There’s nothing like seeing results
I enjoy my training. It gets me active, outside, and away from my bar study books that loom over my head like a dark cloud whenever I’m in my house (and more like a lightning storm when I try to ignore them). With that said, sometimes it can be hard to keep focused on training when you don’t have a race in the immediate future. With my nearest race three months out, this recovery/testing week has made things even more difficult for me because I haven’t been in a constant routine of training.
However, days like today make it all worth it. This afternoon was my test run and it went rather well in my opinion. I opted to do the 30 minute test to ensure that my threshold heart rate was still in the same ballpark from the last time I tested it. Joe Friel describes this test perfectly when he says “it’s a simple test, but not an easy one.” Running all out for 30 minutes is quite a task. My pace started to fall a bit towards the end, but I was able to keep my pace fairly stable throughout the entire test and was able to finish it.
The results, however, are what have me happy. I did this same test three weeks prior on a fairly similar day. Today was a little bit windier outside, but I figure since I did an out and back any effect of the wind will be more or less cancelled out. Three weeks ago I covered 3.7 miles in the 30 minutes, or a pace of 8:05 a mile (7.4 mph). Today, I covered 4 miles in that same amount of time, or a 7:32 mile pace (8 mph).
I am very happy with these results! Not necessarily with the time itself (I’d definitely like to get it a bit quicker and then be able to hold that), but with the fact that in three weeks I’ve stripped 30 seconds off my mile time. What’s even better is that I haven’t necessarily been focusing on my speed or race pace training. My running over the past three weeks has been mainly endurance runs with a few hilly runs and a few speed work efforts on the treadmill mixed in. Throughout all of these runs, however, I’ve been focusing on increasing my run efficiency by keeping my run cadence at about 90 right foot strikes per minute.
I’m hoping to get my pace sub-7:00 over the course of a 10K prior to my first race. I know this won’t be easy, but it will give me something to work towards. I’m starting my Base 3 period tomorrow and will begin integrating cruise intervals into my training. These workouts will not be easy…but I know they’ll work!
Smile. It’s a great day…