Monday, August 19, 2013

I Didn't Know I Could Do That!

As I noted in my last post, I'm in full-on-pre-fall-training mode.  I have 10 tabs open in Chrome with titles like "Your Fastest Half Marathon Ever!" and "Improve Your Half Marathon Time in 3 Easy Steps!".  I have my Excel calender spreadsheet open with all my training runs filled in  from September to December and have been tweaking, re-tweaking and then tweaking again!

As I have been obsessing planning my upcoming runs, it occurred to me that it has been almost 9 months since I have run without taking walk breaks.

 I'm a big proponent of what some refer to as "Gallowalking" - planned walking intervals as part of my training.  I've found that for me, regular breaks help deter injuries and actually make me faster.

During my long runs I usually run .45 miles and then walk .05 miles - this is about 75 seconds of walking per mile.  When running tempo intervals or speed runs of 2 miles or less, I don't take walk breaks since the break is built in (although I do usually walk during the "jog" portion.)

However, during longer tempo runs (3-5 miles) I will watch my pace and take breaks that I "earn" with a higher speed.  For example: If I am to run 5 miles at a 10 minute pace and I get to the end of the first mile with a 9:45 average, I will walk until my average pace creeps back up to 10:00 and then continue running until I "earn" another break.   This is also how I practice and run my longer races.

However, I also like to include some "Steady State" runs in my training that have no walking breaks at all, and this week I realized that I had completely neglected this particular aspect since my return to running in March (following an injury in January.)

So tonight, I decided to test just how far I could run without any breaks.  It was a sweltering 80 degrees out with 95% humidity!!  I started out hoping I could make it 3 miles, but by the 3 mile mark I was was on cloud nine!   I was running a nice easy 11:30 pace.... but I wasn't even breathing hard.  Just gliding along easy as pie.  And for the first time in my short but sweet running career, I realized what everyone meant by LSD - long slow distance.  I felt like I could have kept going forever!  It was like running nirvana!

Five and a half miles came too soon, and I was back at my house.  My husband asked me how I felt, and I just grinned and said: "I didn't know I could do that!"

Do you include walk breaks in your running?

Plea to other bloggers:  I am having an issue where Blogger slows to the point of almost being unusable as I am writing a post.  When I close Blogger and then reopen the post to edit, everything is back to normal for a couple of sentences and then the slowdown begins again.  If anyone out there has an idea what may be causing this I would really appreciate your imput!!!