Friday, March 5, 2010

What is EASY?

The other day I read this blog post from Elizabeth Waterstraat (athlete and triathlon coach) about the definition of success for athletes. According to her post, the secret ingredient for a successful athlete is PACING. Not only during racing, but also during training. They know when they have to go hard and when to go easy.

That made me think about my approach to training a lot of the time especially when it comes to running (for whatever reason, I don't seem to have this problem with swimming or biking) that I have only one gear. So my tempo runs have the roundabout same speed than my long runs than my recovery runs (what are recovery runs anyways! ;-)... You get the idea. So for Wednesday night I was telling myself, that I want to do easy six miles... And after I read this blog post, I thought to myself.... What is easy? To what pace does "easy" translate to?

So I remembered that a couple of weeks ago, I discovered the McMillan Running Calculator. One use for this sweet little gadget is race time prediction... Basically stuff like... I run a 50 minute 10K, what can I expect my half marathon time to be and so on. Of course this is not an exact science, just a guideline, but it certainly gives you an idea.

I am trying to use this gadget the other way round. My approach is, that I want to run the 10K of the Assault on Cherokee International Triathlon in under 58 minutes and with what kind of paces do I have to train to be able to accomplish this goal*. So I entered my goal time of 57:50 mins into the entry screen.

*Just as a side note, this is not a completely unrealistic goal, my current 10K PR is 58:53 mins.

And out came this table, that basically shows me when I have to run how fast... It defines paces for any kind of distance and intensity and I will print this baby out and use it for my reference in the coming weeks of training.

(Click to enlarge.)

So my "easy" pace based of the table is between 10:52 and 11:22 and I did my easy run of 6.2 miles with an 10:55 average right on target. And yes, it actually FELT easy. In order to keep me on track, I entered a max speed of 10:20 for this run in my Garmin and the little guy beeped at me to go slower and that worked out just fine obviously even though the max pace in the Garmin was so much lower than the target pace.

Tomorrow, I am going to race in the Reedy River 10K. That's actually the race were I PR'd last year. So far I haven't even thought about a specific goal for this race... We'll see what is going to happen.

On a completely different note:

So the race organization of the Myrtle Beach Marathon Weekend finally made an announcement this past Tuesday about how they are planning to "reimburse" the runner's that were not able to run the half marathon or marathon on Feb 13th 2010. If you picked up your package for the half or the full, you'll get a 50% discount for your 2011 entry, but you have to sign up by March 31th. I guess that will give us close to four weeks to decide what we are going to do.

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