My confidence on the run and bike has been pretty high as I have been going longer and faster on a consistent basis. On my runs, I have been gradually adding speed work to my workouts (which seems to be working), but I haven’t had workouts where I am exhausted in the middle of my workout – until Wednesday.
Wednesday's training called for a swim workout in the morning and a run at lunch. My plan was to run for about an hour and the training guide instructed me to pick up the pace at 10 minutes into my run from a comfortable Z2 heart rate (slower, aerobic, fat-burning, comfortable pace) to a more challenging Z4 (faster, anaerobic, harder to maintain pace) for 6 minutes, followed by 2 minutes of jogging and then another 6 minutes of Z4, 2 minutes of jogging and then finishing the remainder of the workout at a Z2 level.
I have done things like this before, usually towards the end of my workout (opposed to the beginning) and I have had relative success in executing that strategy (like on Monday when I did a 7 minute Z4 segment at the end of the run).
So, the first part of my Wednesday run went really well -- the actual Z4 running was challenging but manageable but when I finished I still had half of my run ahead of me and I was spent! Every step sucked. I wasn't in pain, just tired and my legs felt heavy. All said and done, my average pace was actually pretty good overall (8:46 per mile) and I learned a valuable lesson from this workout. One thing is that hydration and nutrition are very important -- I didn't have enough to eat before my run and I think that my work out really suffered because of it. Also, you learn more from a tough workout than from the easier ones.
One thing I have been reading a lot about is that each workout is supposed to have a purpose and the purpose determines the intensity and duration of the workout. Speed work makes you faster. Long runs / rides work on endurance. So, long runs and rides are supposed to be done at a slower pace. I say this because I am not good at following the prescribed guidelines and my long runs are normally faster than they should be, so this week I tried hard to do the prescribed speed work and to go slower on my long run.
This week and next week are higher intensity weeks (even higher than the plan I am following) so that I can have a bit of a taper week when we go on vacation the following week.
Training this week:
Monday – a.m. - Masters Swim Class: 1.5 hours lunch - 53 mins running (6.1 miles)
Tuesday – Brick Workout: 40 mins biking (est. 12 miles), 21 mins running (2.5 miles)
Wednesday – a.m. - Masters Swim Class: 1.5 hours lunch - 53 mins running (6.1 miles)
Thursday – 60 min spin (est. 18 miles)
Friday – 1:16 min run (8.25 miles)
Saturday – 41.5 mile bike ride (2.5 hours) followed by a 45 min run (4.75 miles)
Sunday – Will be a rest day / plan on a 4 mile walk
Total workout time: 11 hours, 15 minutes (not including rest day)
Total distances: Run: 27.7 miles Bike: 71.5 miles
Favorite workout this week -- Definitely NOT Wednesday for reasons explained above. Probably Saturday because I had a great ride (with friends) and I was proud of myself for doing the run alone on the hills after the ride.