Today marked my second speed session in my Edinburgh Marathon training plan.
Did it hurt? Yes.
Did I enjoy it? Er….no.
Do I want to do it again? Ask me after my interval session on Thursday…oh wait, I’m washing my hair that day. Damn it!
Here’s some numbers for you stat types:
1 x 10 min warm-up, 1.9KM
1 x Constant Speed Rep One, 10 minutes (10:17, 2.6KM, 3:51/km)
1 x Warm Down Back to Start, 2.6KM
1 x Constant Speed Rep Two, 10 minutes (10:31, 2.6KM, 4.01/km)
Warm Down on Way Home, 2.6KM
After the first speed rep, I kinda felt like this (ensure you adopt Forrest’s voice before reading):
Isn’t it funny that Forrest looks like a lot of American Ultra runners? I must add however that I think Anton Krupicka is pretty awesome:
Now most non-runners think that we are probably a little sadistic in our choice of sport and in some ways, they are correct. Why oh why if we are not training for a 5K or 10K race are we turning ourselves inside-out to become faster?
I’ve read conflicting evidence relating to the benefits of speed training during the lead up to a marathon and whether it’s even needed. But that said, I do occasionally enter races that are faster (such as Parkrun, 5K with a 19:10pb) and hard as hell local fell races where your heart entering your mouth is not uncommon as you slip-side over your recently exited breakfast up the first (usually bastard-steep) hill.
Thing is, I’ve never been a fast runner even though one of the first 10Ks I did was in 41:09 a couple of years back, when I first got back into running again after some absence. I just really dislike that all-over body feeling of like I’m about to fall over and die. I guess I’ve always been a bit of a wuss when it comes to incorporating speed work into my training. I mean, I’m really in training for Ultra’s, so it’s not as if I need the speed. I can walk really well, which as most of you should know, happens a lot in an ultra and is essential if you want to complete one.
I reckon though that the more I do these sessions, then the faster I will become and whenever I need to call on a surge of speed, it’ll be there. I just dread them.
Looking at all my friends stats on Strava, I get quite downhearted as some of them can maintain a 4:13/km pace over a hilly 30KM. With further training, sure, I could go faster over that distance, perhaps a 4:40/km but I want to enjoy the run and not need a drip at the end of it.
I suppose it’s all relative as the pace they run at may be ‘easy’ for them and they’ve probably been running a lot longer than I have.
Really I should give myself a break. I’m about to turn 40 and have only been back into running for almost two years after having quite serious back issues (not the magazine type of back-issue). Also, at the moment having recently visited the doctor, I am suffering with non-anaemic iron deficiency which will no doubt be impacting my performance. Consequently, I’m now on 630mg of the ferrous stuff per day and after taking that I should be as hard as nails (see what I did there? I know, I’m hilarious)
Looking at my training plan, speed work is not there that often but does rightly include tempo sessions. I may tweak it a little bit to incorporate surge runs (where you increase pace for a few miles, then ease off) and also ensure I have a steady run prior to a long run so my legs/body carry over the fatigue to simulate the discomfort in the latter stages of a marathon and to prepare me for it mentally.
How do you guys incorporate your speed work, if at all and if so has it benefited you during a marathon? I’d love to hear.
Thanks for stopping by 🙂