Negative splits. Is there any more happy phrase in a runner’s lexicon? This week of my NYRR Virtual Trainer program was both the highest mileage week AND the least structured. I ran one run ‘as you feel’, three runs at a regular pace (i.e. slower than marathon pace but faster than long run pace) and my old friend the long run. What was awesome was that I was able to space them out better over the week. And negative splits were the order of the week! (Yes, please! Double helpings!!)
Lost? A ‘split’ is the time for whatever measure you’re using to break up your run – usually in a regular training run or a long run a split is a mile (it would be different for interval running, for example). ‘Negative split’ means that you run the second half of your run at a faster speed than the first half. This is ideal for racing, because you conserve your energy in the beginning in order to finish strong without ‘hitting the wall’.
Added to that, on one of my ‘regular runs’ I was feeling good and strong, so I actually ended up running it only slightly above marathon pace. It made me a VERY HAPPY BUNNY.
So, what was the difference this week of marathon training? Well, first of all, I was able to space out my workouts way better. My work hours were normal, I had no conflicting schedule issues and I wasn’t trying to cram all my running into half the week. The weather was great – still a little on the humid side, but definitely cooling off. Also, sometimes the running gods just smile upon you! 🙂 Since the program called for no real tempo or speed workouts, I took the opportunity to ‘get lost’ on a couple of my runs and enjoy some of the beauty of Prospect Park. I even found a couple of trails I had no idea existed.
All in all, a lovely week of marathon training and just running in general. Despite the high mileage, I actually feel refreshed going into Week 8 of training, which is HALFWAY! I can’t believe I am getting so close to that iconic starting line once again! Chills.
LONG RUN: 15 miles this week, and it went surprisingly well, after last week’s 14 miler. Despite being a mile longer, my pace was 23 seconds faster per mile! What was the difference? Maybe because I ran on Friday of a holiday weekend, there were so many runners and cyclists out (also unicyclists – apparently it was National Unicycle Day?), and that made it more interesting to run a long distance. Also… MUSIC!! Yes, I finally went out with something other than nothing to distract me. In fact, the music made me so happy that I spontaneously added a little dance step here and there throughout my run. I forgot how much music can make a difference for the long training runs. I will be working on more playlists this week!
I also tried the GU Chomps for the second time this week and they are not for me. The texture is weird, they take a long time to eat and the flavors I tried were…not delicious, let’s just say. For the next couple of weeks I’m trying something called Honey Stinger chews. If those don’t work out I think I will just accept that Gummi Bears and I should never have broken up in the first place.
MILES FOR WEEK: 42
How was your training this week?
Do you prefer plotting your course, or just going out to explore on a run?
Have you ever tried riding a unicycle? It looked hard.