Speedplay – Session II – FAIL

Today was my second speed session.  It was supposed to be on Tuesday; however, on TUE I didn’t leave the house other than taking the lil man to the doctor (for the second day in a row) and I don’t have a treadmill.  So today was the day, or so I thought.  I felt calm, cool and collected walking in, just like these chicks painted on the wall: 

But I was soon falling off the back of the treadmill.  JUST.COULD.NOT.HANG.ON. 

I was supposed to do 6x 800m at a certain pace.  I made one.  Yep, you read that correctly, one.  And it was a struggle to make that.  I just couldn’t get thru the second one before bumping down the speed.  I was afraid of actually falling off the treadmill in front of my building mates.  Then number three slid a little further down hill…… and so on and so forth.  I think you get the picture.  I didn’t make it happen, not even close.  I wanted to but I couldn’t.  Now the list of excuses:

  • Didn’t have my iPod
  • The TV on the treadmill makes me feel claustrophobic even though it wasn’t on.  By the way, BeARunner said that first, it’s not an original thought but that’s exactly how I feel.  See their post HERE.
  • Too much cuddle time with the lil man this week, not enough workouts
  • 8 mile run yesterday
  • Not enough sleep
  • Worried about the lil man – who is back to school today.  I know I’m reaching.
  • Maybe I just am not fast enough to hit those times

As a punishment, I ate this for lunch:  lettuce wraps, greek yogurt & water. 

Actually that’s a normal lunch for me, so not really a punishment.  Maybe I should say that I ate it before I ran and was cramping?  Nobody would believe that.

Help me think of other excuses to give Coach Frogger before he reads this post since I “forgot” to send him the update email.  Best excuses for failure not hitting your times?  Fast!  Help Tell me now!

Amanda – TooTallFritz

10 thoughts on “Speedplay – Session II – FAIL

  1. This sounds similar to a post I’ve done a little while ago! For me, some of my reasons for failing were as follows:

    1) I think the treadmill was on too tall of an incline. I usually run at 1.0-1.5 and probably should have left it more at 0.5-1.0.
    2) Ate lunch after I ran instead of before. I hadn’t eaten since breakfast so my fuel-o-meter was on zero. Not very good if trying to really push my body.
    3) A new exercise. I had tried the idea of a “progressive run” and I don’t think my body likes that type of training for some reason.
    4) Just a bad day. Sometimes, sh*t just does (or doesn’t) happen.

    Hopefully you find out the reasons and make adjustments for next time. Best of luck!

  2. I like “I left my heart rate monitor at home”. Or – I just didn’t have a good run (but you can only use that one so much). I try to follow my coach’s plan, but sometimes I just don’t make it. I think ti’s part of being a runner. Stay strong. 🙂

  3. Well, it’s not truly failure…just a set-back…just not your day…or you weren’t running on all cylinders. I don’t really have any excuses, humor or such to offer, but I can empathize cause I myself been struggling to hit my goal times for various workouts.

    Seriously though…I think you posted something about 8.1 miles the day before in ca 1:08 or so? And, if you were stopping to take pics and such, that means you were running pretty high intensity when you were running…right? Well…trying to do a hard speedwork session in the aftermath of what would be considered a hard-run (both in pace and distance) the prior day could be the reason.

    Another reason might be not enough warm-up at slower speed before running the intervals. Usually takes me 1-2 miles of slower running before I can do that faster interval running. I know…the lunchtime doesn’t really afford you the luxury of a more prolonged warm-up. When I am strapped I usually use the 1st mile as a warm-up starting at a snails pace 4.0 mph, then making 0.5 mph jumps each 30s until I am 6.8 mph, then I gradually increase by 0.1 mph until I get up to my goal marathon pace of 7.5 and run that the last 1/4 or so of the 1st mile, then I jump into the first interval, maybe that be 8.0 to start (if it be 0.5-mi) and tweak it up to 8.5 midway in the interval. If I am doing 0.25-mi intervals I might start at 8.5 or even 9.0 and just hang-on cause it is over quite quickly.

