Well, it’s been almost two years of running slower and slower, so it had to be done: I’ve brought a little speedwork back into my training plan. It’s been a really lovely two years, don’t get me wrong. I actually really like running slower, since I don’t race short distances anymore. I mean, who cares if I can’t hit my 5K times if I’m not running any 5Ks, right? I’ve been more or less injury-free for over a year now (hello jinx!), and I’ve increased my base weekly mileage to the point of what used to be peak marathon training. Things are going well, aren’t they?
Yes. Actually, things are going really well, but silly me, I still want more. Specifically, I want a sub-four hour marathon, and that’s not gonna happen at my 50-miler pace. Or my 50K pace. Or, sadly, even my marathon pace. So for this year’s CIM, UltraP’s gotta step it up!
I am a mere two tempo runs and one Yasso 800 session into this plan, so I don’t really have a lot to go on, but here’s what’s happening so far:
- I am having a really hard time hitting the right paces! As in, I’m running waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too fast. I know, boo hoo. But I suspect that it’s probably going to bite me in the butt sooner or later. Sooner in the form of hurting myself or later with a big ol’ bonk at Mile 18 on race day when I can’t sustain it.
- I had forgotten how much I love speedwork. I am a goal-oriented girl and nothing makes me happier than setting out to do something very specific and then kicking its very specific ass. Boo-ya!
- If I have to choose more miles or more speed…it’s a toss-up. On the one hand, it’s “easier” to run more miles at a slower pace, but it sure does take up a lot of time in my day. For over a year now, I’ve been sitting comfortably in the 30 – 45 miles per week range (I run four days a week, btw), so it feels really crazy to be back down in the 20s but just as tired! We’ll just have to see how this pans out with regard to eating all the time but still maintaining my weight, which was absolutely, hands-down, no questions asked my favorite part of ultramarathon training.
- And, because I’m me, I’m a nervous wreck about the whole thing. Speedwork is probably not the reason I spent so many years going from injury to injury, but what if it was? I’m doing my best to be super careful and stack the odds in my favor – lots of cross-training, strength training, rest and foam rollering. But I’m a worrier, that’s just how I do things.
How do you feel about speedwork – love it, hate it, or never tried it??