Friday, May 21, 2010

Fartlek Workout

Fartlek - a speed workout of varying speeds and lengths ranging from walking to sprinting.  This is speed work, but it is much more enjoyable than interval training.  It is Swedish for speed play.  Some of my high school freshman track team members will remember this workout.  Mr. Hern with his whistle.  He would have us run the parking lot (since we didn't have a track yet) and sprint when he blew one whistle.  Jog when he blew two whistles.  Sometimes it was fun.  Sometimes you wanted him to choke on that whistle.

Yesterday, I went out for a fartlek run.  I jogged a 1 mile warmup and made quick work of a stretch routine.  I darted down the road in my new Asics for their first speed workout.  They performed nicely.  I did have one or two steps when I was really moving fast where my foot slid a little.  I don't think that is bad considering my run was a few thousand steps.  My fast parts of the fartlek were around 5 minute pace, but I couldn't keep that up for very long.  Maybe 100 - 300 meters at most.  I did some walking and mostly jogging between speed portions.

During the speed sessions, I felt like I was floating on the sidewalks.  I was going close to all out, but very relaxed.  My arms were barely moving while my legs were just powering my body forward.  I think my center of gravity moved just up an inch or so from normal and that is how I got that sensation of floating.  It made easy work for my legs, but it was really hard cardio to keep up.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

New Running Shoes

I purchased a pair of Asics Gel Nimbus 11 running shoes.  In an hour and a half, I tried on over 20 sets of shoes to find a pair that worked for me.  Good room in the toebox, plenty of cushion up in the forefoot.  These shoes are comfortable for my running style and when I tried them on in the store, they didn't move around when I landed.  That is a key issue with me since I am a forefoot striker.

I took them out for a test spin yesterday.  I still had some knee pain in my right leg.  That is not a good sign, but it's not the first time I've had this.  I had this a few years ago when I was running with the Track Shack training program.  I just ran through it.  The tendon pain seems to go away after a few miles of warming up very slowly.  I have to take each stride very gingerly.  At least I had new shoes to give me a little emotional boost.

I haven't run at Lake Eola in awhile, so this was a nice change of scenery.  I did 2 laps very slowly to warmup.  The heat and humidity had already taken its toll on my mind and body by the time I got into my core workout.  I probably ran between 8:30 and 9:00 minutes, but it felt like I was giving the effort of 7:30 pace.  What can you do?  Keep running.

I ran 3 miles at that pace constantly having to remind myself to keep my arms pumping and my legs moving.  My feet felt great, though, thanks to my new Asics Gel Nimbus 11's.  It felt like I had little pillows in my shoes.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Quadriceps Tendon Pain

I got up pre-dawn and headed out for a morning run, which is becoming essential.  The morning part that is... since we are regularly seeing temperatures in the 90's during the day in Central Florida.

So I do my usual 2.5 mile loop.  I ran it twice and then wanted to add another half mile up to the convenience store and back.  I started slow to let all the parts get warm and loose.  That worked out great.  I didn't pick up my pace until about 1.5 miles.  I then kept a fairly consistent pace (about 8:20/8:30) until about the end of mile 5.

That's when I started to open my stride to pick up the pace, but as I got into it, I started to overstride on the front side.  All it took was one misstep and pain shot up from the top of my knee (Patella) to a few inches into my quad.  I'm pretty sure is the the Rectus Femoris, but the accompanying quad tendon is where the pain originated.

I immediately stopped.  Walking didn't hurt, so I tried jogging gingerly like at the beginning of my warmups.  No pain there.  As soon as I tried to get back to my workout pace, the pain shot up from the top of my knee again.  Ouch!  Again, I stopped and very slow jogging seemed fine.  I continued down the road to the convenience store at my turtle pace and just treated it as a cooldown.

I will probably take off tomorrow and see if a little rest helps.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Finishing Speed Work

Finishing Speed.  This is your kick at the end of a race.  Depending on the distance being run, this can be the last quarter mile or 200 yards of a 5k or even the last whole mile of a marathon.

The way to work on your kick or finishing speed is to work on shorter distance at the end of your workout.  For a 5k workout which is what I am concentrating on, you should run a few miles at moderate to tempo speed and then finish up with 100's, 200's, or 440's.  The meat of the workout can be just a couple miles.  You are only trying to tire yourself out before the sprint portions at the end.

For my workout yesterday afternoon, I warmed up with 1.25 miles at a slow pace.  Then, I tired my legs with 2 x 880 in 3:08 and 3:11 respectively.  My goal for these was to run them within 3:15.  Check.

To work on my finishing speed, I ran 4 x 220 with 110 recoveries.  I haven't run 220's in awhile, so I wasn't sure how much to give.  I ran a 44 on the first one, which is barely faster than the speed I ran on the 880's.  Time to leave a little more on the track.  I followed that up with 38, 37, and a 34.  I can hardly believe that I used to run these in the mid 20's during track practice in high school... and a lot more of them.

It felt great to get some real fast turnover during a workout.