Tag Archive | speedwork

To practice pacing or to suicide-pace and drop, that’s the question

I am a bit addicted to a few blogs so my Google Reader and Pocket apps are pretty much all I pay attention the 12 minutes I have in the train. I have a few blogs I always read, no matter how old they are, and I have them all saved up there for when I have time to catch up. One of them is Reid Coolsaet’s (olympic marathoner from Canada!) and he posted something over a month ago that stuck with me for a while, so I had to share it or it’s going to kill me.

He had gone training to Kenya and was talking about their training pace strategy:

… “I know I’ve written about this phenomenon before but it still blows my mind that Kenyans stay with the leaders as long as they can only to drop out…- The mentality is to stay with the lead group as long as possible and hope that next week they can stay up there longer. As opposed to completing the full workout and hopefully later on they can complete it faster.”

Instead of going out at a hard pace they can sustain, they all run with the big boys for as long as they can; then they drop. CRAZY.

Now you see why this stuck with me right? It’s completely the opposite of what most of us do!!!!

In the physiological side of matters, it makes complete sense. Go for quality first (speed), then you add quantity (endurance) after. But then there is the race day issue: how do you know what pace you can actually sustain? how fast do you go out? You’re  really (all) out on a limb (or two).

If I was a Kenyan looking for a paycheck, and then if I am not placing it’d be better to save the legs and drop, it would definitely make sense to race (and train) like that. But for me, all I have to do is finish a race as fast as possible, hopefully faster than last time. Key word: finish. Not: drop out if my pace is not winning PR pace.

BUT I still think this kamikaze way of pacing in training workouts is a very interesting notion we can gain something from. I’ve done some tempos where I negotiated with myself how far I’d keep going, based on feel, mostly because I always want to quit it, so it’s similar in a way though really the opposite because I am wimp with speedwork. But I’ve never gone out at suicidal pace, to just die out there in a tempo or something.

Thoughts? Will you try it out too and report back?

a little (huge) milestone

I haven’t done speedwork in years until my boyfriend started forcing me. He’d push me out, pace me, tell me I did great, I’d reply suuuure of course I did, and just wait until he pushed me out again a week later. I was starting to get used to it, but I also knew I wasn’t doing it out of my own intentions and drive.
Yesterday morning we managed to sleep through speedwork time, we were both too tired. And last night, our plans to meet to make up for it after work went to crap due to a hail-hell summer thunderstorm that flooded trains and a dead phone. I got home, I waited for over an hour, I couldn’t push it to Thursdays, I wasn’t sure what time he’d be back, where he was or if he had already run.
Okay, I am gonna do it by myself. I can do it.
…I have done it before after all… at races..?!?!
I decided I was really to move on and take on it by myself.
Something took over me and I run my warm up mile a bit faster than usual as I was excited to see what I could do on my own.
I didn’t expect to match the times I’d do with him, but I wanted to see if I could stay focused and not get bored and give up.
It was still humid, and I decided to do the whole Central Park 6 mile loop, which includes one monster hill and many other nasty ones. I wasn’t even scared to go for the easier options. I wasn’t doing it to hit my times, like I do with him. I just wanted to see that I could it.
By the time I got home, I was drenched, exhausted, and he had just gotten there. After a few minutes where we sorted how what happened and all that, I told him I did it alone. Blank stare. I explained what I did. I showed my splits. He was impressed. 🙂
I, for once, felt great about the results of speedwork. Two months ago this would have seemed crazy to me. 

a little (huge) milestone