Friday, March 25, 2011

What I Learned From a Bad Workout

My assigned run from this past Tuesday was warm-up for 10 minutes then run 7 x 8 minutes in zone 4. On a good day, I have a tough time completing this workout. Tuesday was not a good day. I had some things to take care of around the house Monday night and I got to bed later than I wanted. I chose the extra sleep and decided to get the workout done on the treadmill at the company gym during lunch.

Things didn't go exactly as planned. I warmed up at an easy pace then set the treadmill to around a 7:20 pace. The first 8 minute interval felt fine, after a 2:00 recovery it was time for interval #2. This is when the workout starting heading south. I struggled through 4 minute intervals and called it quits. As I was cooling down, I felt dejected. The Friday before I ran a killer step-up run with the last 4 miles at sub-8:00 pace. Sunday's long run was solid as well. There was really no good reason why I shouldn't have been able to hit the workout.

Coach is a big proponent of learning something from every workout, good or bad. As I was writing my post-run thoughts on my log, 2 things came to mind. 1) Speed workouts on the treadmill are tough. First, the pace on the treadmill is not always 100% accurate. I may have been running faster than the pace on the TM showed.  Second, it's a lot harder (for me) to maintain one pace for the duration of the interval. When I do intervals on the track or on the road, your pace is going to vary within each interval. I tend to start slow and speed up as the interval goes on. Lastly, it's just boring. It's safe to say that most of us prefer doing our speed drills on a track or on the roads. 2) My body is used to running in the morning before work. By the time I got on the treadmill, I had been at the office for a few hours dealing with the stresses of the morning. When I run before work, my body is fresh and my mind is clear. There is very little to piss me off between when I wake up and when I hit the road. Once I get to work, there are meetings, deadlines, and last minute requests for stuff.

The Vermont City Marathon is 9 weeks from Sunday. The next few weeks are going to be tough. I'm traveling to Denver for work on Sunday which means another weekend without a long run. I plan on running while in Denver but I'm not sure how the thin air will affect me. My next race is the Indian Trails 15k on April 3 and Passover starts the evening of April 18.

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