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Location: Pasadena, CA.
Temperatures: Day 1–Rainy 54 degrees, Day 2–Partly cloudy 59 degrees
Types of Runs: Day 1–Easy, Day 2–Intervals/Speed
Lengths: Day 1–9.08 miles, Day 2–8 miles (4 x 2 miles)
Types of routes: Day 1–flat with some gradual uphill and downhill; Day 2-400-meter oval track
Times: Day 1–1 hour, 5 minutes, 14 seconds; Day 2–47 minutes, 58 seconds (11:56, 11:57, 12:03, 12:02)
Paces per mile: Day 1–7:11, Day 2–6:00
Reason for Runs: Day 1–This run is designed to be comfortable. Not every run during the training week needs to be difficult or long. Some runs should be easy to give the legs, mind and body a chance to recover from the more difficult workouts. The distance of 9 miles rather than 5 or 6 is to help improve endurance.
Day 2–This interval workout is meant to improve race endurance, meaning it’s designed to get the body used to running fast and long. 2-mile repeats allow the body to adjust to a hard pace for a longer duration. This improves mental strength as well because you have to keep the pace for 2 miles rather than just 400 meters or 800 meters. For marathon training, the pace should be between half marathon and marathon pace. You want your body to feel what it’s like to run that fast for that long. I gave myself rest of between 3 minutes and 3:30 between each rep. This gave my body some rest but not enough to make things comfortable.
How did I feel? Day 1–Good. I felt fine despite rain during most of the run. Usually, I don’t like running in the rain. Maybe it’s a southern California thing. Since I’m so close to the marathon, I’d rather not take a day off because of something like rain. I put on a hat and a jacket and opened the door. It didn’t rain that hard so it wasn’t all that bad. My pacing was good despite the weather and I felt comfortable which I was most pleased with. I ran a generally flat route around the block near my home just in case the rain become too much for me to tough out. I wouldn’t have to go far to get home. Fortunately, that wasn’t an issue. I wouldn’t recommend running in the rain if it’s moderate to hard unless you’re experienced running in those conditions. You don’t want to get hurt by slipping or run the risk of getting hit by an out-of-control car whose driver is having vision problems.
Day 2–Fine. This interval session tests mental strength as much as physical because 8 laps around a track gets boring. It’s easy to slow down and settle into a comfortable pace. I remember running track in high school and I disliked the 3,200-meter race at the end of the meet because it was so boring and anti-climatic to run that many times around the track. Of course, looking back on it, I wish I would’ve taken that race more seriously just so I would know what I was truly capable of in that event. Now, we’ll never know. Oh well. Back to the matter at hand–I wanted to run these four reps at half marathon pace. I was able to do that. I could feel my body getting used to longer interval workouts now because my legs held up well after the workout. I probably could’ve pushed through another rep but I don’t want to overdo it. My pacing was generally consistent with only seven seconds separating my fastest and slowest rep. The cooler weather was nice. There was some wind which wasn’t nice. I have at least two more tough and long interval sessions and hopefully a 10k race before the marathon. It was nice to complete this session feeling like gains are being made.
Running With You,