Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Awesome Splits and Long Runs

I have some runs backed up that I haven't really talked about since I had a little friend time. So instead of talking about them all in a long boring post, I will just talk about the most recent ones.

And those just happen to be my favorites. Is it weird that I have "favorite" runs? Probably. Oh well.

The first one was a five mile tempo run. Since I'm still new to the area (and lets face it I hate track running and really am making excuses), I have not found a track to run on yet. So when I do my tempo runs I will usually do them on the treadmill or outside but really informally. When I say informally I mean "sprinting to the next tree" or "sprinting for the last quarter mile", you know, things like that.

I also try my best to get negative splits. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't. When it doesn't I'm pretty bummed, when it does I do a little internal celebration (and maybe brag a little to the boy) :)

I went on a five mile run on Saturday and tried my best to get the negative splits. I think I am adjusting to the altitude change better because I am slowly seeing my times improve. This was the best one yet! Here are the splits:

Mile One: 8:45 <------starting out at a comfy pace

Mile Two: 8:30

Mile Three: 8:17

Mile Four: 8:14 <----two pretty even miles, but picking it up a bit

Mile Five: 7:36 <----WOAH!!!

Total time: 41:36

I don't know if there was a cute guy up ahead or a dog chasing me or what. But I booked it on that last mile! Those times were pretty average for me in Tennessee, but I haven't seen those kinds of numbers on training runs in Colorado yet!

The next run was my long run yesterday. I decided to just see how I felt since I had skipped my long run when my friends where here. Technically I was on schedule for 18 again, but I had skipped the 12 miler, so I knew I shouldn't push it too much. The boy told me to only do 12, in my mind I wanted so bad to do 18. I ended up compromising with my head and my body and only doing 15. Sometimes its all about compromise :)

I had also just read an article about going easy on long runs the night before from Runners World Magazine. I know a lot of us, me included, try to push it on every run because we want to get better. This article really made me think twice about being so hard on myself when I don't run my fastest on long runs. Here are some of the tips that I took away from the article:

  • Running slower allows your body time to recover and build a fitness bases. It also allows you time to focus on your running and not get burnt out.
  • 70% of your weekly runs should be easy running.
  • Your muscles need on average about 30 to 60 hours to recover from a hard run.
  • If your event is a marathon, your long runs should be about one to two minutes slower than race pace.
  • Easy runs allow your body to build up its fitness level, this helps your body adapt better to stress on the joints and muscles. It also helps your cardiovascular and respiratory system become more efficient so that you can run further and longer.
  • If your are breathing at a comfortable pace you should be able to hold a conversation and control your breathing.

Keeping all of these tips in mind, I set out for my long run and tried to pace myself a little better. I know my goal marathon pace it between 8 and 9 minute miles, so I tried to slow down to about 10 minutes miles. I am really bad at slowing myself down though, so some of my miles were a little faster. I still felt comfortable though, so I think it was a success! Here are the splits:

Mile One: 9:23

Mile Two: 9:17

Mile Three: 9:27

Mile Four: 9:23

Mile Five: 9:48

Mile Six: 9:21

Mile Seven: 9:06

Mile Eight: 9:09

Mile Nine: 9:13

Mile Ten: 9:09

Mile Eleven: 9:01

Mile Twelve: 9:04

Mile Thirteen: 9:25

Mile Fourteen: 9:25

Mile Fifteen: 9:01

Total Time: 2:29:03

Not too bad. Like I said I was aiming for 10 minute miles, and averaged about 9 minute miles. But I still would call this an easy effort. Success!

Today is a day off for me and I have a whole list of things to do! So I better get to that. Hope everyone is having a great week!

Do you slow down on long runs? Or do you still try to push it?

What are some goals that you are trying to meet this week?


  1. I don't purposely go slower on long runs, I let my body dictate my speed so I am comfortable and it generally ends up being about 5-8 seconds slower than my goal pace.

  2. I do slow down on long runs but if I find myself feeling good I will try to do a negative split for the 2nd half! This weekend I will enter the 30+ km's per long run and these will be hard! I have ran the distance twice in races but on my own will be different. I will have to work hard :)

  3. My goal is to complete a two mile run, I know not much but with my injury it means improvement!!

  4. no race goals but I'm trying to choreograph 10 new songs for zumba this week. 6 down, the other 4 are half way done!