4:30 or Bust: A Quest for Marathon Mediocrity

Posts Tagged ‘Running Class

Great speed workout tonight

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Great bounceback tonight after Sunday’s Dreadful, Disasterous, Depressing and Demoralizing Queens Half Marathon.

Had a great speed workout tonight in running class.  While still a tad hotter than perfect for me, the weather was more my style.  66 degrees!  Workout was two 2-mile tempo runs around the lower loop in Central Park.  First of all, felt very strong – no pain or stiffness at all from the half marathon Sunday.  I can still remember a time when running a half marathon would put me on the shelf for a week.  Now I’m able to put in a hard run 2 days later, which is fantastic.

I went with the 8:00-8:30 pace group.  For the first repeat I was able to stay with the front part of the group most of the way.  We passed mile 1 in about 7:47, and then finished mile 2 at 15:35.  Very strong.  For repeat #2, I was not able to stay with the group at all.  I very quickly started falling behind.  I didn’t make a hard effort to stay with the group because I was afraid I would not be able to finish strong.  I passed the mile 1 mark at about 8:15, and was well behind the main group and a good 10-15 seconds behind the back of the group.  My strategy did pay off.  I was able to run a strong second mile, and pass 2 people at the back of the group.  Final time was 16:01, equating to about 7:45 for the final mile.

In my history of taking the running class, I’ve done this workout twice before.  My times tonight were stronger than both of those previous efforts!  In all, I ran 7.3 miles, and really felt great.  Looking forward to another day of rest tomorrow and then back on the roads Thursday…

Written by SCL

September 16, 2008 at 9:05 pm

Gotta love (hate) the speed workouts

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So as part of my strategy of running the New York City Marathon in under 4:30, I’ve signed up for the Bob Glover running class offered by the New York Road Runners.  The class is offered in 10 week sessions, 5 times per year.  I’ve taken the class once or twice a year, mostly every year, over the last 12 years.  I usually take the class in the dead of winter, Jan-Mar, as a way to get into shape for the spring.  And let me tell you something… it works!  However, I have a big love-hate relationship with the class.

There are many reasons why I love the class.  10 weeks of these speed workouts easily improves my race pace by 30-60 seconds.  The intensity of these workouts is something I simply can’t replicate on my own.  When the class is going on, I’m at least assured of 1 good, hard workout per week.

There are also a few nitpicky reasons why I hate the class.  Depending on the workout, the instructors sometimes have a hard time keeping the groups together.  Also sometimes people people push the groups too fast, and then I have a hard time keeping up.  Finally, while this is not a problem in the Jan-March session, during the rest of the year, the class is just too damn crowded!

But, the class works, and makes me love it and hate it at the same time.  Yesterday’s workout was awesome.  1/2 mile intervals on the 102nd st transverse and the upper east drive.  I went with the 8:10-8:40 per mile pace group, and finished each interval (trailing behind the group mind you) at 3:41-3:45.  That is better than 7:30 per mile pace – see what I mean about the groups going out too fast!  The group leader actually made a concerted effort to push the fast people to the group in front of us, however, that didn’t do anything to slow the group down and keep us better together – I still trailed the group and finished with virtually the same time.

*** Update *** – One of the coaches commented and pointed out that if the pace was too fast, I could have moved back a group.  That is a very good point and one that I considered.  This class groups into many different paces and it is always possible to move back (or forward) a group.  The group behind me was running at a 4:15 pace, which I thought was too slow for me so I stayed where I was.  Let me just clarify and say that I *love* the class way more than I *hate* the class.  The hate is more about speed workouts being hard, and less about the operation of the class.  It is impossible to create workouts that will please every person on every day and there are many other factors involved like the weather being bad (which to me means hot), or the park being crowded (which it is at the this time of the year), or me being in less shape than I want to be (unfortunately true and why I’m taking the class in the first place)!  ***

Anyway, it was a (relatively) cool evening, and the workout was awesome.  Can’t wait till next week!

Written by SCL

August 13, 2008 at 10:54 pm