Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hard-Easy Principle + Fall Races

When I was planning my training program for the Sioux Falls Half, I consulted Coach Jason, as I typically do.  In previous years I've had 2 easy runs, 1 tempo run, 1 speed workout, and a long run each week.  I really wanted to keep the same format, but because I was starting the training while still not 100% post-Fargo, I was concerned about the two speedy days since those typically cause me to get/stay injured.  He suggested I do only one speed work day, but that I throw in some striders at the end of one or two of my easy runs.  Okie dokie!

After doing more heart rate training reading and research (yes, I like to read, especially about running, it's obnoxious, I realize!) I realized that the main purpose of heart rate training is to capitalize on the hard-easy philosophy.  Basically you can train almost everyday and should avoid injuries as long as you're following the hard-easy principle:  every hard workout is followed by an easy one (heart rate wise).  During my training I was having 3 or 4 "easy" runs and only 1 hard and 1 long (which is considered hard effort even though the HR is kept lower).  Hmmm. 

While I created my training for the Fargo half similar to my Sioux Falls half training, I have decided to throw in some "harder" workouts if my body feels like it on one of the "easy" days.  Tuesday and Thursday are considered easy since I only have about 30 minutes for a run between work and class, and yes that means I'm dripping sweat during class.  Thankfully it's at my computer not around people with noses.

Monday night I took advantage of this "freedom" and decided to run a route by feel and not pay much attention to my watch.  It's much easier to not pay attention to my watch when it's dark out FYI.  I ran harder than I do during as easy run, but easier than a tempo run.  I kept thinking, "Ok, if you had a 10 mile tempo run, what pace would you run it at?" 

And shockingly it was a great effort and a lot of fun.  The first mile was a bit of a "warm up" but still a lot faster than I usually do my warm ups at.  Plus it was on a hilly route.  I tried to focus on a quicker turnover, and "running on eggshells."  When all was said and done I had a pace at the slow end of my tempo range, and a heart rate toggling in between my easy and low end tempo/LT pace.  And I wasn't hating life while I did it (general theme for legit tempo runs).  I think I'll be throwing these in going forward!

I did 4 miles in 34:25 for a pace of 8:37.
1.  8:52
2.  8:32
3.  8:32
4.  8:29

One of the reasons I was happiest about forgoing the fall marathon was that I could race a bunch of shorter races (hopefully before the snow, ice and freezing temps arrive)!  Plus, since Danielle will likely blow my crappy marathon time out of the water for our "challenge" I need to bank some time in our shorter distances.  ;)

On deck is:

Fargo FM half marathon October 8th.

Hope Reins 5k October 22nd.

Trick or Treat trail 10k (although trail means bike trail, not trail-trail) October 29th.

Jingle Bells 5k November 25th. 

TV update:  I cancelled my cable and DVR and my service was up last Wednesday.  And when I realized the horrible timing with sweeps week this week I almost cried.  Please keep me posted on tv shows I must watch online, mmmk?  I caught the New Girl pilot on Hulu this weekend and loved it. But I could probably watch Zooey stare at a wall and call it quality entertainment.


Anonymous said...

Like this principal! Looks like you've got a lot of fun races on deck; hope you have a great fall racing season.

Katie said...

I am intrigued by your HR training decisions as always.