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OK, time to speed it up.  I'm training for a half marathon in November and I have no doubt I'll get the distance in, but I want to tick my speed up a little.  From a bit of research it seems the two things that will kick up my speed a notch are sprint training (which trains short twitch muscle fibers giving me anaerobic speed over short distances) and fartlek (teehee) training which raises VO2 Max (the oxygen efficiency in your muscles for distance).  To sum up research in a few sentences and grossly simplifying things: Sprinting will improve my over all pace slightly, my "gear switch" to a fartlek, and the final sprint at the end of the race.  Farklet training will increase my VO2 max allowing me to run faster overall AND get me used to speeding up the pace for a while then recovering at a slower pace.  This results in an overall faster average pace.  So I'm going to do a little of both for the four week challenge.

 

Sprints: I'm going to train sprints on Mondays during my short run (7-8km).  I'll be doing a ~2k warmup run and then hitting the track at a nearby school.  For whatever reason they have 110 meters marked off clearly so I'll do that.  3 sprints at about 70% of effort and jogging around to the line again, then 2 sprints at maximum effort and walking to recover.  Then I'll have about 3k left to run as a cool down.

 

Fartlek: I'm going to train fartleks on Wednesday with my medium runs (9-11km) and include a 1 minute fartlek every 3 km.

 

On top of this I need to keep to up my lifting (I got injured doing marathon training as soon as I dropped the weights - I'm convinced that's no coincidence) and get my distance increased to 22 km (over 13.1 miles).

 

I've got spreadsheets because I'm me here.  I'm not using the lift schedule on there.  I haven't set up my October schedule yet (which will be easier), but here is September.

 

 

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Have you looked into Yasso 800s yet? Great tool for speed work if you can make 'em happen. 

 

Info Link http://www.runnersworld.com/race-training/yasso-800s

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Running PRs : 5K 24m16s | 10K 53m32s | 15K 1h18m09s | Half Marathon 2h1m44s | Marathon 4h42m2s 
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3 hours ago, Strickland5 said:

Have you looked into Yasso 800s yet? Great tool for speed work if you can make 'em happen. 

 

Info Link http://www.runnersworld.com/race-training/yasso-800s

 

I have not.  It looks like I missed the boat on that prescription though.  Maybe I can keep it in mind for the full marathon coming in spring.

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9 hours ago, Primeval said:

Yo yo yo yo what an exciting challenge. Thank you for explaining fartleks so well, I always kind of do them and don't pause to think about why they are working.

 

Do you have a goal time for your half marathon? 

 

Not really.  I ran my last one in 1:28 and hurt myself in the process.  I'd be pretty happy if I could hit 1:30 and walk away comfortably. 

 

Well... walk away with the usual burning and soreness rather than shooting pains.

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Not really.  I ran my last one in 1:28 and hurt myself in the process.  I'd be pretty happy if I could hit 1:30 and walk away comfortably. 

 

Well... walk away with the usual burning and soreness rather than shooting pains.

1:30 is impressive! Don't get hurt tho. Good luck!

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All right, now that I'm good and behind everyone I did my first set of sprints last night

My three 70% sprints were 23.2, 23.7, and 24.0 seconds each.

My 100% sprints were 21.5 and 20.8 seconds.

 

So recap of Monday: Sprints - Done, Short run - Over Done (ran an extra km), Maintain Weightlifting - Done.

Today I've already hit the weight room (deadlift day - WOO!) so Maintain Weightlifting - Done.

 

Speaking of weights, here's what my October schedule is going to be.  A bit easier on me than September since I'll be hitting the running pretty hard for the challenge and the race.

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It's time now for the Wednesday recap.

I ran with a group for 5 miles, but didn't do fartleks.  I did however make my best average pace on my tracker watch so I'm on the fence if it counts or not.  I guess not, though I accomplished something else entirely.

 

Wednesday: Fartleks - Nope, Medium Run - Done, Maintain Weightlifting - Done.

Thursday: Maintain Weightlifting - Done.

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I already see an improvement in my sprints, but I don't know if that's from actual performance improvement or if I managed to hit the button on my watch better this week.  I'm using my GPS watch as a stopwatch since it has a "lap" function.  That's nice, but unfortunately I have to Spiderman/Dr. Strange pressing the button awkwardly in the palm of my hand with my middle finger. 

 

70%: 21.1, 22.2, 22.5

100%: 20.2, 19.5

 

Monday: Maintain Weightlifting - Done, Short Run - Done, Sprint Training - Done.

Tuesday: Maintain Weightlifting - Done.

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Alllllllll righty then.  I've had one hell of a morning.  I'm headed out of town for a wedding and had to take the dog to the boarder's place.  I was an hour late this morning because google sent me on a wild goose chase with walking directions to the dog boarder's with a leg that didn't allow dogs (there was a ferry in there).  So 20 minutes before I needed to be at the office I wound up renting a zip car, driving 15 minutes away (which took 30 in rush hour traffic) and back, then walking the last mile to work.  I moved to a city with a subway because my road rage is so bad.  Tossing in lateness, rush hour, taking directions from GPS in tunnels (read: missing several major turns) and the inability to adjust the seat in an unfamiliar car (what's up with the Jetta?) meant I was in an absolute fury until I got into the office.


