Defn: a human male displaying evidence of devolution - exhibits distinctive "caveman-like" tendencies. This man often dribbles in public places; cannot drink a beverage without spilling it on himself, the floor or someone else; may also run into objects like lampposts & bushes; has a definite "sloopish & short legged" running style that is slow and low to the ground, often resulting in the dragging of knuckles.

These throwback neanderthals, along with their questionable diet, should clearly be avoided.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Speed work is not my friend

I managed to complete another 40 mile week - albeit 45 this week - with a speed session yesterday afternoon.  I realise that speed is relative for each person.  6 minute mile pace comes easy to some.  9 minute miles is tough for others.  For me - I consider myself a plodder that can every now and then go a little faster than I usually like to. 

I have a competitive nature though and would not deny that I would like to be faster - faster than most others.  But I am equipped with dna and body parts (short legs) that don't allow 6 minute pace to come easy and certainly not often.  I have learnt though that if I focus on working at getting faster - I can marginally get faster.  It hurts though - so I often don't follow through with it for long.

Yesterday I talked myself into a speed session, an 8 mile run with 1/2 that distance being an attempt at speed, the other half with attempting to recover and see straight.  I parked at the Air Force Academy North Gate entrance and ran on the relatively flat section of Santa Fe trail that heads South for just over 2 miles.  Went down 2 miles and back, then did it again.  It is slightly downhill on the way out and there was a slight breeze behind me on my way back.  It balanced out well.

First mile was a warm up at 9 minute pace and then I went into a 7 minute mile which is about my limit right now for a mile.  I did okay and held to schedule.  I turned and did the next mile at a 9 minute pace again and then went to work on another 7 minute mile.  I could have done with more of a tailwind to help - but I managed to hold on and nail the 7 minutes spot on.

By now I was back at the start and tempted to call that good - but abandoning sound reason and better judgement, I turned around and headed South again.  The next 1/2 mile was at a 9 minute pace again, followed next by a 1/2 mile at 6:30 pace.  Eeeeek, that was not fun at all and yet somehow I managed to push through and get there.  After another 1/2 mile at 9 minute pace I was on tap for 1/2 mile at 6:30 again and by now my legs were getting jittery in an uncomfortable way.  But I somehow managed to get through the 1/2 mile at the desired 6:30 pace. 

As I turned with 2 miles to go I was now thinking of doing 1/4 mile repeats - faster than the previous longer ones.  Now with only a 1/4 mile recovery, I then set out on a 6 minute paced 1/4 mile and great googily moogily was that not fun, nor easy at all.  But I did it.  I walked 1/2 of the next 1/4 mile and then did the same 6 minute paced 1/4 mile again.  I walked almost all of the next 1/4 mile.  By now I was shot and even though I wanted to do 2 more 1/4 mile repeats at the 6 minute pace again my body declared that I was not capable of that - they ended up being at 6:08 pace and the last at 6:14 pace.

My version of a speed training session was over and I was reminded why I don't do these often - but was encouraged by hitting all but the last 2 repeats on time that I might do it again - or not.  I may just stick to nice and slow 13 mile long runs - they hurt too but at least I can see where I am going.

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