Monday, March 1, 2010

Last week recap

Last week was my first big week back to working out, running and cross training.  I have been running regularly for a couple of weeks now, yay!  I'm so glad to be back, and now it's March and it's only a matter of time before we see some decent weather.  The days of being able to run till 8:30PM are just around the corner!!  All this dark, cold winter weather sucks!!  So, this last week I worked out everyday, except Tuesday and Saturday.  Sunday, I ran 7 miles, Monday I went to the Fitness Center for my first personal training session.  I got my ass handed to me there!  It's awful starting back into strength training because you are sore for 4 days after your first few sessions.  The trainer had me do lunges up and down the hallway, and every inch of my legs from ankle to butt hurt so bad till Friday.  I could cry everyday, lol.  Tuesday, I took the day off, then Wednesday I woke up early and ran 2 miles and did 20 min on the elliptical.  I was still really sore, but knew I should work it out.  Thursday I went to Zumba.  Friday I ran 5 miles, which included a fartlek run, and then had another personal training session, where I got my ass handed to me again.  I hope this starts to get easy soon!

I had never done a fartlek run before.  I get emails from McMillan Running, and I had received this message about 'the lost art of fartlek'.  You can read the article here.  First of all, the word fartlek is really funny to me, and I don't like saying it.  Try telling your friends you did a fartlek, and then you have to explain what the heck you're talking about.  The article talked about how your running peaks during the fall, and then in the winter you usually are just doing maintenance miles and not much track workouts.  When spring hits, you hit the track again, but have no where close to the speed you had during your peak the season before.  And it's not a bad thing, obviously winter is a time to recover.  But, you shouldn't be discouraged, such as I was, that when you get back into the training, you aren't as fast as you were during peak.  Rather than jump back into track workouts and kill yourself because you try to run the same times as when you were peaking, you should do fartleks to ease your way into track workouts.  The article made a lot of sense, so I decided to give it a shot.  I mean, I tried to do some speed workouts on the treadmill and didn't last very long, which made me pretty discouraged.

The first week of fartlek training, the article said to do 10-12 repeats of 1 minute at faster than 5k race pace, with 1 minute recoveries.  I needed to get 5 miles in, so I did a 2 mile warmup, then started into the fartleks.  Last summer my best 5k pace was around 8:40 (holy cow, I was so proud of myself!), so I decided I would try an 8:30 pace.  I thought to myself that wouldn't be too horrible to run for a minute at a time, but I wondered about the 1 minute recovery.  Well, I did it!  By the 7th repeat, I was really tired and the minute recoveries felt more like 30 seconds, but I pushed myself and finished!  And I did a 1 mile cooldown.  The 10 repeats ended up being 2 miles, so it worked out perfectly.  It was probably the best and toughest running workout I have had in a long while, and I felt very accomplished.  I'm pretty excited to do this week's workout!  The paper says that fartlek 2 involves 4-5 surges lasting 3-5 minutes each with 1-2 minute recoveries.  Each surge should be run at faster than 10k race pace, but not faster than fartlek 1.  I think I may run this between 8:50-9:00.  That should be fun!

I'm really hoping to get faster this year.  I did take some time off this winter, but it didn't take me long to get it back.  I'm already at 7 miles on my long run, and hope to maybe run a half marathon May 2nd.  With a half marathon under my belt in May, I have no choice but to pick up some speed and train some hills pretty hard by the Distance Run in September.  Last year, I just started training for the Distance Run in May, so I was basically building the mileage to be able to run the race.  This year, I'm going to have the base mileage under my belt by May, so I just have to maintain my mileage and do some work on the hills.  Maybe I can reach my 25 minute 5k goal this summer!  Maybe I'm jumping the gun here, but I have some high hopes! 

Now, if I can just get my eating under control and lost this winter weight......


  1. Best of luck with the 25min 5k!

  2. I'm working on speed right now too! It's so easy to run slowly and so hard to push myself. But it'll be worth it when I get some new PR's this year! (That's what I keep telling myself, anyway!) Good luck.

  3. two weeks to go... then we get a little more daylight! i can't wait!!! take your easy/recovery days easy and push it hard on your quality days and you'll see those pr's :)