Sunday, November 1, 2009

Favorite Workouts

I'm taking time to rest, both my broken toe and my body, but I'm excited as hell for training to begin again. When I started my MCM training, an 8-minute mile was really pushing it. I remember thinking it was too fast, too hard, and I would never get used to it. On race day, I averaged a 7:40 minute mile. I think the key was running race pace, and sub-race pace as much as possible so that I got used to it. So, here's a list of my favorite workouts!
  • Hill workout. I love hills. Some say they're a speed-workout in disguise, but a hill is one way to wipe me out completely that my recovery is actually needed. 
  • Hilly speed-workout. Most of the time, I keep my pace even to slow on hills, but actually trying to speed up them=awesome. It's just absolutely brutal.
  • Stairs. I love incorporating stairs into my workouts, especially the Memorial Bridge stairs. I want to try out running up the stairs to the Capitol Building, and then down Capitol Hill. I do stairs a LOT, so this really could have been a major key.
  • Mile repeats. These are not fun at all. I actually call them mile repeats, but do 0.82 mile repeats since it works out best on the National Mall. But hey, they work!
  • Yasso 800s. I really love the 800 meter distance for speed workout, and these are just so much fun. You shoot for 800 meters in your hour:minute goal. For example, I want to run a 2:58 at Boston, so I would shoot for 800 meters in 2 minutes, 58 seconds, and then recover for that long. I start with four in the beginning of training, and then build up to 10 at a time.
  • Tempo Runs. My favorite way to do these is to just rock out the chorus during the song and stick to the song pace. The best songs on my playlist for this are Total Eclipse of the Heart and 7 Things... I stole them from spinning classes.
  • Mile alternates between race pace/30 seconds sub-race pace. I swear this is what made me so speedy at MCM. I like doing at least 10 miles of these, with one mile warm up and cool down, and then all the other miles alternating between race pace and 30 seconds sub-race pace. For MCM it was 8:00/7:30. Now, its 6:50/6:20. Holy shit. Well, I'll work up to that... eventually...
  • Progression runs. LOVE! Especially when they are super long. Basically, you find a loop that you can do 3-4 times and get faster each time. My favorite place is the National Mall with loops at race pace, then 15 sec faster, then another 15 seconds faster. With a mile warm up and cool down it was a solid 14 mile run. 
  • Long Runs. I love going out for a good long run, but a lot of people run these too slow. I did my first half at a pace 20-30 seconds slower than race pace, then the last half sped up to race pace, and then rocked the last 3-5 miles out even faster. Yum!
For "easy runs" I still try to run close to race pace. I think my 16-mile run at race pace, the morning after an evening run with alternate miles 8:00/7:30 was my toughest workout, and I can't wait to do it again!

Happy resting!

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