Today's tempo was a 6:55 pace (11:05 per mile): A one second improvement over a week ago having added 1 k to the run this week. (I also counted this time as a re-run of BerryFine's virtual 5k race I ran on Friday.)
2 weeks ago
3 weeks ago
4 weeks ago
5 weeks ago
I've been tracking my workouts on a spreadsheet and here's the data in graph form (you can find the spreadsheet on my progress tab):
Basically it shows a lot of things [like I know how to use excel] but the blue line is my pace line with the axis on the left. While the red line is the distance run per day with the axis on the right. To confirm what a common wisdom says [Adam R @ The Boring Runner] the more miles you put on in the endurance runs the better your tempo times will be. Basically in the last two weeks (8 days of running), my pace for the long runs has marched down, and the pace for my 5k distance has been stable (even though I have added at least 2 km to it in that period). I'm tempted to run more awesome distances on Friday's and Monday's but I have time constraints. In terms of my pace and running a San Diego Master Athlete [Chris K @ BQ or Die] has given me a lot of info on running the right pace for the Tempo, Endurance and EZ runs based on your target race speed. I've actually only been running since June 15, 2010 so I have found the right people to ask!
STRETCHING: I've been asking about stretching because all the runners I talk to have a slightly different opinion about stretching. So in the last few days, I've received a number of great emails and posts about stretching and would like to include this very good piece written by a B.S. in Exercise Science and an A.S. in Physical Therapy [Kiesha @ Fitness Junky]. I quote at length [but leave out the "I'm a huge fan, I've been following your blog for years, You are simply awesome" - because she didn't write it]:
- As for stretching, there are HUGE benefits that come from keeping your muscles from getting short as long as it's done correctly. The biggest mistake people can make is stretching a cold muscle. This does much more damage than good and can cause or make an injury worse. You'de be better off NOT stretching than to stretch a cold muscle.
- Before stretching go for a run (not a sprint), take a warm bath, use a hot pad, ride a bike...you get the idea. THEN move ahead with your stretching routine. (FYI - I never stretch before a run) By keeping your muscles lengthened you can prevent tearing or pulling a muscle, you can increase your stride length by keeping your hamstring, groin, and calve muscle groups stretched, and if you do stumble awkwardly during a run (stupid pot holes) you'll be less likely to pull some wierd muscle you never knew about. Plus, later in years when your muscles start to atrophy due to the "circle of life" you'll be glad you've had a head start by keeping your muscles lengthened. Most of the elderly I've worked with who have given up on walking have tight heel chords (attachment from calves) or balance problems associated with a muscle imbalance from tightness.
Here's a few things that I find is in tune FOR ME. Other runners may differ. I like the idea [like is a bad word ... maybe I have observed] of things shrinking when you get older. And stretching them to keep them well, stretched! She actually had this post on her blog, but I did not see it [I had my head in the fridge looking for pudding] http://imafitnessjunky.blogspot.com/search/label/stretching.
COACH: Thanks for that great response on my last post on Monday about a Coach. I am like many of you and don't like someone telling me what to do. I also want to experiment and learn about my abilities and the natural way I tackle running. So to many of your points I don't need a Coach right now. In terms of motivation to run - people! I need to be held back! I have not missed one run day, hot, rainy, thundering, full of food, hungry - it doesn't matter. I can't believe I have become so addicted to this movement "through space". So the Coach for me would be a source of wisdom and knowledge about developing me into the runner I want to be.
So the last thing is what do I want to accomplish with running? I want to run faster and I want to run in races - say 6 5k races a year. I say 5k because I don't believe I have the time to train more for longer distances. How much faster? Well faster than the world record! But first I need to follow the plan and be patient and run my first race.