I got my medium run (10k) in last night despite the wife being out of town and the dog being needy (he can't run that far).  I DID the fartleks, but if you look at my running times you can't tell I did them.  As a matter of fact, the chart of my per km times is the straightest I remember seeing it... I assume this is because of how I was keeping time.  I was setting off the timer program on my iphone in my arm band and I guess I was slowing down to start/stop the timer.  I know I had to flat out stop and stand still at one point because the timer works all weird with the updates and I needed to figure it out.  I think I might just buy a stopwatch.  I'm doing stop-watchy things.

 

Wednesday: Medium Run - Done, Fartleks - Done, Maintain Weightlifting - Done.

Thursday: Maintain Weightlifting - Fail.

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I'm alive after an out of town trip for a wedding.  You know what makes a big difference in running? Hills.  Lots and lots of them.  I ran 20k in the foothills of the blue ridge mountains on Saturday.  I'm more than a little proud that I got through it all despite my less than stellar pace.  I missed lifting this morning because I got stuck in an airport for 4 hours last night and didn't get home until 1am.  I did meet the tour manager of Kaleo and scored free tickets for tonight and a cab ride.  I don't know who Kaleo is and I probably won't go since I need to get my sprint work done and my life back in order, but it's a fun story.

 

Friday: Maintain Weightlifting - Done

Saturday: Long Run - Done.

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Sweet, my times keep going down!  I was worried I'd have a bum night from being worn out, but my times are pretty much 1 sec. down from last week across the board.  I still don't know who Kaleo is.  Maybe I draw all of my running powers from the cold...

 

70%: 20.7, 21.3, 20.8

100%: 19.1, 19.0

 

Monday: Mantain Weightlifting - Fail, Short Run - Done, Sprint Work - Done.

Tuesday: Maintain Weightlifting - Done

 

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Hey, fun story: I ran into Ben Stiller last night.  Literally ran into him.  I was running along the river and saw people filming at the bridge I was about to cross.  He was pacing across the sidewalk and I bumped into him.  I didn't realize who it was until I'd started running again.  Oh well, I guess I'll go back to hoping I get a picture with Matt Damon.

 

Doing my surges I noticed something neat on my KM times.  They drop every time I do a fartlek (unless I run into a celebrity who really killed my pace time with a film crew blocking the intersection).

 

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Woops, I got so distracted by the beautiful celebrities I forgot to do my recap.

 

Wednesday: Maintain Weightlifting - Done, Medium Run - Done, Fartlek - Done

Thursday: Maintain Weightlifting - Done

Friday: Maintain Weightlifting - Done, Long Run - Done (I had Friday off of work)

Saturday: 5k - *Bonus*

Sunday: Rest Day.

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Sweeeeet!  I ran 110m in 18.3 seconds.  Pretty sweet sprint, I think.  My sprints were:

70%: 20.6, 21.5, 21.7

100%: 19.0, 18.3

 

While I was running the soccer team was doing sprints.  On the last run I toed the line and started on the coach's command.  Having a wall of people racing a few yards away was enough to push a little more.  Anyways, recap time.

 

Monday: Short Run - Done, Sprints - Done, Maintain Weightlifting - Done.

Tuesday: Maintain Weightlifting - Failed. 

 

I've been feeling exhausted the past few days (my rest day included doing chores) so I made the executive decision to skip a day at the gym.

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We're having a stupid heat wave.  It sucks and I can't wait for next week when the temperature drops to the 50's  My run was sweaty and lame.  I got the fartleks in, but looking at my Km times you wouldn't know it.  Oh well.

 

Wednesday: Medium Run - Done, Fartleks - Done, Maintain Weightlifting - Done

Thursday: Maintain Weightlifting - Done.

 

I think I kept up the challenge quite well thus far.  All I have left is that pesky peak long run (22km).

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OK, end of challenge and I got the 22k (13.6 mi) run in.  I feel awesome about that.  Now I can cut back the next few weeks confident that I've got the endurance to cover a half marathon and do a little speed work to boot.  Now I have to start researching running strategies to see when and how I want to turn on the speed.

 

Friday: Maintain Weightlifting - Done

Saturday: Long Run - Done.

 

Overall:

Maintain Weightlifting 18/20

Sprints 4/4

Fartleks 3/4

Long Run 4/4

 

I've got some ideas for the next few challenges but I think they might be putting me in other guilds.  The wife wants to start training for the highland games again and I want to join her (warriors?).  I need to pack some weight on me because I'm struggling to keep my weight up while I train (warriors).  My wife also wants us starting up horseback riding so we can do a riding tour on our belated honeymoon next August (Explorers?).  The wife will be keeping this up and I'll be stopping once I'm a decent trail rider.  I want to get on a motorcycle next spring and I am all out of underpants to collect (Explorers?).  I got a DNF for my only attempt at a marathon and I can't let that stand.  Especially now that I'm in better running condition and halfway there.  Which means I want to do all that WITH the running in the background.

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