Fartlek!

Enjoyed an awesomely fun workout with my running gal Fish yesterday 🙂  Since I dragged her into doing a workout with me, she got to pick the workout.  She came up with the brilliantly simple plan of 30 seconds hard/ 30 seconds easy for 3 miles.  It was absolutely perfect!  The 30 second intervals were long enough to get our heart rates and turnover going, but short enough to avoid any serious suffering.  And since this was Fish’s first workout in a couple years, and only my 4th or so workout back after a long break, we were content to leave the hard-core suffering for another day 😉   

Best outcome of our little workout session?  Fish had a flash of serious brilliance and suggested we add a weekly workout & abs day to our schedules for the semester.  Um, yes!!!  It might take both of us a while (and some pain) to get back into workout shape, but it’s going to be so much more fun doing it together 🙂

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I’m indulging in some wishful thinking and pretending that we’re going to look like these two speedsters when we’re done 😉  

Workout wednesday!

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After a frustrating day in lab I was ecstatic to shut down my computer at 5pm and head out for a workout on the university track.  Due to my foot injury flare-up last week, I decided to stick to some shorter stuff and keep the pace at goal 10k pace or slower.  In order to keep some endurance/strength focus during the shorter workout, I added in some circuit work.  Here’s the final workout I decided to go with:

2 sets of (4 x 400m @ 6:30 pace (1:45/lap) with circuit work in between each lap), 3:45 R between the two sets.

For the circuit work, I did 2 leg exercises, 1 core exercise, and 1 arm exercise during each set.  Here’s a couple sample circuit sets:

Set 1:

  • 10 x squat jumps
  • 10 x pushups
  • 25 x crunches
  • 30 x sock hops

Set 2:

  • 10 x forward double-leg hops
  • 5 x clap pushups
  • 20 x superman back extensions
  • 20 m side-shuffle

The workout was actually much tougher than I expected – I forgot how heavy the circuit “recovery” makes both the arms and legs during the subsequent lap!  In addition, it was hot (95+), and smoky from some nearby wildfires.

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I was struggling at the end of each 400 and was definitely ready to be done by the last repeat.  However, the toe feels good and I got to take a mental break from my science frustrations and channel them into a challenging workout 🙂     

Weekly Workout

For this week’s workout, I decided to keep it fairly short and moderately paced in order to avoid over-stressing my foot.  Yasso 800’s were featured in the August issue of RunnersWorld so I decided to try them out, but only do 4 repeats instead of 10 repeats (the maximum number of reps). 

The idea behind the Yasso 800’s is that if you figure out what you marathon goal time is (or an equivalent marathon time using a pace calculator such as the McMillan running calculator), you then take that time, in hours:minutes, and run each 800 in that time as minutes:seconds.  So for me, with a recent 10k time of about 43 minutes, giving an equivalent marathon of 3:24, I should run each 800 in 3:24 (three minutes and 24 seconds).  The recovery between each 800 is just a jog for the same amount of time as it took to run the last repeat (3:24 recovery by time).  Got to love the fact that it’s a 1-number workout at least! 

 It turns out that I have some sort of block about 3:24 pace – I kept trying to relax and hit the correct splits, but kept ending up running about 10 seconds too fast.  An ok problem to have today, but it wouldn’t have been very fun if I were doing the whole 10-rep version.  I’ve had this problem before with hitting 10k pace (about 6:00 – 6:10 when I’m in shape) – it just feels awkward.  Too slow to really push but too fast to really relax and tempo it.  How do you improve your ability to hit tricky paces?

Post-workout I tried out the Cannonball routine from Coach Jay.  It’s a nice set of drills for building dynamic flexibility and it worked well as part of the cool-down.  It’s quick, fun, and requires no equipment 🙂

Oh, and I tried one of these out before the workout:

ImageMainly wanted to test it out to see if GU is an option for a pre-race snack prior to the 15k I’m running this weekend.  The flavor was pretty good – fruit flavors seem pretty safe so far (I’ve had Orange Creamsicle and TriBerry).  Anyone have any energy flavors that they think are especially awesome?  The gel seemed to settle in my stomach without any issues – hopefully it’ll work out well on Saturday!