Nailing A Training Workout

Lately I have been feeling a bit of a funk when it comes to my training.  It could be a bit of burn out, it could be a bit of the summer time heat and how that affects the training, it could be because I have my next race in less than three weeks and mentally I’m building in an excuse for under performing without even realizing I’m sabotaging myself.  Whatever the issue is, it has left training to not be so much fun.

One of the biggest issues stems from being slower this time of year.  The weather is great for being outside and in a pool, but not so great when you are trying to bike or run for any sort of distance.  It is very easy to go out too fast and end up having such a bad workout that it does more harm than good.  That is something I hope to avoid.

My runs as of late have been anywhere from 1-3 minutes slower than race speed and while I know that is normal for training, the days when I am running at three plus minutes slower just to keep my heart rate in check really beat down on you mentally.  It is hard to envision running a half marathon in an 8min pace when in training you are suddenly running almost an 11min mile.

I know the phrase “slow summer equals fast fall” and I am counting down the days for the fall races.  The ones where the starting weather is in the 50’s instead of 70’s.  The ones where at the start of the race you need to have a jacket on to keep warm until you warm up.  Those are the fun times.  Summertime, not so much.

So I was very surprised at how well today’s workout went.  The plan was 90 minutes on the bike keeping the RPMs above 75 and below 100 while keeping the HR below 130.  After that, run 5 miles in Z2.  The bike went great, slow, but I nailed it.  Average HR of 118 and average RPM of 77.  I will take it.  I started to get a little fatigued at the end so I will be adjusting my food intake while on the bike for these longer rides.

Then the five mile came.  I decided to just run the half mile loop around the pond as it is flat, open, and for some reason doesn’t get too boring compared to other longer loops.  What I really wanted was just to have a nice flat five mile run.  The HR stayed put until the end and my pace was amazing.  I couldn’t believe I was averaging sub 9min miles.  I had to catch myself a couple of times either doing a happy dance for how great the run was going or for singing along to the music.  When I got off the loop some teenager decided to scare the hell out of me by honking his horn.  My HR spiked and it was difficult to recover in the amount of distance left so I just walked it off.

But overall, today’s workout, this was one I needed.  This was one of those pick me up workouts.  And even though my face doesn’t show it, I am stoked.

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