Tuesday, March 3, 2009

When it's cold, the treadmill is your friend

I have been starting off my Tuesday morning group runs with a warmup on the treadmill. I needed a thorough warmup after a ride in 41 degrees on my scooter to the gym.

Let me tell you, I was glad when a friend of our group leader came up to me and told me that she was running late. That gave me an extra 10 minutes on the treadmill.

I started off walking around 20 minute pace and slowly made my way through 15 min pace, 12 min pace, 10 min pace. I eventually ended up at 7 minute pace and was fully sweating. I had to take off my winter cap and hooded sweatshirt.

I was ready for my run. I already logged 2 miles, so our 9-10 minute pace 3 mile run was going to be easy. I stripped even further and took my warmup pants off and I don't know if that was a great idea. I need to get a pair of those running tights for next winter season. It's pretty much too late for this year. Any suggestions on a brand or type of material?

We had a nice run. I paced one of the slower runners and kept him with our pack by asking him to do a quick burst of speed about half way through the run. I don't always care about every runner, but you can see that this guy doesn't have a lot of running experience and he is trying. He's got the will power, but just needs a little work on his technique/form and obviously needs to log more miles, which just takes time.

He has been running for about 4 months and has done a few 5k's in that time, but was unsatisfied with the fact that he hasn't really improved much in this performance. I advised him to incorporate some speedwork once a week for a few weeks and he should see some improvement. One of the biggest problems with newbies to anything is that they don't know what you mean even though they have heard the term.

What is speedwork?

I gave him an example of some speedwork. I basically told him to try the same workout I did on the track this past Saturday. Start with about 15 minutes of warmup which should be about 1 slow mile. Then do some light stretching and run a lap around the track at about the pace you would like to run a mile. Then, run a recovery of 1 lap at about the warmup pace. Repeat 4 times. Cooldown jog.

I hope he tries it. I would like to see him improve and know that maybe the coaching I received in high school and at the Track Shack sessions will be passed on to a fellow runner and he will stick with it. It's hard to keep doing something when you don't see results.

Today's mileage: 5 miles

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