Since I was sick and don't have much to offer from this week's training, a few notes from week 1 of training (last week).
Last week saw my first attempt at strides, which were admittedly a pathetic attempt for a few reasons. One, it was in the 90s when I was out running, so my run was pretty much going to fail to meet my expectations regardless. Also, I realized a few key things: I don't have a good visual sense of how long 100m is, and I had no idea what pace to do the repeats at.
I mean "pace" in the relative sense. I do wear my Garmin regularly, but I rarely look at it. The pace jumps around too often to be consistent, and I much prefer to run by feel and consult it only for splits or my heart rate if I need it.
So I decided to do my strides by time rather than distance. I aimed for somewhere around 35-40 seconds, which I figured would be close to or maybe slightly more than 100m. But, after my first stride it became obvious that I was doing them too quickly. My "recovery" in between strides (which I wasn't even sure how long it should be!) was instead a walk - partly weather induced, but partly because I was going out too fast. Any runner knows how good it feels to run fast and to feel carefree and speedy, but this was much too close to my 800m repeat pace. I had envisioned the strides as fitting into my run, rather than displacing it. Still... it felt so good to run all out. I hope that it was the impact of the heat that was killing my recovery.
When I got home, I tweeted something about strides and got back a response from a much, much more seasoned runner than I: the three most important words of any run or race are "relax, relax, relax." So true, right? I'll leave you with those words of wisdom for the day.
On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"