Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Treadmill Fartleks?

Quick note - there is a great sunscreen give away over at MISSZIPPY.  Check it out.

Monday was back in the pool. I did 250 yard repeats and was out pretty quick. The legs were tired from the weekend. The hills from the bike on Saturday and the hard (but not fast) effort on the super hot Sunday run took a little bit out of me. Plus, I probably did not recover as well as I could have. I went to a World Cup party on Saturday and a Beer Club meeting on Sunday – not excessive but I am sure it did not help the recovery.

Tuesday brought another morning group ride. There were a couple of guys that wanted to do the 22 mile out and back solo at a solid tempo pace. I simply can’t recover from so many hard efforts so I grabbed the fastest wheels and held on. This was a good strategy for me. I got a good workout and I never pushed it into the red. The 'group ride' portion - me hanging off a wheel - averaged over 23 MPH for the 22 miles.  The total miles with commute checked in at about 28 miles.

For lunch I was planning on using some of my new LTHR numbers to push the tempo pace. It is still blistering here in Mississippi so I opted for the treadmill. I actually enjoy the treadmill for heart rate workouts. The machine can take out all of the guess work - I just have to run. I did an easy 10 minute warm up at 10 minutes per mile. In the past I did not use any warm ups and when I did they were too fast. I have found with the treadmill that the warm up is beneficial for both me and the machine.

After the ten minutes I pushed the pace to a comfortably hard level. These numbers are not really comparable to the real world but I punched the treadmill up to 9.5 MPH (6:18 pace). This was too easy for the first 10 minutes or so but my heart rate slow increased to the prescribed range. If you remember, my Zone 4 heart rate range for running is now 175 – 184. I actually think this range is a little high – I am going to have to push hard to get into this range. I have experienced, in training, that my hard heart rate number is right at 172 BPM. If I push much harder I get into the red zone. I have some workouts planned that should help increase my LTHR – like 5 minutes at 172 followed by a couple of minutes at 175 and then back to 172 – repeat as necessary – but those workout are for another day.

Today’s work out was going to be 10 minutes x 3 at ~170 BPM with 3 minutes recovery at an easy pace. With warm up and cool down it would be 56 minutes (10 + 10 + 3 + 10 + 3 + 10 + 10). Now this is where self coaching fails. I was feeling great at the 10 minute mark and decided to change the workout on the fly. Why? I don’t know. I was feeling strong.  Anyway I decided to do 15 minutes x 2 with a short recovery. This is where the workout fell apart. However, it was not my fault this time!

At just about 13 minutes the treadmill gave up the ghost. I was running along at my comfortably hard pace feeling good – which means, yeah I wanted to stop but I did not have to stop. So the treadmill just starts slowing down. I have crippled one of these before (they are getting long in the tooth – almost 4 years old). So I hit the emergency stop button because I know it will shut down the machine and reset quicker. I lost maybe 30 – 40 seconds and I was back at my full speed again. I just did not know how long this ‘interval’ would last.

It lasted about 6 minutes. I went through the emergency shutdown procedure again and fired it back up. The next one lasted nearly 8 minutes. It kind of became a game – I did not know how long each segment would last. I just knew that I was not going to fail before the machine stopped. It was like a coach was there watching you run and they would tell you when to stop. It made the treadmill work out interesting - almost exciting.

So the workout was not what I had prescribed for myself but it was a victory. All in all it was a good day ‘at the office.’ 28 on the bike in the morning, 45 minutes (about 33 of it at effort) on the run and another 6 home on the bike.

On a side note -
I had a couple of great comments recently asking about what training plans I follow. I have adapted several training plans that I have gleaned from books and the internet.  I generally end up writing my own or altering them greatly.  I so the annual training plan and then write the works a month at a time for periodization.  I also change them up all the time - not the smartest thing to do but - go figure.

Last year was all about volume – ironman training will do that for you. After Louisville I switched gears and decided to train for a Boston Qualifying marathon run (this would be my first marathon).  I completely changed my training from lots of volume and started to include a lot of hard runs done completely by pace. These hard runs were actually a number of races of increasing length.  I used these races adjust my paces at increasingly longer distances. I had worked up to many long runs in my ironman training I just did not do any of them fast.

I checked a book out from the library and I remember starting the FIRST training plan from Run Less, Run Fasterand thinking that I could not even complete the first day of the program. Well that program brought me though the marathon and then some.  I started with the basic 3 day a week training program for a 3:20 marathon and then altered the program quite a bit.  I ended up running the Mardi Gras Marathon in a 3:08:44 - and evenly split it to boot (1:34:00 / 1:34:44).  However, training for the marathon I neglected the bike and the swim.

Now I am working on increasing my LTHR on the run and the bike. I am still attempting to play off of this big ironman base from last year. I do plan on posting about the workouts that I will use the achieve this. Stay tuned


Matty O said...

That is an evil workout. I will NEVER do fartleks on a treadmill!

I have broke 3 treadmills already. One of which was ours. After ours broke ($$$) I said I will never run on OUR treadmill hard again. So I go to the rec center and abuse their machines. Its cheaper in my opinion haha.

Great workout in the end. Solid intervals and I am still shocked you "wanted" to run on the treadmill.

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

Way to stick with it when the Treadmill was getting all temperamental on you! I'd have pouted and moaned and then probably just left!

Emz said...

I'm a run less. run faster girl. It works!!

This treadmill loving/going girl is completely impressed with you 9.5 Fartlek workout.

a m a z i n g.

Caratunk Girl said...

Hey I did FIRST and loved it - it works (OK I was injured in my race, but if it wasn't for that, I am sure I would have PR'd), and it even fits in well with tri-training. I emailed the authors and asked them how to fit in HIM training (for a spring marathon), and they emailed me back with all kind of great info.

Lindsay said...

Way to go!!!! I can't stand treadmill running!!!