Thursday, July 27, 2006


Last night I ran a very easy 5 miles. During the run I came up on a gal running while her husband was riding his bike. This guy and I start talking and it turns out we “know” each other. We’ve never met, but we exchanged emails about 3 years ago. He was in charge of a south-metro running club and I was looking for people to run with. Most of his group was 3:30 marathoners and I was shooting for sub-3, so we never hooked up. Anyway, he said he trains with a bunch of 3-hour guys on Thursdays and that he’d add my name to their email list. I got an email from them this morning and I was a little confused by the workout;

SPEED: 8-10 miles including 2 x 2 mile tempos on soft surface to promote VO2 max.
Is it just me or is the use of “tempos” and “VO2 max” contradictory?

Speaking of contradictory, anyone get this article regarding “the best running workout you’ve never done?” While Lydiard probably never referred to vVO2max, I believe his 30/30 workout is very similar to the “highly unorthodox” workout described in this article.

As I was heading to my car after this morning’s workout I noticed the vanity plates on the car next to mine; UNDRPAR. Obviously, the car belongs to a golfer. I thought, runners use the term “sub” all the time; sub-3, sub-18, sub-40, etc. How come golfers don’t? Then I realized UNDRPAR would become SUBPAR, which probably isn’t the message this guy/gal wanted to send. When it comes to golf, it’d be more like UNDRDBLBGY (under double boogey) for me.

Anyway, I had a “sub-par” workout this morning, but in the good way. It consisted of a 2 mile warm-up, 3 x 3 miles at marathon pace (MP) w/ ½ mile jog in-between, and a 2 mile cool-down. I ended up running the 3 repeats in 20:43, 21:03 and 20:44. I lost concentration a little on the second rep. While I don’t need laser-like focus to run MP, I do need to remind myself to pick the pace back up, after heading up a hill.

While I hope to run Chicago about 20 seconds per mile faster than today’s pace, I’ll take this workout because;

1) This was my first MP workout in along time.
2) Chicago is not today and I try to run these workouts based on the shape I’m in now, not where I want to be in 3 months.
3) I don’t think it’ll be 72 degrees with a dew point of 68 at Chicago.
4) Chicago doesn’t start at 5:45 AM.
5) This was my 3rd hard workout in 6 days.

All told, I ran 14 miles in about 1:45 and was done by 7:15 AM. Sweet.

Dang, this is getting to be a long post, but after giving a shout out to Tegenkamp’s 5k, it’s only right to praise the U.S. women who ran the 10k at Helsinki. Below are the results of the meet, followed by the U.S. all-time list. Congrats to Kara Goucher, who, yes, is a Minnesota native. While Katie McGregor did not PR (missing by 11 seconds), she appears to be running A LOT better than she was earlier this spring. Being the president of her fan club (in addition to Elizabeth Yetzer’s), that’s nice to see. Hmm, maybe the Kara Goucher fan club needs a president too.

Helsinki 10,000 METERS
1 2 Kayoko Fukushi Japan 31:00.64
2 1 Benita Johnson Australia 31:14.80
3 15 Kara Goucher USA 31:17.12 ****PR
4 7 Jen Rhines USA 31:24.16 ****PR
5 6 Katie McGregor USA 31:32.17
6 11 Sylvia Kibet Kenya 31:39.34
7 4 Lucy Wangui Kenya 31:48.68
8 10 Sara Slattery USA 31:57.94 ***** PR
9 13 Victoria Jackson USA 32:59.32
10 12 Samia Akbar USA 33:30.84

All-time U.S. 10,000 METERS
30:50.32 DeenaDrossin 2002
31.17.12 Kara Goucher 2006 *****
31:18.96 Amy Rudolph 2005
31:19.89 Lynn Jennings 1992
31:21.20 Katie McGregor 2005
31:21.92 Elva Dryer 2005
31.24.16 Jen Rhines 2006****
31:28.92 Francie Larrieu Smith 1991
31:30.89 Annette Peters 1997
31:34.37 Kate O'Neill 2004
31:35.25 Blake Russell 2005
31:35.3 Mary Slaney 1982
31:37.26 Anne Marie Lauck 1993
31:38.04 Judi St. Hilaire 1992
31:41.33 Libbie Hickman 1999

Quote of the day;

“I don’t know about psychology; I’m a runner.” – Steve Jones, when asked about his thought process after breaking the world record in the marathon in 1984.


SRR said...

See, now that's what I'm talking about! Witty! With the whole "par" thing. How come I can't be like that?? Damnit!

Ryan said...

14 miles by 7:15 AM - how awesome. Nice MP workout. I'm still an amateur, but I know that V02 max and tempo are not the same thing. You seem to really be on track for your MP goal. What you trying for? 2:45?

Chad said...

RR, you have to work with what you've got. Some people go with wit, some go with sex appeal. I use both.

Ryan, I thought I was in 2:53-2:55 shape this spring. I'd be happy to get back into that range. Sub-2:50 would be a life-long goal. 2:45 is where I should be running.

Eric said...

As far as the workout, it depends on what the repetition time is. 2 by 2 miles at 10 seconds slower than 5k pace would indeed stress your VO2, as well as stressing your lactate threshold. However, if you rest for a long time between, VO2 gets more benefit than LT, but if you rest less, LT gets more benefit.

It's not ideal or efficient, but it would stress both systems.

Anonymous said...

As Eric mentions you can work on both in the same workout. Several long (1600-3200m) reps at 8k-12k pace can be a good marathon preparation workout. If you find yourself limited to 2 quality sessions a week then this can be a way of splitting the difference between doing a tempo run or 3k-5k pace intervals (assuming the other quality day is a long run with some harder miles).

If you want to race well at 10km along the way to your marathon working at and around that pace would be a good idea.

Combination workouts are probably even better, I've found. Start with 2-4 mile reps at tempo pace with one minute recovery, do 3-4 intervals at VO2 max pace, and finish with 3-4 mile paced 400m with long recoveries. The order is critical in getting the most benefit from the session.