New Year, new tweaks to my 6-month run challenge! Whooooo’s with me?! 😉
As I alluded to yesterday, I am all about unseating comfort zones. And that includes this little run-challenge. Now that I am deeper into it, I think it’s worth adding some tweaks and variety to keep the progress going, while not getting too comfortable in the ‘routine’ of it, too.
So what did I decide?
Change up the intervals, of course.
And add hill tempo/interval-y things.
The fabulous Samantha over at Running and Cupcakes (who I got the chance to MEET finally!! Wheeee! On New Year’s Eve, no less, and it was utterly fantastic. More on that later, though, I got a fun idea for a post…end side note) posted awhile ago about a
scary good hill climb & tempo interval-ish treadmill workout that caught my eye for two reasons: 1) eek scary, hills AND intervals? Um no. 2) *grumble* I need to focus on hill conditioning.
You see, I avoid hills like the plague. I will re-route my planned route around a big hill if I can avoid it. I won’t even attempt to run on a few of the side streets near my place because they start on a huge hill. Or…worst case, I decide upfront that I will walk them. Bad. bad. bad. I need to quit the avoidance and just learn to run them properly (since I tend to just run as fast as I can up them, poop out and then start wheezing. Doi. Stupid.)
So…after chatting with Samantha to better understand WTF a tempo run is (since I still don’t quite get it, though I get it a teensy bit better now…though I still wonder, why run slow if my goal is to increase pace? But for this run, the purpose of the first half was to burn out the legs, not the lungs, so in this context, I ‘get’ tempo runs. In every other context, I still don’t quite ‘get’ it even though I try…end side note. LOL), and figure out what pace I should aim for, I set out to get this run
over with on this morning.
Here’s what I did (some modifications):
1.5 mile steady state at 6.0
1.5-2 mile: .5 incline at 5.5
2-2.5 mile: 1.0 incline at 5.5
2.5-3 mile: 1.5 incline at 5.5
3-3.5 mile: 2.0 incline at 5.5
3.5-5 mile 2.5 incline at 6.0 (whoa nelly, this is when my hamstrings REALLY started to burn!)
5-6 no incline 6.2 (this felt like I was running downhill after that incline!)
While I did not bump up the incline to 4.0 as Samantha’s plan had, this was my first time trying this and I honestly didn’t want to kill myself or scare myself away from this run, so I took it a little slower, and let me tell you, I was dripping sweat. Everywhere. Gross. (TMI) But those 6 miles freaking flew by.
And what did I notice? My lungs felt great during the majority of this run, even though I was basically running up a steady incline for 4 miles! Steady inclines, vs. straight up kill-me-now hills are my nemesis, so to be able to run this and not feel like I was going to keel over was a huge rock for me! I also noticed that my hamstrings and glutes really took a beating on this run and it’s something I need to focus on more – strong hamstrings – to be able to power through hills consistently. So, long story short? I am thrilled with this run and will be adding it in either weekly for awhile or every other week on my interval day.
I also realized that this is the third week in a row where 2 of my 4 runs will be outdoor. To say that in January is HUGE for me. I literally never run outside from October – April in years past, and to be at this stage and feeling good running outside in the cold is more huge progress. As is being at 7 miles for my ‘long’ runs in January. Usually I hover around 3-5 max all winter and then have to claw my way back all spring. Not this year 🙂
Now it’s your turn…report back! What did you do this week? Anyone doing my run challenge care to report back? 😉
**asslap to everyone adding some sweat to their lives, no matter what form it comes in…yoga, running, walking, swimming, kickboxing, barre, you name it, it counts **