Tag Archives: 10k training

Intervals in the Rain & Race Plans

Last night was my third intervals workout. It was pouring when I got home and changed to go running, but aside from one wistful thought of taking the day off, it didn’t deter me. There was, however, a frantic search for Body Glide because I’ve learned my lesson the hard way about water, warm days, and friction.

I set out, feeling foolish in my sunglasses, but unwilling to run without them because I feel squinty and stupid without glasses. The rain didn’t let up for my entire warmup mile; I was soaked to the bone in seconds. When you’re just wearing wicking fabric and 5″ running shorts that’s not a huge amount of soaked, but still! I ran out of my neighborhood and along a 4 mile route I use a lot, letting the Garmin beeps tell me when to start a 400m interval and when to stop and walk a 60s rest.

The first couple intervals I pushed too hard. I didn’t look down at my watch, as I’m trying to become more aware of pace and to use my Garmin to supplement, not replace, my own body knowledge (more on the conflict between instinct and data later).  The rain continued for the first couple intervals, though once I was soaked, I didn’t care. It’s refreshing to feel not only that I can defeat the elements, but that I can ignore them.

Around interval 5, I ran west along Savage Road, and the sun came out and shone fully in my face, drying everything except me. I was grateful for the sunglasses (which I had been cursing just a minute before, because they were so soaked I couldn’t see through them) and tried to enjoy the run.

Later analysis shows that my first interval was fine, but my second interval was an excessive 6:49 pace, a 1:42 1/4 mile split! And then after that they steadily slid, a few seconds at a time, to 9:00 paces for the last of 8.

I don’t want to burden too little data with too much evaluation, so I think I just ran too hard early and didn’t have enough left to give as intervals 7 & 8 came up. While my 10k is this Saturday, my Speedwork Summer is just beginning, and I think training my body is going to be a great challenge. Of course, I also need to keep piling on the miles, because this interval workout represented the 400mile mark for the year for me. That means that if I stay on this course, 2011 could be an 800 mile year.

The Solstice Run this weekend is going to be fun, and I am looking at other races to sign up for. Later this year I’ll be visiting the Boston area for a college friend’s wedding, and was considering running the Providence Rock & Roll half marathon. It is the morning of the wedding, and I’d be driving to the race in the morning, and then all the way back to Boston before getting dressed up to celebrate Matt’s wedding. It’s in low lying Providence, in the heat of summer. And if I register right now, it’ll cost me $105. Steep price, lot of driving, lot of heat or humidity.

However, it’s got advantages too! I would get to run it with my mother-in-law, who’s crazily eager to have me run a race with her. It’s a R&R Half Marathon, so it’s got music every mile, a crazy cool medal with “Inaugural Providence 1/2 Marathon” on it, and it would get me one step closer to a 13.1 magnet for my car (Steph says I can’t have one until I run THREE half marathons!).

I do think I’m going to sign up for the Detroit Half in the fall. It’s right around the corner, and the ‘international run’ gimmick (the course goes over the ambassador Bridge and back in through the Detroit-Windsor tunnel) seems like a good story to tell.

I can’t seem to find a 5k I’m excited about running. I may do the Detroit Zoo again, but that’s way off in September, and I want to see if I can record a 28min 5k time long before that. But browsing for 5k’s is hard, because there are just so many! Charities, town celebrations, holidays, one through a graveyard (!?), costume ones. And I want one with chip timing and a certified course, because I go to races for the air of authority and officialness! As a novice I assumed this was completely standard, but the aforementioned graveyard run is… uncertified and I think a ‘tear tag’ system. That’s, as far as I can tell, one step above setting the course length by a guy taking 6561 steps and recording finish time by the approximate position of the sun.


Doing good and running poorly

Yesterday my work group volunteered at a soup kitchen in downtown Detroit. Ford allows us to spend 16 hours of company time per year on volunteer tasks. Joe, the white-haired Maltese man who runs the kitchen for St. Leo’s Catholic Church, joked that with 12 engineers on hand to make beef stew, that it was some costly beef stew being made that morning.

