It would seem that my running pace is currently anywhere from a low nine minute mile to a solid ten and a quarter minute mile. While I do understand that there are different paces for different runs, I am getting a tad frustrated when one day a nine-fifteen feels great and another day it feels like I’m running sub sevens.
Yesterday morning at track I thought I was going to die. The workout consisted of four 1,200’s. (In case of noobs, a 1,200 is three laps around the track.) As I may have mentioned before, I hate 1,200’s. The reasons I hate 1,200’s are due to the other distances being easier for me pace. For example, I can run a 400 at a reasonable rate since it’s one lap and one lap only. The 400, to me, is easy to gauge speed. Now, the 800, for me, is like breathing. I have done so many Yasso 800’s I get the pace that I need for each lap. And as for the mile, it’s two 800’s. It also makes sense to me. This leaves the dreaded 1,200. I have no clue how to pace a 1,200 and end up sucking major wind by the third lap.
Yesterday’s 1,200’s sucked a wee bit more than they ever have because of the current state of my endurance. Ahem. Or lack thereof. I was getting all wobbly legged by the third one and my head took over before my body probably would have and I called it quits at number three. There goes that over thinking again.
I told my track coach that I was done. He asked me what was going on and I told him I was all over the place. I thought I’d be feeling stronger by now, but I am not. I explained that I ran 9.5 miles on Saturday, five miles on Monday, and four miles on Tuesday night. He pointed out that running Tuesday night and then coming to track early Wednesday morning probably wasn’t a good idea. I considered this but am still not convinced that this is the whole reason behind my lackluster track performance.
You still with me? I swear I’m getting somewhere.
Coach told me he’d work out a plan for me, but in the meantime, I did some googling. I found a very interesting article on active.com that made me think. This article
basically outlines seven, yes seven, different methods of “boosting” your endurance. I’ve paraphrased below with my thoughts so you can skip reading the whole damn thing. You’re welcome.
Plan 1 – Take One Step At A Time
File this one under: No shit, Sherlock. I’m going to say this is great for beginners. Let’s keep it moving.
Plan 2 – Run Yasso 800’s
I do get a great track workout everyweek so I’m not sure if this is the key to my rebuilding success or not. I’ll keep this one in my back pocket. Just in cases.
Plan 3 – Run long and slow
For me, this plan seemed to work the best in the past when I was a newbie. I ran lots of long, slow runs because my endurance was good for those and the speed then followed.
Plan 4 – Make Every Workout Count
This is basically the less is more running workout. I simply don’t agree with this method since I want to get faster. I’m of the opinion, and I can be totally wrong and you can totally disagree with me, that to run better and faster you need to run more, not less. Of course, this means not killing yourself during every run but having a few tough workouts mixed with a few easy workouts. I do think this plan is perfect if you have a hectic schedule and/or you don’t want to burnout or over do it.
Plan 5 – Do Plyometrics
I definitely think there is something to this. This includes doing box jumps and jumping rope, etc. I think this would be worthwhile for sure. So long as you’re still running, too. Do I see myself doing this? Not so much.
Plan 6 – Run longer tempo runs
This one also makes sense to me. By adding in a tempo run every week your force your body to learn to run at a higher speed. This plan though says instead of doing a conservative 20 to 40 minute tempo at pace, you do increase that every week by five minutes. Hmmmm….
Plan 7 – Run long and fastAs they mention in the article, this is the exact opposite of Plan 3. This is also something that I’ve debated with the S.O. I’ve always been a person who thought long and slow was where it’s at because that is what got me to where I was before my
long short hiatus. This plan says specifically to pick up the pace for the last 25% of your long run.
So after reading all of these plans I’m torn on what exactly I should be doing. I do feel that plans five, six, and seven would be interesting to try out because I’ve already done one, two, three, and four. This old versus new school of training thought is so interesting to me and I can’t wait to see what coach has in store. I have a feeling he’s going to hit me with the seven but we’ll see.
What do you think? Which plans have you used? Which ones have worked and which ones do you think aren’t worth it? Good Thursday food for thought.