Week 8 Interlude

My usual routine is like this, on a non-race week with a long run:

Monday: 8.92 miles, which is home to the bridge (a few blocks away), then back and forth over the bridge three times, in fartlek mode (90 seconds full speed, 90 seconds off, give or take).

Tuesday: 10.45 miles, from home up around the factories to Hazen and back.

Weds: I do my best to drag myself all the way to the track. Depending on the workout, it's between 7.59 and 8.84 miles. It was 7.84 this week.

Thursday: Same idea as Tuesday, 10.53 miles, from home down into BK to just past the Navy Yard and back.

Friday: Usually 7.5, sometimes a few on the elliptical to give myself a break. If I do anything on the elliptical, I finish by going full speed balls out on the treadmill so it's a real workout.

Saturday: Long run, focused on staying in the 7:15 range, 20 miles this week.

Sunday: Same as Friday.

Put it all together (including yoga, meditation, and frequent but short weight-lifting) and that's my life and routine.

I wanted to mention Tuesday and Thursday today. Both days, I don't actually turn on the pace function on my watch. I only keep my watch with me so I don't coast for too long and get home so late that I have to rush to work. But I have a vague time goal. Both runs are more or less the same length, and more or less the same difficulty (the Thursday one is a little harder because there's a bridge involved and more traffic).

I'm not at any point pushing myself to anything close to race speed (under 7), but even in this heat, if I'm focused, I run in the 7:30 range. And a curious thing happens: I always get to the halfway point later than I want to, and then I turn back around and I run much faster on the way home.

Today, for example, I started off at a good clip, but I got to the halfway point at 39 minutes. 39 minutes for 5.26 miles is about 7:24/mile. And then I turned around and proceeded to run the same distance in 37:40, which is 7:08 per mile. Mind you, it's very humid (and warm), I was presumably tired, and I didn't really do anything different. Yeah, I specifically tried to speed up at the very end, with a mile left. But I didn't feel the extra speed in my chest at all: I just focused.

Focus and consistent training is everything, at least for me. 

Even when I ran my absolutely fastest marathons, in 2015, my long runs that summer were very, very slow, at about an 8:00 pace. I didn't really do anything long and fast aside from the other races. I should be in a much better position to take my long run speed and just lop off 30-35 seconds per mile than the 2 minutes I tried to cut off (almost successfully) in 2015.

Here's hoping the shorter races prove to be positive omens.

 

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Justin Gerald

Age: 28 Hometown: NYC Location: NYC Career: Education Undergrad: Princeton Grad: New School Likes: Cooking, Baseball, Socializing, Parks, Pop Culture, Feminism Loves: Traveling, Running, Lifting, Trivia, Teaching, Equality