The plan for today was to do 7-8 miles at a moderate pace, most likely on the treadmill - but much to my surprise, instead of the huge wind and rain that was called for, we had a no-wind day w/o a single drop of rain. (Nice going once again Weather Man) With the forecast calling for rain straight thru until next weekend (but who knows what that really means) and not knowing when I may have decent conditions again - I decided to move Tuesday's Threshold run up to today.
Up until now, all of my threshold runs have been in the form of Cruise Intervals - for me that's been either Mile repeats at threshold pace w/ 1-minute breaks or 2-Mile repeats at threshold pace w/ 2-minute breaks. No threshold run has been longer than 3-miles straight thru.
Today's threshold work was a 5-mile Tempo Run. Of course this isn't really a "long" Tempo Run - I just called it that to signify that the run was longer than 20-minutes in length. Reason being, in Daniels book - if your Tempo Run is longer than 20-minutes you should adjust your pace slightly depending on the amount of time you're running OVER 20-minutes.
In my case (Threshold pace about 6:16) for a run about 5-miles in length, I was going to be adding 9-10 seconds per mile, so 6:25-6:26 pace.
During warm ups my legs felt amazingly strong . . . . unfortunately I knew this wasn't going to help me one bit today. Because I haven't been running long enough yet, my cardiovascular system is very poor at this point. On a run like this I knew for sure my heart and lungs would be over stressed LONG before my legs even knew they were out for anything more than a leisurely stroll. I expected today's workout to be tough - and it was.
As I expected, I cruised through the first 3 miles (6:27-6:25-6:24) before it started to get tough. Also as expected, legs were fine, breathing was not. Early in the 4th mile I considered picking up the pace for this mile and just stopping after 4. However, this run was shaping up exactly as expected and I told myself beforehand that it was going to be interesting to see where I was mentally when this point came along - and here it was. I convinced myself to hold the pace steady and to get to 4.5 miles - if I still wanted to stop after 4.5 miles, I'd go ahead and stop. Of course once I got to 4.5 w/ just a half mile to go, there was no way I was going to stop and in fact I started to feel quite a bit better. (Amazing how I'm clever enough to find a way to talk myself into this and yet still somehow dumb enough to fall for it) The last 2 miles came in at 6:26 and 6:23 giving me exactly a 6:25 average - right on target.
As I said, this was tough - definitely tougher than my negative split workout last week or my fartlek-type session that finished w/ a 5:48 mile. It's just the breathing - the legs were fine. (I'll know my cardio is actually half way decent if I ever get to a day where my legs are sore as that has yet to happen)
Looking over the HR data after the run - average HR was 166 which is about 91% of max, so right in the Threshold range. However, my average HR for the last 2.5 miles was 170 (almost 93% of max) That's a little high but pretty much expected as I knew this one wasn't going to be easy.
Really glad I got thru the whole 5-miles. I think it's going to give me a nice mental boost more than anything else. This run's going to need to get up to 10-miles by the time July rolls around, which I don't think will be an issue.
Training: 6 miles (including warm up and cool down) 5-mile Tempo Run @ 6:25 pace (6:27-6:25-6:24-6:26-6:23) Ave HR - 166, Max HR - 171