Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Thursday Triumph - The Need For Speed

It's that time of the week again... Time to link up with the AMAZING Smitha and the FABULOUS Linzie and take a moment to CELEBRATE OUR TRIUMPHS!

Remember, these don't have to be running related! Or "big" things! Maybe you tried a new food for the first time. Or maybe you are drinking more water. Or maybe you didn't blow up at the rude customer/ co-worker when you really would have liked to. Or maybe you went to bed at a decent hour last night. Or maybe you started a 30-day challenge of some sort. Whatever it is, we'd LOVE to hear about it!

Today's Triumph: Speed Workouts

I am slightly embarrassed to admit this, but I normally don't work on speed. Maybe it is because it doesn't come naturally to me and I get bummed out when I try it because I feel sucky, but for whatever reason I normally just stick to increasing distance (and then cross my fingers that I get faster at the same time).

But if I want to give myself the best shot to actually try and qualify for the Boston Marathon, then I know deep down that I've GOTTA work on my overall speed... That elusive BQ will not run itself!

I don't know if you saw yesterday's "Walt Wednesday" post, but there is a school nearby that we take the pup to. They allow dogs to run around after-hours and Walt loves it, so we try to take him up there as much as possible. There is a track on the property (not an official one with lines or polyurethane, but an oval all-the-same). 

Yesterday I figured for my run I would go see if the school had let out for the summer. If it had, then the property would be open and I could do some Yasso 800s. If they still had students on campus, then I would go to the beach and run a progressive run. 

When I got to the school, the gate was open and the campus looked empty so I guess it was my time to get this speed workout done.

A little cloud cover, but the humidity is definitely not my friend... 

In case you aren't familiar with Yasso 800s, let me give you the gist of them. Bart Yasso, Chief Running Officer for Runner's World and author of the book My Life On The Run, created a workout that he (and many others) believes can predict your marathon finish time. The workout consists of running repeats of 800 meters (a half mile) with a bit of recovery between each set. He has seen a correlation between how quickly you can run 800 meters and your marathon finish time. For example, if someone can run 800 repeats in 4:20 (four minutes and twenty seconds) then they are "trained" to run a 4:20 marathon (four hours and twenty minutes). 

To qualify for the Boston Marathon, I need to run a 3:35 marathon. Now just because you hit the 3:35 mark doesn't mean you will actually get in (due to many people in that category achieving that threshold), so technically I would love to shoot for a 3:30 so I have some wiggle room (CAN I JUST SAY HOW CRAZY THAT IS EVEN TYPING THAT?!).


You are technically supposed to work your way up to 10 repeats of the 800 meter distance, but since I hadn't done them before I figured I'd start with 6 (meaning I would run a half mile hard, then recover for a quarter mile and do that six times - equalling 4.5 miles total). 

I was STOKED to see my Garmin Forerunner 220 could be set up for intervals, so Tuesday night (when I should have been sleeping), I looked up how to get everything set up for Wednesday morning. (In the past when I had done "speed work" I would wear a GPS watch to track distance and divide my pace by 2 to get my half mile split AND a normal watch to track my recovery time... Oh how much easier the new watch has made it!)

The only issue I saw with the intervals on my watch was that it showed the number you were on (for example: "1/6" for your first set out of 6) and a countdown of the distance (for example: ".39" meaning I had thirty nine hundredths of a mile left in that section - whether "run" or "rest"). With that being said, I really had no idea what pace I was actually running. This seemed to be a good and bad thing. First the good... I think it helped push me because I didn't know my pace so I had to just go as fast as I could and hope it was fast enough. It also kept me from looking at my watch the whole time (sometimes I can focus on the numbers a little too much). The bad... Some of the intervals (after looking at the times when I synced my watch to my phone) I was just a few seconds off. I think maybe if I would have known, I might have been able to give a little more (MAYBE). Also, I think at times I felt like I was going super slow (don't you just hate when your legs feel like they are made of lead?!) and felt myself give up a little because I thought I was so far off my goal. 

Let me tell you, speed work is NO JOKE! Although I was "only" running four and a half miles, that was ONE TOUGH WORKOUT! 

Walking back to the car... Stick a fork in me...

I didn't know what my pace was for the individual intervals until I linked my watch to my Garmin Connect (YAY for the Forerunner 220's ability to do that via Bluetooth and not having to physically plug it into the computer like my older Forerunner 110). All I knew at the time when I finished my workout was that I was spent... And I had done 6 sets of Yasso 800s equalling 4.5 miles and having run them at an overall average pace of 8:00/mile.

After I got home and chugged my Gatorade I decided I would look at the damage to see how bad my splits were. (I kept telling myself, "This will be a baseline. Don't get upset. This is just the first attempt of many.") I have to say, although I am bummed I only hit my pace on 2 of the 6 sets, I was glad to see the numbers weren't as bad as I was imagining them in my head...

I know not everyone believes that Yasso 800s are an exact science, and obviously with this having been my first experience with them I have no idea either, but I do know that I need to get some sort of speed work in and this is one way to do it.

My "oval office"

I also know that I am a MAJOR Fan Girl and when AMAZING people tweet me I freak out a bit ;)


So although I wouldn't say my triumph was necessarily speed, I would say that I didn't throw in the towel when the workout got tough. I powered through and finished it. And not only that, but I believe I will actually continue to add speed work to my workouts! I've got the need... THE NEED FOR SPEED!!

Have you ever run Yasso 800s before? What are you triumphing in lately?! 


Here are all the RULES you need to know to participate in the Thursday Triumph LinkUp!
     1. Linzie, Smitha and I will start the LinkUp Post every Wednesday night by 11:59 EST. It will be hosted here, on Sharp Endurance and on Running With SD Mom. You can link up your posts any day of the week but the most common day to do so is Thursday. The post can be about any TRIUMPH in your life! Each linkup will be open for one week only.
     2. Entries that are not associated with a POST or just linked to your homepage will be deleted.
     3. Link back to 
Running With SD MomSharp Endurance & Carlee McDot so others can add their link and find others too! You can use the above graphic if you'd like!
     4. MOST IMPORTANT: You MUST visit the person's blog who linked up directly before you and leave them a motivating comment and share their POST. This is the most important part of the linkup. We want lots of links and we want to help each other out. This is MANDATORY!
     5. Void where prohibited.


Bain said...

Dude, I can't believe you don't work on speed! I mean, I'm not surprised that *I* don't work on speed--I've got "pet the cute puppies" pace DOWN!--but you're so fast. Also even when you're done running you look all fresh like a daisy (as opposed to a melted and sweaty mess).

Does Walt chase you around the track when you run? I can just see him starting, seeing how far ahead you are, and then cutting across the middle...

SD Mom said...

You. Are. Amazing! Coah Jenn has me doin speed work this time around so we shall see! Are you doing Canyon City or what??

SD Mom said...

You. Are. Amazing! Coah Jenn has me doin speed work this time around so we shall see! Are you doing Canyon City or what??