Trying to Find My Speed ….

It may be a little early for some people to think about St Paddy’s Day but as a dedicated Shamrock Shuffler, that’s about all I’ve been thinking about for the last month.  Smile  Which means that I also need to start preparing to run a little bit faster.

Shamrock Shuffle banner

This is my favorite race of the year.  It’s a wicked fast race.  It’s a short race.  Participants bust 5 miles thru the city of Chicago on many of the same streets which we run during the Chicago Marathon.  It is the largest 8K road race in the world, hosting a massive 40,000 runners and bringing a million plus spectators into the city to watch US run.  Yep, it is for sure THE.BEST RACE.EVER.

In addition to the Shamrock Shuffle being THE.BEST.RACE.EVER. it is also the one race each year where I want to run fast.  Like as fast as I possibly can run at the given time.  Last year I was coming back off a very severe injury and was still not a 100% so I for sure would like to better my effort of 39:22.  I would also like to throw down my fastest Shuffle to date, meaning I need to run sub 38:56 (7:49 pace), which doesn’t seem that fast sitting here in my computer chair but I’m pretty sure it will be hard when I am out on the course huffing and puffing and trying to according to Aby STAY CALM and RUN FASTER

So, for the first time ever, I am pulling a training plan for the Shamrock Shuffle.  I’ve kinda been in long/slow run mode for a long time so need to remind these legs what it feels like to get up and GO!  Enter the Run Less Run Faster app on my iPhone and I’m instantly hooked up with a training plan that gives me speed and tempo runs to make this shit happen.  This week’s training:

Shamrock Shuffle Training_week 8


Key Run #1 – SPEED – 4x1000m @ 8.9mph (6:44   min/mi), with a 400 meter rest interval.  I normally walk a half a lap to guzzle water then run a lap at 6.0 mph (10:00 min/mi pace).  So my RI is actually as much as 600 meters.  Sorry but it’s all about survival here.  Smile 

Notes:  This week didn’t go well.  The speed caused me to pee my pants almost instantaneously on the first 1000m interval.  Then I just had trouble hanging on at that pace for 1000 meters.  It was hard.  Like super hard.  I’ll give it a couple weeks for my body to get on board and if I’m not coming around then I’ll slow things down.  Although I want to get used to running faster, I DO NOT want to get hurt and well, my right hamstring is always troublesome anyhow so I’ll give it an honest effort but will err on the side of caution and slow things down if necessary.

Key Run #2 – Tempo Run – 4 miles @ 8.1 mph (7:24 min/mi), 1 mile warm up, 1 mile cool down.  Yeah, I have this up on deck tonight.  I should have done it yesterday but I chickened out decided to clean my house from top to bottom instead.  It’s not like I wasn’t snowed in all day and didn’t have time to do both but I still skipped it.  No more time to put it off so if you hear whimpering and crying tonight, no worries, it’s just me.  To be  honest, I’m not sure I can do this but I need to give it a shot.  I can always back the pace down but I need to make an honest effort.  I also frequently find that although a pace is daunting to begin with, if I hang on then I my body gets into the grove and can manage more than brain wants to admit.  I’m very aware of the fact that if I always run within my comfort zone, I will never know what I can really do and well, this is the year that I want to see what I can do with the Shuffle.  I am not going to run comfortably hard this year.  I’m going to run hard.  And the tempo run is the key.  I think the tempo run is the most important element of any training plan IF I want to hit my pace.  And I am going to hit my pace this year and do it with a smile on my face.  Well, at least I’ll be smiling at the finish line.  Smile

Key Run #3 – 10 miles at 7.6 mph.  This is the long run for this training plan.  Since I’m still in marathon mode with Little Rock coming up on March 2nd, I’ll be doing a few more miles and I’ll be slowing the pace down.  If I weren’t also marathoning then I would for sure give the 10 miles as shot at 7:53 pace but I know it would be a big push.

Have you ever used a training plan for a short race?  If so, which one did you use?   I personally default to the Run Less Run Faster plan because the app is so easy to use and it just spits  out detailed workouts for me.  I like that.  The easier the better in my life.   Plus the plan only calls for 3 runs a week which makes it easy to squeeze in CrossFit  without fear of overdoing it.  I’m always open to new ideas so tell me your training secrets!!

** Everybody SHOULD BE Shuffling ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

6 thoughts on “Trying to Find My Speed ….

  1. Wow Amanda! Impressive! I can barely sustain an 8:30 pace for a 5k! Great job and I’m looking forward to hearing more about this. I have such a hard time wanting to run fast. Mentally, I want to give up! I need to do more speedwork that’s for sure!

  2. Ya…I will comment on this for your key run workouts since I am a quasi-coach! I can help you with this based on my familiarity with your abilities and at times issues. The key long run of 10-miles…nothing to change there, just not sure if you are used to running 10-mi continuous at slightly faster than 8-min mile. Will come back to this at end.

    For that 1st workout…6:48 pace for 3/4 miles seems a bit over-board for you. Suggest drop the duration or length of that interval to 800m or 1/2 mile, or adopt my technique where you don’t use a single steady pace. So if you want to go the full 3/4 distance, start the interval at 8 mph, gradually increase to 8.3 by end of 1st 1/4, be up to 8.6-8.7 by end of 1/2, then 8.9 thru last 1/4…maybe pushing it to 9.0-9.1 the last 1/10 or less. It will be a little easier to make it thru if you use this approach and I suggest you will end up with the same training effect. As you adapt…you can start more faster and maybe a little more consistent in pace over the entire interval. Bring the RI to ca 1/2 mi and find the pace that keeps you in moderate intensity, but gradually bring up speed higher as you approach end of RI so you don’t have to make as big a jump to the WI-speed.

    The 4-mi tempo run I would make that 10-sec slower than goal race pace thru the first 1/2, then gradually progress and finish out at 10-sec faster than goal race pace. Over time as you get better you can start stretching out the interval or distance you run at goal race pace. Play with this WO as in “speed-play” opting for slower at start, but insert intervals of varying duration at goal race pace, and finish out faster than goal race pace.

    Back to your long run…I would suggest keeping that at your basic marathon training pace, especially in the early phase, then interject the speedplay and insert some intervals where you run fast, then slow down to recover. The last few miles…do more in threshold zone and then finish out some distance at end at goal race pace. The LR does not have to be as fast as you are denoting or hope to do…at least not consistent over the entire distance.

    Hope this helps!

  3. Sounds like you’ve found a good first step by finding a training plan. It sounds like a tough one, but you’re being smart by being willing to dial things back if your body tells you it’s not ready for so much speed work. Good luck with your training–I hope you can meet all of your goals!

  4. I didn’t realize there was a RLRF app! You mean I don’t have to carry around the book with all the sucky notes in it marking all the different time tables?!! 🙂 The picture of the race start made me laugh because the shamrock shuffle here in NM has about 200 people – I will have to try to include the Chicago one in my race calendar sometime. Looks like fun! Keep up the great work – you are a speed demon!

    • I was EUPHORIC when I found the RLRF app!! I was struggling with the book and the various tables, THEN my dog ate part of it so I was using a very mangled book with missing/chewed pages. The app is SOOOOOO easy to follow. It just spits out your workouts/paces and even converts to mph if youre a treadmill runner. Saves me tons of time.

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