Can I just say that I didn’t ever, for one single minute, consider that the idea of finishing my second half marathon 9 minutes faster than my first, only a month later, even possible! The thought never crossed my mind. I knew in the month I had in between that I wanted to get faster. I read a lot of speedy peoples’ blogs, I got some help from the amazing Margot of The Faster Bunny, and I ran with some speedy friends, but pretty much I made up my own plan, just like I had the first time.
Apparently, something worked? I am, of course, no expert on speed, or running at all for that matter, but I figured I would at least share some of what I did that seemed to work out pretty well, and maybe it will help other turtles out there like me! 🙂
Here is what a typical week looked like:
Mon: 3 mi with sprint intervals
I kept my intervals really short–like the distance between driveways. I didn’t go for any specific times, I just set out points of distance in my neighborhood and kept my jogging and my sprinting distances about even. I kept my jogging pace around a 10 min/mi and just went as fast as humanly possible on the sprints. I don’t know is this is good, bad, or if there is even a technical term, but I did it, and I felt like it kicked my butt and was really helpful.
I love spin, and I really think it helps with my running. My favorite teacher Linda is a racing machine and she also believes this. The woman is 50, does several races a year (including tris), and teaches like 20 gym classes per week. If she told me standing on my head would help, you better believe I’d be posting upside down right now.
Wed: 5-6 mi tempo run
Most of these did not end up being tempos because I ran with speedy gonzales AKA Ashley who runs at a 7:30 pace. We would warm up for a mile around a 10 min pace, run the first “tempo” mile around where I thought I should be–like 9:10ish–and then negative split from there, then end up with a cool down mile. These runs killed me, but this girl got me to run a 7:33 mile!!!! Granted I made her stop 3 times because my lungs felt like they were on fire and my whole body was going to burn down with them, but even so, it was the fastest I have ever run. Running with fast people is pretty much the secret to running fast yourself. In my expert opinion.
Thurs: Rest or bike ride
Rest is nice. Bike rides are fun.
Fri: Long run
I only really did 2 long runs, but they were good ones. 15 and 12. I think going beyond the race distance gave me more confidence. I knew that I could, in fact, run longer than 13 miles, so I could actually push it a little during those 13 and not spend all my time worrying about the distance. The last 2 miles of my 15 mi run were ridiculously hard, but it may be my favorite long run I’ve done, and even though I don’t plan on training for a full for a while, I can’t wait to complete some new PDRs just because I want to!
Sat: Rest or bike ride
Even with perfect weather and a bike of my own, I am still inspired to spin twice a week. That’s how good Linda is!
So, how is this different from my first training plan? You know, the other one that I just decided I was smart enough to create on my own even though I had never run before. Well, that one was totally focused on distance for me. I ran 3x a week, with two 3-4 mi runs and one long run. I tried to get faster on the short ones, and worked on having negative splits, but did absolutely no legit speed training. I thought you just got faster by running more, and I did because it was so new to me, but this time around, speed was my main focus. I feel like in my first plan, the miles mid week were more like junk miles because they had no plan, and no real purpose. My very favorite running blog taught me that every run should have a purpose.
So there you have it. I still don’t know if any of this is good, or right, or whatever, but I know that I shocked myself on Sunday, and that I am beyond excited for what I can accomplish in the future. Which brings me to the question….
Well, there is a very small tri that I’m planning on doing with Nicole at the end of March. I am planning on the Firefly Run, and Pat’s Run in April, and I am this close to registering for the Disneyland 1/2 in September. But I want something more than that, and I want it sooner. It is kind of killing me that there is no full marathon I can sign up for right now, and I really want to do one more half before the weather turns to burn. I feel like I need a big goal to work towards that will happen soon. Any suggestions? I’m already antsy! This running thing is like crack.