Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Variety is the spice of running

Today was supposed to be a speed session but I didn't feel like running repetitions, so I changed things up and did a threshold run instead. A true threshold run should last about 20 minutes, according to running coach Jack Daniels, but I ended up splitting mine into two ~10 minute segments, separated by an easy mile at an 8:35 pace.

Per the Daniels/Run SMART pace calculator, my threshold pace based on my most recent 5K race is 7:11. Now, I didn't actually look this up before running; I just went to the gym and picked what seemed like the right pace. (Yes, it was a gorgeous day today, but I haven't watched "Justified" in a while....) And that was 7:13 for the first threshold, and 7:08 for the second one - and those average to 7:11!

What I've noticed is that I feel like I've accomplished more in a speed session when I jog the recovery intervals instead of walking them. 8:35 is somewhere around my long run pace (sometimes I'm slower if it's especially hilly), so it's an easy pace, but I wouldn't have thought of it as a pace that I could manage while recovering from 10 minutes of a threshold pace, yet it was. Cool deal!

Anyway, this ended up being not that different from repetitions, only it was two 1.5 mile reps, but it didn't seem that way when I was running it because I was thinking to myself "threshold run," not "repetitions." So perhaps it's true that variety is the spice of running.

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