    Now…here’s what the Coach says to do when confronted with “failure” and you hanging on for life at the back of the treadmill after just one interval. Rather than call it quits and failure…adjust and do something you can finish out! In the case of your specified workout, if the speed for the 800 seemed just too hard to sustain, for whatever reason, then maybe try holding it for a 0.25-mi interval…so you simply shorten the interval distance. Or…the other option would be to just find a lessor fast speed that you could hang-on to more consistently, then adjust your recovery interval downward in speed also or lengthen the recovery interval to 50-100% longer, if necessary…just to recover enough to run another interval. You will still get some training effect….far better than just quitting and “failure” as you put it.

    Usually you have to come into speed work sessions full of your topmost energy and to do that usually means running easy or day-off before the speed session. You have to plan these “hang-on-to-yourself” treadmill speed workouts (or real track or speed-play on the streets or trails) coming into them rested and fully recovered….or, as you most aptly discovered….it just don’t work out and you fly off the back and give up.

    So…don’t be afraid to adjust, adapt or just change the routine that allows you to get some effective training done. Case in point, yar Coach will use himself to illustrate. Contending with lingering injuries and not running anywhere near my capabilities where I was last year about same time…and hurting a bit in aftermath of 55-miles run last week, I opted to not run on Monday or Tuesday. Did some x-train and some stretching and therapy routines, but for the most part my attention was focused towards other tasks like taxes, project I be working on, and doing my first visit with my new Dr since the change in health plan, among other things.

    Wednesday I decided I wasn’t going to chase mileage this week, but rather focus on getting some higher-quality training sessions in…screw what the training schedule says. So…I told myself at least 1-hr continuous run session of ca 7-miles, but if I could get the routine to 8-miles…excellent. Started out my usual slow at 4.0 (that’s walking speed!) and by end of 1st mile up to 6.7 mph, then keep tweaking it up so 3/4 way into 2nd mile I be running efficiently and comfortably hard at 7.5 mph (8-flat pace)…then I jumped right into threshold intervals of 0.5-mi distance at 8.0 and segue into 8.1-8.2 by end of first half, then jump it to 8.5 and hold on to the end, then rapidly, but gradually downing the speed back to goal marathon pace of 7.5 and run that for the 0.5-mi interval, then back to the threshold interval. Late in the routine, feeling a bit fatigued, I just downed to walking speed and did a short walk break during the recovery interval and downed some fluids, then right back to recovery interval pace and back on track and finished-out the routine.

    Today….though not recommended by this Coach, I did another higher-intensity routine…this time 5.0 miles on the dreadmill, and this time compressing the warm-up to 1.5-miles, then into some threshold/quasi VO2max intervals. But this time recognizing it would be pushing it to do speed at longer-duration, I just decided to shorten the speed interval to 0.25-mi, but ramp the speed up to 9.0 and follow it up with a recovery interval twice as long (i.e. 0.5-mi) at goal marathon pace of 7.5….. And that did the trick…that longer recovery period before I sped up again. In the last or 5th mile, I shortened the recovery intervals to 0.25-mi so I ended-up with an even 5-miles. And…because of those adjustments….I got a 2nd higher-intensity workout on the books without failure. I was intending to run another 3-mile routine later in early evening…but opted not to and just watched Part 2 of Band of Brothers on the DVD.

    See how that goes? Adjust and adapt your routines based on how you feel…do something…but something that is realistic to achieve at that given point in time.

    Sorry for the length of my post….but think some of the points might be useful for you runners to understand who is in control of the running…..you! So…make it work for you based on how you feel that day….and if you don’t run…that’s ok too!

    peace all,

    • For the record, I did finish the workout, just not at the prescribed pace/distances. I’ll give it another go next week. And I think my WED run was around 1:19 with stops. So much slower than you were thinking.

  4. Oh…BTW….I actually enjoyed the post and found the pics quite appropriate, if not some, guite hilarious (like the pic of gal hanging off back of treadmill)! When it comes to this run-game-thing, it is always good to have a sense of humor and just go with the flow!

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