Day 121: speed training on ice is not fun.

falling on iceIt took every ounce of effort to get out this evening. It has been one long-@ss day. I was up super early and went non-stop until about five minutes ago.

At any rate, the temperature wasn’t too bad (around -10) but there is a ton of black ice and it was lightly snowing while I was out; yes. That spells disaster. I cannot tell you how many times I yelped and had to do some sweet-manoevres to avoid falling. I’m sure I’ll be sore tomorrow, not from running, but from tensing up on the ice.

The focus for tonights run was sprints. I finally completed a true-fartlek. I did not plan it out. I sprinted when I felt like it and slowed down when I felt like it. I even got that burning sensation in my chest that I used to get when I played basketball (for any of the gals I played with, you know what I’m talking about – SUICIDES!)

I finally got so frustrated with the amount of ice that once I found a dry spot (after about 25 minutes of running) I started running back and forth over about 200m. I looked ridiculous, but I didn’t fall. And I couldn’t handle the annoyance of having to slow down to a walk every 50m …seriously.

And P.S: Willow Park – sand your damn sidewalks!

Anyway, here are tonights stats. kat macaulay running results ice speed training

  • Distance: 5.62 km
  • Time: 35:29
  • Pace: 6:19
  • Best pace: 3:44

Day 110: Best motivation to get out and run is…

It’s been a long day. When it came time to run this evening I literally had no juice left and looked to my SM family to give me a  boost. Best motivation for running This by far hit the nail on the head. There is nothing quite like the satisfaction of having an awesome run and hitting the shower afterward, followed by a reward in the form of vino. Thanks friend!

And tonight was also my very first run of this beautiful new year so I didn’t want to be a Debbie Downer and not go out. I also know darn-well that running is a gift that I shouldn’t waste, so in combination with that and the motivation I got from friends online I kicked my arse off the couch. And although I moved a little more slowly getting my sneaks and running gear on, I did get out.

bonespur_runner_footThe plan tonight wasn’t anything too hectic, however, I did decide to do some speed training so chose Fartlek train #2 on RunKeeper. I forgot why I stopped using it and remembered about 1.5 km in. It’s tough. Run 1.5 to warm up, run 2.5 steady (under 6:15 min/km), then alternate 0.25 km fast (under 6:00/km) and 0.25 km slow (under 6:30/km). This went on for just over 5km. I probably should have gone longer but I realized the other evening I may have my second running “injury.” Actually, I’m not even sure if it’s classified as an injury but in any case, I think I have bone spurs on the top on my foot. The picture really doesn’t do it justice because it’s really quite out there. Ew. They’re not too sore yet but are swelling. Naturally, I googled what to do so I’m going to ice them and see if they come down. If not, I guess I’ll have to see my family doc (boo. I mean, she’s the best but I was really trying to limit my visits to her this year!)

And the other reason I decided to come in early this evening was because felt spooked. I was warned the other evening to be very careful while running at night, especially since a Calgary woman went missing. This has weighed on my mind very heavily and I haven’t been able to shake it. It seems like lately there has been a terrible string of violence all over the city. It makes my heart sick for the families and I pray that she is found unharmed and returned home. So with that on my mind, I purposely turned my music down low, switched running jackets, put on a vest and tried to run faster than usual. I felt pretty awesome and strong, but I really couldn’t enjoy it. I kept thinking of the segment Oprah had on how to fight off attackers (which, by the way, if you missed it you just drop like a ton of bricks and scream “FIRE!” though in my head I also kick them in the nuts). But at this point I really started creeping myself out, so I booted it home. Where I enjoyed a little visit with my son before bed. (He is still protesting now that he’s in bed; I love his determination.)

Here are tonights stats:FartlekRun_Kat_Calgary

  • Distance: 5.35 km
  • Time: 32:12
  • Pace: 6:02
  • Best Pace: 4:12

Hilarious Twitter Run MotivationP.S: I got this after my run and it made me laugh and laugh and laugh – THANK YOU! I needed it 🙂

Day 82: How to enjoy #fartlek training on icy sidewalks

This evening was fartlek training. I varied my speed from 7 minute per km to 3 minute per km. For the slow intervals I tried to keep it well under the 7 mark, it was usually between 6:30-6:40; for the steady interval I tried to keep it under 6:00 min, it was usually around 5:45; and finally, for the fast interval I tried really hard to keep it under 5:00 however, toward the end I was nearing the 5:10-5:25 mark. I’m thrilled to report that my first crack at sprinting tonight resulted in a 3:00 min/km for almost 200 m – which is good for me. I’ve never been a fast runner (which I’m okay with) but this is a nice milestone for me. I can’t remember, but I think this is one of my better 5km times? The sidewalks were about 65% bare this evening which was awesome but there were a few blasted icy spots that definitely gave me a run for my money! For most of the run I thought, man, running in humidity may not be too bad compared to this snow and ice. I mean, it wasn’t as cold out tonight as it was for my last run, but really? It’s +15 in Nova Scotia right now, with green grass and we have had snow for weeks now! So when it came time to take my post-run photo, I decided to get a little tropical – some beach, somewhere. But I quickly snapped back to reality when I remembered Claire’s (aka Runninbear) comment about getting up at the crack-o-dawn in Aus and it was already steamy. No thank you. 🙂

Which leads me to this evenings topic: How to enjoy fartlek training on icy sidewalks:

(A guide for anyone who is reward-driven)

  1. make a ridiculously awesome playlist
  2. count how many icy patches you cross
  3. when you get home, take a drink (of whatever bevvie you wish) for EVERY icy patch you hit on your run

Doesn’t that sound like a pretty awesome way to enjoy an icy fartlek run? What better way to motivate yourself than knowing you have a treat at the end of the tunnel. For me, since I can’t have wine or coffee until my tests are done, I’ll stick with some San Pellegrino. But you can make it OJ, hot chocolate, egg nog, tequila – whatever your little heart desires!

