Monday, March 25, 2013

Trying To Get Speedy

I've got a fairly light marathon schedule in 2013 compared to recent years.  In fact, I'll probably try to add another race in the early fall or late summer, but those are always hard to find.  One of the reasons I toned down my long race schedule is to try to accomplish some shorter race goals.  Specifically, whittling a little off of my half-marathon time.  So in a few weeks, Michael and I will run in the One America 500 Festival Mini Marathon in Indianapolis, where hopefully I will do just that.

When I've been in shape in the past, I felt like I could throw down a low 1:30's in a half marathon without much trouble at all.  But the problem is this ... I'm in decent shape right now as far as endurance, but a winter's worth of ultra-marathon training at a slower than normal pace seems like it has really sapped my speed.   I just can't seem to get it going.

Granted, my legs are still a little wobbly from running 36.6 miles last weekend ... the furthest I've ever been. But besides that, they just don't seem to have the response I'm used to.  I wouldn't call it dead-legs ... I feel fine overall, but I just can't seem to produce the faster turnover I need for faster paces.  I'm sure this will improve as the ultra-marathon grows smaller in the rear-view, but right now I can't really imagine running 13.1 miles around the 7:00/pace ... and honestly, I want to go much faster than that.  So I've been taking the following steps to hopefully run a strong race on May 4th in Indy.

First ... I've started serious double workouts everyday.  I began a new "Primal Workout" routine that helps with overall fitness, and will hopefully help me shed about 10 pounds before race day.  And I've also increased my leg strengthening routine.  On the days I don't do one of these supplemental workouts, I'll run 3-4 miles of recovery in the evening.  Hopefully the added strength I can build in about 7 weeks will help.

Second ... As with my marathon training last summer, I'll do both a Tempo and Speed workout in the middle of the week.  Probably, Tempo on Monday and then Speed work on Wednesday.  I will definitely shorten these workouts a little, but probably try to push the speed sessions to a faster pace than ever.  I would like to be around 5:45-5:50 for Yasso 800's, and about 6:00 for mile repeats.  The Tempo work I'll figure out later.

Third ... I'm eating really, really, really clean.  I know, I should be doing this all the time anyway, but it's the one area of fitness where I really struggle.  But since the race is in such short turnaround, I seem really focused right now and have been putting really healthy things into my body.

So I would, of course, welcome any advice from some of you little speedsters out there.  You know ... the Rachelle's, Gracie's, Jason's, Jon's, Beth's, Jill's, Nelly's and countless others ... and yes, even you Kara G. (you know who you are).  Can I shave off time in this limited training period?  Last fall before my Wichita Marathon failure, I logged a 13 mile workout with the middle 10 miles @ 6:40/avg pace.  In my notes I indicated that it wasn't really overly difficult, and I thought I could have held the speed for a few more miles, or even gone a little faster if necessary.  I would really love to get in that range again, but it seems like miles from where I am now.  Plus, I really don't have that much time to tune up.  So I guess I'll just give it a go and see what happens.  I really don't want a big build up to another race failure, so I'm taking this one in stride, but I really would like to PR on the nice, fast course.  However if I don't, that's probably okay too.  But not really.
... be great today!


  1. Dude you still got it in you. I predict you will do awesome at your next races.

  2. I'm sure you will get back to it. Speed that is. I'm jealous you have a wife that also runs. I can't seem to get my wife to understand there are races outside of Michigan too. The Flying Pig marathon was only the second race I did outside of Michigan and the other one was Toledo which is just a drive that morning to the race from Detroit. Enjoy the race - this looks like an incredible one.

  3. If you did 10 miles at 6:40 mid-workout, I think you can do a half at a little under that pace. I would look back at your workouts and training leading up to that run and try to repeat that. My half-marathon is in sore need of a better PR, too, but I probably won't run one until next December. Hopefully I will be all in one piece by then (ugh).
    Thanks for the kind word on my post - you who are so much faster are awfully generous with the compliments! ;)

  4. I'm with Gracie - your PR is 6:56, that is definitely going down as long as nothing bad happens out there. I predict something around 6:45 or so - and maybe even lower than that.

    And I should not be listed in the fast category lol

  5. I think it felt like forever last year for my speed to come back after I did a marathon, so if you figure out any secrets I would love to know.

  6. I think it's still there in your legs. That said, some concentrated effort on shorter, faster stuff will help the muscle memory. Good luck with it!

  7. You'll be back to your speedy times. I just know.

    I can totally relate to struggling with diet. I could use some areas of improvement!!!

  8. Speed endurance.......Attack! best wishes in your training.

  9. Let me know if you need some help. I would love to coach you. I've got some good ideas.

  10. Oh and why wasn't I listed in that list???

  11. Just do what Michael says.

    I think you can definitely make progress in a short amount of time, especially with those doubles.

    Well done!

  12. I read this yesterday while babysitting and was not able to multitask and respond (I know I'm challenged). I have complete confidence that based on your past training you are capable of some huge PR's. Based on the tempos you were cranking over the summer I'd say you should be running 3:00-3:05 for the marathon. I think the problem is you get so focussed and so excited that you overtrain and peak before you get to the start. Of course this is all just my opinion!

    Let me suggest a workout that I think has really, really helped me. Do the first 10-15 miles of your LR easy and then run the last 4-5 miles fast starting at MP and finishing around 10k pace. You've got the speed in your legs its more of a matter of everything coming together at the same time. You will get there, just keep on keeping on and have more fun!!

    Take a few chill pills and enjoy the journey. :):)


Thanks for stopping by ... your comment's always welcome!