Thursday, October 29, 2009

Run Faster

Well, I finally had a decent run today... first one since Ironman where I didn't feel like crap... which I guess isn't really surprising since it takes a while to recover from a race effort like that. I *know* that our bodies take some time to recover, but I really think some of it is in our heads as well. Like, because I know I should be feeling like crap, I feel like crap. Because I know I should be running slowly, I run slowly.

You know what the difference was today? I decided it was time to be done being slow. I decided that my body felt fine and that I could push the pace if I wanted to. So I ran 9 miles and did 2x8 minute hills at a solid effort. And it felt great.

I've been reading Matt Fitzgerald's Brain Training For Runners. I actually read it a while back and then I read it again recently. I also read Brad Hudson's Run Faster- once right before Kona (hey, I needed something to do during that taper!) and then again last week. And I really like and agree with the theories of those guys when it comes to running. Neither of them are super conservative when it comes to running training, which is refreshing. Sometimes I read running plans and think that they are so darn conservative... you wonder how the heck you would ever improve if you were so cautious about your running.

In fact, prior to being coached by Jen, I was also very conservative about my running. I was convinced that if I went to the track and ran too hard, I'd end up injured and out for the season. I was convinced that running too many hills would leave me injured as well. And I thought 30 miles a week was a lot. So I was just conservatively putting in slow miles, but not too many miles, and guess what? I was slow. Then Jen had me at the track pretty regularly with instructions like GO HARD. AS HARD AS YOU CAN. ALL OUT. Stuff like that. And workouts that included hills. On purpose. Running up them HARD. And then again and again. I admit, at first I was like, really? I never would have pushed myself that hard, but I trusted that she knew what she was doing so I followed her instructions. And guess what? I ran faster. Go figure.

So given that I am not an injury prone runner, I'm now on board with a more aggressive running plan. And I like it. The Honolulu Marathon is in 6 weeks. I decided I'm not going to run it unless my key workouts give me reason to believe that I can run it well (For me. Running well for me would be in the vicinity of 3:40). The jury is still out on whether or not I'm going to be able to do that, but I think I'm now ready to put in some of the key training runs that will tell me if I'm on track.


N.D. said...

Those books sound great. There is something to be said for hills and speed workouts and getting faster. I like your plan. Good luck!

Rebecca DeWire said...

How exciting that you found some run training philosophies that work for you. I have decided that when I return to running I am going to actually do the opposite and be super conservative with no intensity at all during base (basically the Mark Allen/Maffetone approach). Those books sound interesting, thanks for mentioning them.

IronMatron said...

Well, you know how much I love Fitzgerald and Hudson!!! Good stuff. Glad you decided to have an awesome run. I miss running so much I'm dying. A few more days. Have I even thought about poor Mrs. Z though? Nope. What is up with that?
Have fun with the H. marathon training!

Katie A. said...

I am a firm believer that unless you are putting the time in with running faster, it just won't happen. Too many training plans have you running above m.p. for long runs and many junk miles in between. How can you get faster if you don't try? Great job on the workout! You will be fine for the marathon, you have it in you! :) Have a fun Halloween with Moana!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

I am in a running program now, worse leg of my race, I am hoping for major improvements.

Regina said...

I'm in the third week of a ten week running class. We've definitely been pushing the envelope; mile intervals, short distance speed work and I was told hill work in our near future. Needless to say I dread class, but am definitely being challenged and rising to the occasion, phew!

I also just got an inhaler, so hoping that will solve the breathing issues I have been having.

Thanks for the lead on those books, a trip to my local library is at hand.

Charisa said...

Enjoy the running!

Running and living said...

I wish I were training for a marathon right now. Instead, I am resting. Matt's book is my favorite. I am going to read Brad's now that you've recommended it. I can't do conservative running. Booooooring! Good luck!

kerrie said...

hmmmm...well, it all depends on how you define "conservative" running. if you mean running at a lower hr a lot of the time, i'm all for that :) however, you need the corresponding volume and discipline to go along with it. i think that it is misunderstood by a lot of people as they think it means running slow. when i get fit, i can run sub 7 min. miles in zone 2(for at least an hour, if not more)and that i feel is the key to running a good marathon.

just some food for thought. i'm so impressed that you are back in the game already!!!