

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUOySFM5HWc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cN0aR3m_0c0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5aU3kLmX60

abs:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOKsHrvPNVk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0d0EH8-fVk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yv4sbu1nda8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=od0j4aNDGKM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1DS7G9OjfQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F86P28wBVIM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7u_sdYNS_k

lower body:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHn-oT3CEF4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7I-c-yw5ZrQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3HT9B4-fbk

My favorites:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVdng_dq-sE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOKsHrvPNVk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8tbcQPRJOc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70a_WjtgF6I

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHn-oT3CEF4

I’m also a huge fan of FitnessBlender’s plank workout!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DNN9a5pU2A

2. Cycling!

During this summer, before cross country 2014, I did more cross training on my stationary bike than I did running and it really helped me build an awesome base without the pounding. I finished the season mostly injury free, and could afford more rest days just in case something small was coming up. When I took time off during the season for injury prevention, I cycled to substitute for running. I also used to take cycling class at the YMCA, but I get bored with just music playing, and I always have to be on my phone or reading a book.

3. Swimming/Elliptical

I swim for 30-60 mins non stop of mostly freestyle, and breathstroke for recovery. I breathe after every 5-7 strokes, because I feel like it helps increase my lung capacity which helps with running. I only swim during the off season. I used to be able to swim for longer, but I just can’t stand the mind numbing monotony of the pool floor.

I usually only go on the elliptical if I’m waiting for my mother or feel tired that day. I’m always reading a book as well.

During the off season, I never have training plans. I do whatever I feel like for however long I feel like that day. Only when racing starts is when I make sure I follow a training plan closely.

4. Troubleshooting (Injury alert!)

I stretch at home after I take a shower for around 5 mins. I like doing the splits because it gets my hamstrings and lots calf stretches because I have a history of shin splints. This is pretty much all I do if I’m not sore/injured. Maybe I should add daily foam rolling.

When I’m sore after a hard workout/race, I foam roll and stretch a lot. I also soak my legs in boiled ginger because it’s supposed to have warming phytochemicals that increase your blood circulation according to Chinese medicine. I also get a wonderful massage from my lovely mother afterwards.

When I’m feeling an injury budding, I I’ve for the first 24 hours and heat until it’s over. I’ve never taken an ice bath before. I also go see a Chinese doctor who gives me painful but satisfying deep tissue massage.

Freezing a Dixie cup also helps you get into small areas

During cross country 2013 (first season back from injury) I would also go for acupuncture every few weeks, but I haven’t done that ever since.

More life tips by me!

http://irungracepace.tumblr.com/tagged/advice


I hope you found this useful and let me know if you would like me to do anything else like this in the future!! I love giving back to my wonderful supporters because you guys motivate me to be at my best every day <3

While I don’t post my daily workouts anymore (and I haven’t in a while), they still happen. Usually. I just think workout posts are boring for everyone – me as the author of this blog, and you as the reader of it. I have a written daily log (with no gaps!) going back to October, which is when I decided to spend $2 and buy myself a pretty purple notebook. I like it very much! ANYWAY.

Generally speaking, since I quit CrossFit this past winter, I have still been pretty active – lots of gym-ing, hiking, running, canyoneering, skiing, etc – but I haven’t been lifting with as much consistency as I was when I was hitting 2-3 WODs a week. I didn’t notice a large change in body composition, but I probably was losing some strength, especially considering I took a bunch of time off from everything when I sprained both of my MCLs.

More recently, though, I haven’t been doing much of anything. Until today, I hadn’t lifted in about a month and a half. To be honest, I was more worried about things like being able to crawl out of bed and get myself to work. Showering. Eating food. Not being a vapid humanoid. I did my best to be conscious of my activity, but I didn’t stress about it. I slept so poorly for most of May that by the time my work day ended, I would need to nap once I got home. It was so gross. I hate that. May fucking sucked.

And you know, I see absolutely nothing wrong with this. I was prioritizing my mental and physical health in the best way that I could, and I think I did a pretty darn good job of it. All things considered, between the first Friday in May and now, I climbed three mountains, went on five other hikes (two of which were failed summit attempts), six walks, five runs, biked once, rowed once, gave blood once, took five days to let inflammation in my back calm down, and otherwise “rested” 16 days. While my muscles may not have needed those rest days, I certainly did mentally. You have to consider the whole human.

While I don’t begrudge myself for refocusing my priorities, my everything is squishy now. Like literally. My clothes still fit, but they’re a little tighter than they were a month or two ago. I don’t normally weigh myself, and I did a couple of days ago: solid 187, which is actually what I weighed back in February/March. The difference being that my body composition has changed, and my 187 pounds now take up more space than they used to. This is why we give zero fucks about the scale, and why we just pay attention to how we feel.

Anyway, I’m sleeping better now, I’m mentally in a better place, and [barring occasional stabbing feelings in my sacrum*] I’m ready to get back at it and have some muscle back under my skin instead of these sad marshmallows I’ve been carrying around.

Warmup

  • 1.0 mile, 11:56. (Niiiice and easy. Running fast hurt you, let’s not cause a flare up.)

Hang Power Cleans

  • 1x10 @ 45#
  • 1x7 @ 55#
  • 5x5 @ 65# (It’s okay that when you did these 90 days ago you were at 85#. It’s okay. It’s fine. Shhh. Patience.)

Mobility

  • 20x bodyweight squats
  • hip openers

Stronglifts: Back Squat

  • 1x10 @ 45#
  • 5x5 @ 45# (easy peasy, lemon squeazy) 

Stronglifts: Push Press

  • 5x5 @ 45# (lolol yeah, not doing strict presses)

Stronglifts: Deadlift

  • 1x5 @ 95# (Easy, but: ABOOORRRRRT. Your back does not like this. Tastes like regret. Do not repeat.)

I’m being dramatic, obviously, but after today’s sad, reintroductory workout, it is evident how much strength I have lost. My legs are JELL-O. Cue the tiny violins.

I decided to do Stronglifts, because it starts out with super light weight, and adds very gradually with each workout. Seeing as though I am out of the habit, this seems the smartest route.

And I did the cleans just because I love them.

*I have determined that my pinched nerve was caused by speed work. I felt a twisty/stabbing feeling at the end of my intervals two Mondays ago, and the same thing happened during some speedwork in early March… ugh. So no more of that.