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Sunday, May 24, 2020

Training log: Power Mile

You know what would be fun? A training log! It's not a race report, but it's more fun than moping about the lack of race reports. And since this is the first time I've trained for a mile, it will be helpful for me to look back on later.

The race: a track mile, probably held at the end of August, hopefully as a private race with our club (granted restrictions are lifted to allow it). If not with other competitors, then as a time trial.

The training: The Power Milers are group-coached by the incomparable Jimi Smith, and since I like to follow directions, I do whatever Jimi tells me to do!

Audubon Park: where most of the running happens
Now, last week, there was a little pause in the training. Our club is separating into two groups: one is training for a fast track mile, and the other is doing some pre-marathon conditioning. The thinking behind this group is that marathon training will start in the fall, and people who feel a bit out of shape or unprepared can join this group to get ready for the longer, harder workouts to come. The group comprises runners who were injured or took a long time off after a race or who lost fitness. And I thought that maybe it should include post-partum runners, too! So I briefly abandoned the mile and joined this group. But then I reflected on recent workouts, and saw a distinct pattern of improvement. This made me change my mind. Why jump ship just when I'm starting to see my work pay off? Plus, I question whether we will really have a marathon in the winter: there is just too much up in the air to devote basically two training cycles to one marathon.

Monday: Easy run plus 8 strides. 7.2 miles.
Tuesday: Tempo intervals. I did this one in the morning, alone, since I wasn't sure if the group would be meeting in the evening or not. We had some logistics to work through to comply with the state and city's phase one reopening requirements. It was six 4-minute tempo repeats (90 seconds rest) followed by five 90-second accelerations from easy pace all the way to mile pace (90 seconds rest). My tempos were at 6:19, 6:25, 6:17, 6:27, 6:15, 6:20. They felt smooth and easy, actually. I have no idea if I did the accelerations right, or not - accelerating evenly over 90 seconds is hard! 9.5 miles with warm up and cool down.
Wednesday: Easy with the stroller. 5 miles.
Thursday: So this was while I was temporarily in the pre-marathon group, and the workout was listed as ten miles easy. I did it on the levee, where I always do my midweek long runs, but I think my brain associates the levee with moderate to aerobic progression running. The run felt easy, but the 7:29 overall pace pointed to probably more effort than the instructions called for. But this is the run that made me text coach, because it really did feel quite easy, which made me think that I didn't need pre-conditioning afterall. 10 miles.
Friday: Well. Until Friday humbled me. After a bunch of good workouts, I knew as soon as I opened the front door that this one would be hard. It was 81F with 88% humidity, and the sun was bright overhead even at 6:45 am. The workout was ten to sixteen reps of (90 seconds at 2 mile / 5k pace; two minutes jog), but I was positive 10 would be enough. I managed to complete the workout, but it was a struggle from the get-go. Paces were 5:59, 5:48, 5:49, 5:49, 5:56, 5:54, 6:12 (probably Garmin error  - too slow), 5:42 (probably Garmin error - too fast), 6:02, 5:58. As you can see, I started out too fast, and paid for it later! with warm up and cool down, 8 miles.
Saturday: Easy stroller miles plus 10 strides. 6.5 miles.
Sunday: Long progression run. Moderate pace, closing with some 85% marathon pace effort. Another hot and humid morning, and public water fountains were sorely missed! I was very happy to see some low-7 miles that actually felt a bit easy, even on a hard day.
I was HELLA AGGRAVATED that the group started early and didn't tell me. Well, actually, on time - but we met half an hour later last week, and another member and I were talking and he told me 6:30. I showed up at 6:30 and they were gone - so I ran the opposite direction and met up with them, but that meant I missed our water stops. We are currently stopping for small bottles of water at two members' houses to keep everything safe. I was aggravated and thirsty. Thirteen miles in the 80s and humidity in the 90s with no water isn't fun! 13.27 miles.
Total: 59.5 miles 


  1. Oof, that long run on Sunday without water sounded really brutal. I have always needed a lot of water on runs so I would have collapsed, especially in hot/humid conditions!

    I feel like marathons are unlikely until we get a vaccination... Just seems like the risk/reward relationship of having an marathon is very off. :/ But I'm more of a risk-averse person in general!

  2. That's so awesome you are training specifically for the mile. You will totally crush it. And you have plenty of time to train and get super fast.