So I decided to take a new approach after Eugene and listen to my "Run Less Run Faster" book. I freaking love the title of that book. Why yes, I would like to run less AND get faster!
Basically the premise of RLRF is to do three quality workouts a week and do whatever you want the rest of the time (cross train, run easy, whatever). But the three "quality workouts" are no joke. The track paces are way faster than anything I usually do repeats at (3:00 800s, 6:18-6:20 1600 meter repeats, etc.).
RLRF says to do about three miles of track work (think 6x800m), a 4-6 mile tempo at a little faster than goal half marathon pace, and a long run of 10-15 miles around marathon pace.
I really enjoy the premise.
Unfortunately I've been kind of half-assing the program. I find it hard to run hard three times a week since I'm out of town a lot (and lets be honest, on those weekend nights I'm out of town I've probably been out late, had a few beers, etc. and the odds of getting a high performance workout in the next day are slim to none. Come on...a girl's gotta have fun, right?). So I've more been attempting a track workout, a tempo, and a more relaxed longer run weekly along with some really minor strength training. I'm probably averaging between 30 and 35 miles a week.
I've also thrown in some races (a 5k and a 10k) even though the goal race is the San Francisco Half marathon in three weeks. Initially I thought I wanted my goal pace for the SF half to be a 7:10. After an average 5k performance and a really difficult long run yesterday (11 + 5 at goal half marathon pace turned into 3.5 at goal half marathon pace), I'm beginning to think that's too much of a reach for me this summer. Hopefully I can keep it below 7:20. Maybe that's still a stretch? Oy.
As a deviation from the RLRF program I'm planning to do an indicator type workout soon where I run eight miles at goal half marathon pace. I figure if I can can run eight miles at GHMP during a grumpy-before-work training session by myself, running 13 in a race is doable.
Luckily my lower mileage has given me more time to try other stuff like...
I'm the slowest person in the pool and yes, that includes small children learning to swim as well. It took me several sessions just to learn to exhale under water and now I'm trying to keep my body long and straight, breathe on both sides, not look like a manatee, you know...the usz.
While I usually hate talking to people when I work out, whenever I go swimming, I pray that a person who knows what they are doing will take pity on me and tell me how to improve.
It's probably time to buck up and take a private lesson. I know just the guy to help me out.