Finding a Balance

Learning to live a healthy, balanced life.

Run less, run faster

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I’m taking a new approach to my half marathon PR goal. I’m going to try to run less while running faster.

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You’ve probably heard of this book. I had not. But as soon as I did hear about it, I’ve been seeing mentions of it everywhere! The basic premise of the book is that regardless of the level a runner is at, they can improve their race times while training less. The training philosophy aims to make running easier by limiting overtraining and burnout, therefore cutting the risk of injury, while producing faster race times.

This is right from the Amazon page for the book:

The key feature is the “3 plus 2” program, which each week consists of:

-3 quality runs, including track repeats, the tempo run, and the long run, which are designed to work together to improve endurance, lactate-threshold running pace, and leg speed

-2 aerobic cross-training workouts, such as swimming, rowing, or pedaling a stationary bike, which are designed to improve endurance while helping to avoid burnout

With detailed training plans for 5K, 10K, half marathon, and marathon, plus tips for goal-setting, rest, recovery, injury rehab and prevention, strength training, and nutrition, this program will change the way runners think about and train for competitive races.

According to all of the charts and skimming the rest of the book, (I do plan to go back and read it all, but my husband and I fight over who gets to read it before bed.) based on my 5K time, I should be able to run a 1:53 half marathon. But the road to get there is not pretty.

So today, after three days off due to feeling sorry for myself/the most painfully tight and sore calves I’ve ever experienced, I got back on the treadmill and did my first workout from this book.

1 mile warmup at 9:40 pace

4x1200s at 7:53 pace with a 2:00 RI in between.

Cool down of roughly .5 miles @9:40 pace.

Run stats: 5 miles in 48:35.

OK first of all, I’ve never done 1200s before. I’ve never even done 800s before. Man, that wasn’t fun. I don’t know how people do mile repeats or TWO mile repeats, for that matter. Thank goodness I only had to do four of them!

With this new plan, I’m supposed to run 10 miles on Saturday but at half marathon pace + 20 seconds. Which for me would be 9 minute miles. This freaks me out. A lot. Like now I’m questioning my goals. I just ran ten miles last weekend at an average of 9:55 miles. Granted, it was an extremely hilly course and I was coming off of the Shamrock Shuffle with less than a week of recovery — but still. So, uh, I’ll let you all know how that goes. Tomorrow I plan to go to a spin class at Lifetime for my cross training.

Last night, my husband and I had the loveliest dinner with my cousin and his partner at, (where else?) Parka!

Here are just a few photos of the deliciousness:

Kale salad: roasted grapes, compressed apple, chevre, hazelnuts

Kale salad: roasted grapes, compressed apple, chevre, hazelnuts

Cabbage rolls: crab, shrimp, ginger, cream cheese, chili

Cabbage rolls: crab, shrimp, ginger, cream cheese, chili

Fried chicken: biscuits, milk gravy, "carrots and peas"

Fried chicken: biscuits, milk gravy, “carrots and peas”

Perhaps the most exciting part of dinner (besides the hand dripped cup of decaf Dogwood coffee after dinner) was the wine I discovered. At some point, I stopped liking white wine. (I think it might have had something to do with the copious amounts of cheap pinot grigio I drank in college.) Anyways, I didn’t feel like red so I had a glass….OK two glasses, of a Casamaro. And it was amazing. So all of you wine connoisseurs — tell me more about it!

Hope you’re staying warm! It’s pretty gosh darn snowy here in Minnesota. #whereisspring

On a side note, related to this post, I’m going to be disconnecting a bit over the next two weeks to take some time to get away and go be with family, catch up on studying for my personal training test, etc. I’ll probably be posting here and there and have a couple of amazing guest bloggers lined up — but just wanted to share that because you’ll be hearing from me less.

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5 thoughts on “Run less, run faster

  1. This Parka restaurant seems like my kind of place! Don’t know when I’ll ever get there though :/

    Enjoy your time of disconnect 🙂

  2. I look forward to hearing how you feel about the book! I’ve heard lots of talk on both sides about it. Enjoy your R&R!

  3. Run less, run faster has always worked better for me! My calves and feet literally can’t stand 5 days a week of running. I did my best marathon time training only about twice a week. Can’t wait to see how it works out for you!

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