I finally got my butt moving for this run test. Fear is not even close to what I was feeling. I had to overcome a mental block like you would not believe.
A block knowing that I could have trained better.
A block knowing that I have been chicken to running outside since converting to treadmill training in my basement before it broke.
A block not wanting to see my final time.
A block in just not enjoying running period.
Today I got up and forced myself to the Y to run on the treadmill there. My last two run tests have been outside, but since I have been training on a TM over the last month I decided to stick with the TM. I got to the Y and after signing up for one of the new TM's I made my way over to find a young couple taking the very one I signed up for. This made me mad, but I decided to just move to another treadmill. An older one.
I did my warm up and just was not feeling it, but tried to tell myself to get loose and focus. After one mile of gradually picking up speed, I stepped off to stretch and get ready.
I cranked the TM to 9 mph and tried to hold that pace at least until the 1.5 mile marker. That was the plan. My hamstrings felt tight, but I got into a real nice groove. A groove so nice that that TM decided to short out on me and turn off. I went from 9 mph to 0 in .5 seconds. Talk about a disruption of flow. I was about .3 of a mile in and had to quickly move to a new TM. Needless to say that a 6'4" 220 lb man coming to an abrupt stop like that caused a lot of people to stare.
I moved down and started back up. There was about a 30 second lull in the running, but I figured that since I was only a little bit into the run it was not a big deal so I just continued forward instead of starting over. I was out of whack from this point on. I tried to maintain the 9 mph which my watch read as being sub 6:10 mile pace. I was doing good until around the 1.5 mile mark when I had to stop for a quick cramp stretch. I had a 10 second break in the action to stretch my hamstring. I know it is not recommended but it is what it is. I had to move the pace down to about 8.5 and 8.0 mixed in back and forth to be able to finish and keep my hammie from going crazy.
In the end I hit my goal. I ran the 5K under 20 minutes. I was quite happy. I know that I would be able to do this even if I did not have to stop twice. I was at 19:28 so even if I slowed down a bit more I would have been under 20 with no stops. This was a great sign. Perhaps this is what I needed to reignite my running goals.
This is my second fastest time. Last year I ran 19:!4 at 4.21.12 : PROJECT RENEWAL 5K
I know with a bit more mileage and run focus I could get below 19:14 in a race. I need to seek out a race in about 6 weeks after this next training block of 6 weeks of run focus.
So, this is a double BOOM BOOM. I am quite happy with the results. Reaching goals is always a great feeling. The hard work and getting up every morning early has paid off.
Here is my Out Season Test Recap
Week 1: My time was 20:52 with a 6:43 pace
Week 8: My time was 20:33 with a 6:37 pace.
Week 14: My time was 19:28 with a 6:17 pace
A few things I have learned through the Out Season.
1. Mileage - I have gotten away from the notion of worrying about getting so many miles each week. Rather, I have finally begun to shift to work on the actual workout at hand. Run for 45 minutes with the intervals instead of just an easy 7 mile run. I am adapting my thought process to put in quality instead of quantity Last year I thought the more miles, the better. It is QUALITY that matters and this Out Season has proven that idea.
2. Rest - You have to listen to your body. Even though I had workouts to do six days a week there were times when my life and schedule were just too busy to do it all. The body wears out if you don't take care of it and sometimes that means taking an extra day here or there. The journey is long so if I have to sacrifice a workout here or there it is worth it to stay healthy and injury free.
3. Rest and Nutrition - Two more important things especially this time of year. Getting good sleep is huge. As I work on eating more balanced and eliminating foods that I don't really need(this does not always happen :)) my sleep has improved. I realize the importance of getting enough rest. I also realize the importance of proper nutrition. They work hand in hand and do make a difference. Sometimes you don't notice right away, but charting data long term you can see the results.
4. Spice It Up - during the Out Season I hit a low in motivation. I had to change things up. I did a CrossFit workout during my test week. Probably not the best week to do this, but it was needed. That change of pace changed everything. Sometimes we have to go against the grain, against the standard protocol and do something different to reignite our passions. I plan to do CrossFit once I am done coaching. It will be a good break of action from SBR(Swim, Bike, Run) and keep me going. The key will be balance and not wearing the body out. Don't be afraid to try something new.
So there you have it. My first Out Season is in the books. I made massive gains that I am so proud of. I look forward to training hard and seeing where it takes me this year in my races. I will enjoy the rest of this rest week by mixing things up with some swimming and lifting and then move on to a six week run focus training program before hitting up my Ironman training. Time to sign up for the races!