Friday, July 11, 2014

Speeds MacKenzie

Yay for puns and dated topical references! Since I've been trying to figure out the best approach to qualifying for Boston, one thing I've implemented into my training is speedwork. Now, if you've read a bit of the blog you might remember that I have done speedwork in the past. The type I've probably mentioned most of all is Yasso 800s, a training technique that involves half mile repeats at a pace in minutes that supposedly reflects the overall time you'd run in a marathon. This is worth discussing at length in a later post.

Over the last four or five weeks, Amortya and I have been doing at least one speed session per week. Instead of half mile repeats, we've been doing mile and two mile repeats. Another key difference between these workouts and the half mile repeats I've done in the past is that these have been outside. I've typically done my speed workouts on a treadmill. My logic has always been that I'm much better able to push myself hard on a treadmill than I am outside. Though this is true, the problem I then encounter is not being able to maintain those paces when I run outside for almost any length of time. Chalk it up to differences in terrain or weather, but I have never been able to do quite as well outside as on a treadmill.

That would be fine and good if I ran my races on a treadmill, but I don't. When it comes time to attempt a Boston qualifier, it'll do me little good to believe I can run a certain pace because I've gotten used to it on the treadmill. Instead, I figure I have to start emulating race conditions as well as possible. This is not to say I never run on the treadmill, I've just tried to do it a little more sparingly.

In terms of the paces we've been running during these workouts, Amortya is making much bigger strides than I am and frequently runs mile and two-mile repeats under 6:30 per mile. I've been running a little over 7:30s, which is not quite good enough, particularly considering I've held that pace for an entire 5 mile race before. Oh, well. It's still a work in progress.

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