The work was light with so many hands, especially since a church group from Wisconsin was also there, spending the whole week volunteering. We chopped vegetables, sliced beef, opened cans of every imaginable vegetable and assembled it all, split in half, into two huge stock pots over the kitchen range. Joe is a personality to be remembered, constantly singing out “I need a man, I need a woman” and calling us all ‘you’ in place of attempting to learn names when no doubt he sees dozens of differing volunteers a week. Six days a week, he and a few older church-goers put together quite an outreach program in the basement of St. Leo’s church. They have clothes & personal article donations, a library, legal services, doctors, dentists and all of it centered around the soup kitchen.

It was only a days work, but it was better than other things I’ve volunteered to do. I am not professing any great merit or revelation, but it felt good to help Joe make that stew and feed the hundred or so people who came. Doing something good gave me a lot to think about.

After the kitchen closed, I was free to go home a bit early. I had missed my long run on Sunday because my Cedar Point adventure on Saturday had left my body tired and sore. I laced up, dressed up and set out the door with the camelbak and 3 Gus, knowing I could easily run 10 miles in 2 hours.

It didn’t turn out to be quite so easy, though. I kept an 11:30 pace, which is downright sluggish for me of late. The warmth of the day gave way to summer storm showers which left me drenched, and then again to sunshine. That combination of dousing and drying gave me a vicious challenge. As I approached about a mile from home the heat hit me with finality and I ended up in the attractive outfit of camelbak + shorts + garmin chest strap with my water- and sweat-soaked shirt clutched in my hand. The consequences of the dousing didn’t hit until I got home and sat down. While I was eagerly (Steph might say greedily…) drinking some recovery chocolate milk, I learned that I’d gotten my first case of awful chafing from the varying levels of wet. So for the remainder of the week ahead of my 10k on Saturday, I will be sitting sort of funny.

I had come to take for granted that I wasn’t too susceptible to chafing, but you’d better believe I will be more diligent now about the body glide. As for summer sun and exertion, I’ll just have to take my pace for what it is; the best I can do in the conditions.

I’m eager to run on Saturday, but I have to admit, I’m hoping for clouds!

6 day streak

Today is a rest day.

I planned two a week into my training plan, but last week, on Thursday, it was just too beautiful out to skip a run, so I did a quick, easy 3 (and almost got rewarded with a pelting from a water balloon).  As a result, I ran every day for the last 6 days, covering 26 miles total. Continuing the streak is tempting, but I am going to break it, more out of superstition than fitness needs. 

I think that based on my running pace hovering around 10:30 on long runs (my EZ & LSD runs are at about that pace) I should be well able to hit my Goal #2 on the 25th when I strap up and head out for my 10k Solstice Run.

I had some running adventures during this six day stretch, starting with the water balloon incident. Friday was the wettest run I’ve been on, even including the puddle-tastic ‘dry run’ for my half marathon. It was pouring from the minute I stepped away from my car, but honestly once I was soaked through, it didn’t really bug me at all. What did bug me is running a 30:05 5k! C’mon! 5 seconds faster and it’s awesome bragworthy stuff, 2s faster is a satisfyingly nerdy palindrome, but 30:05 is just laaaame.

On my 10 mile run this Sunday, I completely forgot that the 10 mile route I planned during my half marathon training was a 12 mile route with a warmup and cooldown that were way too long. Still, with 4.5 miles through a metro park, and familiar terrain the whole way, it was a good run. At mile 8 I tried out some Hammer Gel in place of one of my normal Gu packets. The Hammer Gel was different, more fruity and less sugary. The ‘raspberry puree’ listed on the ingredients (as opposed to the completely chemical approach on the Gu ingredient list) was actually really noticeable. Stupid problem to have though; I couldn’t figure out where to tear the package at first, because of the cutesy ‘hammer-shaped’ top. With Gu it feels very utilarian; tear at the thin part, squeeze in mouth. Hammer was a bit harder to stuff into my mouth, and made a bigger mess on my hands.