Here are tonights stats: 

  • Distance: 5:01
  • Time: 28:24
  • Pace: 5:46
  • Best Pace: 3:00

So that’s it from here. Tomorrow is an easy run and yoga. Hope everyone is having a fabulous Friday evening.

P.S: This made my Friday night. My kid is awesome. Sorry to all you people out there who hate people who talk about their kids. 🙂 

Day 16: 4 mile Fartlek Run with Stroller

YAHOO! Day 16 –  4 mile Farlek run is done and it was terrific!

I wasn’t too sure what the run would be like today. I woke up feeling tired and felt like it may be a struggle to get motivated. I didn’t sleep that well last night (may have been the cappuccino I had late yesterday afternoon) and therefore, was wired until the very wee hours of the morning. However, I got up, pumped myself full of oatmeal, an apple, water and a cup of hazelnut vanilla coffee and out the door we went!

It was a gorgeous morning; the sun was shining, there was a strong breeze and I had some fantastic company: Felix. This morning (for added challenge) I took Felix with me in the stroller. It was great fun and he enjoyed himself. He was smiling and grabbing at all the bushes and trees he could along the route. At one point we were running straight into the wind and he had his head tilted back, taking in the rays, he looked so much like this photo it made me laugh out loud.

I was really thankful to have a good run day. I’m starting to get into the heavier distances and training, so I want to keep my momentum going! We didn’t see too much else on our route. I did say Good Morning to most people; and most said it back, except for the Grouch (she lives in the neighbourhood) and I wasn’t surprised when she ignored us. 🙂

 Here’s a breakdown of todays training:

  • 1.5 km warm up run
  • 2.5 km steady race pace
  • 0.25 km slow
  • 0.25 km fast
  • 0.25 km slow
  • 0.25 km fast
  • 0.25 km slow
  • 0.25 km fast
  • 0.25 km slow
  • 0.50 km steady pace
  • 0.25 km slow

I even went a little bit further than I was supposed to (not purposely, of course!) Anyway, hope everyone else is having a good week of training. Happy Trails!

To fartlek or not to fartlek.

My next run day will be a 4 mile Fartlek. Never heard of it? The name is hilarious, in my opinion anyway, And when originally told I would have to complete it, I immaturely replied: “Come again? What?” And laughed. However, it is pretty important for endurance runners as it acts as an alternative to interval training. So despite the title, I will be Fartleking… lol…

Wikipedia describes it as “speed play” in Swedish. For training purposes it means blending continuous training with interval training. The training can vary from aerobic walking to anaerobic sprinting.  Sessions should be at an intensity that causes the athlete to work anywhere from 60% – 80% of their MHR. As with every work out, you should have a warm up and cool down.

Here’s an example of the training outlined on wiki:

  • Warm up = easy running for 5-10 minutes
  • Steady, hard speed for 1.5 – 2.5 km
  • Recovery = rapid walking for 5 minutes
  • Start of speedwork = easy running interspersed with sprints of about 50 – 60 metres (repeat until tired)
  • Easy running with three or four “quick steps” (supposed to simulate suddenly speeding up to avoid being overtaken by another runner)
  • Full speed uphill for 175-200 metres
  • Fast pace for 1 minute

*This whole routine would be repeated until the total time prescribed on the training schedule has lapsed (or in my case, until you pass out.)

Here’s are a few more examples of Fartlek training from Runners World and Kick Runners:

Block Party: 
In your city, neighborhood, or office park, use blocks as your “track.” You can go around the block or do an out-and-back. Start at a slow pace for five to 10 steps, then gradually increase the pace for 20 to 50 steps, then run at race pace (but not all out) for one full block. Start with two or three fartlek segments and build to six. Walk for one or two minutes between each faster section.

Running Landmark: 
Pick a telephone pole, mailbox, stop sign, or anything up ahead and run to it. You can choose one item (all telephone poles, for example) or multiple landmarks to create varying lengths of speed segments. On each segment, gradually pick up the pace until you’re running fast but not all out. For the last 20 steps, hold the pace, but focus on relaxing your body and allowing momentum to take over. Walk or jog for half the distance of your repeat, then spot your next landmark and take off again. Continue for a total of 10 to 15 minutes, before running an easy five to 10 minutes to cool down.

Portsea Fartlek:

  • 10-15 minute light warm-up
  • a thorough stretching session
  • 3×3 minutes hard (@ 3,000m race effort) w/ 75 secs easy between each
  • 3 minutes easy
  • 4×30 seconds hard (@800m race effort) with 1 min easy between each

Watson Fartlek:

  • 3 minutes easy
  • 3×5 minutes hard (@5000m race effort) with 1 minute 45 seconds easy
  • 5-15 minute warm down with a thorough stretching session

I only have Fartlek sessions once a week, but I’ll likely give all of the above a try- why not, eh? Let me know if you do this type of training and share your techniques!