Since I was a mile over distance, and we had friends coming over, Steph picked me up at mile 11. My camelbak was nearly empty, which means I drank ~70oz in two hours. Given that this wasn’t the hottest day I’m likely to run on, this has inspired me to start considering what the *right* rate of fluid intake is.

Overall, I really enjoyed the 6 day streak, and it feels good to be back to running all the time, with a plan, versus the more free form runs I had in my recovery from Pittsgburgh and my vacation. We’re heading on vacation again in a couple weeks (for the 4th of July holiday week) but I think I’ll have my Speedwork Summer plan more fully formed, and hopefully be training for a 5k by that time.


After a few months of just running miles, intentionally keeping speed off the plate, last night I got in the first of my 400m intervals. Though I did quarter miles, because the garmin had a setting for that, and I am its willing thrall. Plus, I don’t have a nearby school track.

It was a blazingly hot day here in MI (96° at 6pm when I got home) so I put the run off until almost 8pm. As the western end of the Eastern time zone, we have 9pm sunsets for the next couple months.

I ran a 1 mile warmup, then 4x400m with 1 minute walking cooldowns. It felt good to push myself. My 4 intervals were a terrible mess, with splits alternating between 2:15 and 2:00 (9:00/mile and 8:00/mile respectively). Consistency will only come with practice, so I’ll try again next week, and hopefully stay a bit closer to my 9:00 target.

I’m going to do walking cooldowns for the intervals while I get started. At first it felt unnatural to reduce my pace so suddenly, but it helped my heartrate recover really rapidly. When I get a bit more practiced with speedwork (which I will, because this is Speedwork Summer for me) I will move up to more ambitious workouts.

The Madness is on me

I was thinking of my week last week as a light running week, and it was, for this year. I was on vacation in the Outer Banks (OBX!) and mostly spent the week eating, drinking and ‘jellyfishing’ in the pool.

But I still ran almost 16 miles. Not bad for an ‘off week’!

I have 3 weeks now until my Solstice 10k. I have 3 goals.

  1. Safe: Beat my 10k split from the Pittsburgh Half Marathon – 1:05:06.
  2. Solid: Beat a 10:00/mile pace, 1:02:08
  3. Stretch: Beat 1:00:00, a 9:39/mile pace. 

I think those are as realistic as goals should be. I would be elated if I pulled off a 60 minute, but not at all disappointed as long as I beat the shadow of my half marathon split.

I’ve put together my plan, and will post it under the training calendar section soon. It’s only a 4 week plan, with my week of sloppy vacation miles to pad week one, but just having something to work toward gives me heart.

Next thing to do is to select more races! I’m keeping my eye out for 5ks, 10ks and half-marathons.

I’ve got 4 weeks.

Starting today, it’s 30 days to that next 10k.

I’ve got 4 weeks to run and go into that race with fitness as good or better than had in the Pittsburgh Half Marathon.  My 10k split on the half was 1:05:06. My tentative goal is to run 1:02:08, a 10 minute pace.  I wouldn’t be disappointed with 1:05:06, a 10:28 pace.

I know that 4 weeks isn’t enough time to change much, I’m just looking for a schedule to write down to give myself a framework for the next few weeks. So, here’s what I’m planning.

  • 2 rest days.
  • 1 long slow weekend run.  8-10miles. 11:00 pace
  • 1 Interval workout, mile w/u, 4x800m @ 9:00 pace, 400m @ 12:00 jog recovery, mile c/d. 
  • 1 race pace run, mile w/u, 3 miles @ 10:00 pace, mile c/d
  • 2 easy runs. Probably 6.2 miles  of running @ 10:30-11:00.

I can’t decide if this is too aggressive, or too relaxed. It’s a surprising number of miles; 26-28 miles discounting the warmups (which I generally do).  I could dial it back but I want to stick with 5 days a week; three rest days is too many for me.

Anybody have any thoughts?