A Darkish Morning, and Random Pictures from Last Week’s Passover Holiday

I drove to my new, recently opened gym early this morning, but when I turned the corner to get into the parking lot, I realized the lights were out. They were having an issue with the electricity, and they had no power. The joys of a recently opened place.

 
Anyway, not something worth getting annoyed over, stuff happens. I’m sure it was a million times more frustrating for them than for me.

 
I figured I might as well skip today’s workout and take a rest day, but then I was already in my running clothes, and then I remembered we runners are so cool and easygoing, we don’t need anything to go running except our running shoes, so why not just run outside.

 
So I drove back home, because there’s one more thing we need, our GPS watch. I got my Garmin, and went for a nice run outside, not too easy, not too hard: 10.5KM/6.5M at 04:54 Min/KM (07:53 Min/Mile).

 
I had to reset my watch the other day because the elevation measure somehow got messed up and it was way off, same long route I usually do, which measures about 30-40 meters elevation gain throughout the whole run, was suddenly giving me 300 meters elevation gain.

 
Now it seems to be working fine, but I can’t find the feature for 1-second recording instead of smart recording (every few seconds), so I’m not getting an accurate measure at any given second, which sucks.

 

 
Last week we celebrated Passover, and we had a few days off from work/school.
We had a great time with our family, quantity and quality time, always needed!
I know I have the most amazing and perfect kids in the whole world, but when I spend a lot of time with them, I discovered new ways in which they are perfect and I didn’t even know it.

 
A few random pictures from last week:

 
Picking up flowers, it was permitted of course:

 
Flowers Collage

 
Family bike ride, or cross training. The pictures don’t do justice to how hard carrying the buggy was:

 
Biking

 
Around Tel Aviv:

 
TLV
TLV Port

 
Art expo:

 
Phones

 
Random lunch, eating matzah too:

 
Eating

 
Some adult time in the evening:

 
Drinks

 
Retail therapy for our house, I have neglected it, my budget goes to running gear:

 
Shopping

 
I am so happy they opened this store in Israel. Now there’s officially no more space in my kids’ closets:

 
Childrens Place

 
Grocery shopping, the never ending chore. I actually enjoy this store, it’s a health market where I buy a lot of the stuff I eat:

 
Eden Teva

 
At the beach:

 
Tel Aviv Beach

 

What is the weirdest reason why you had to miss a workout?



 

Fast Like the Wind, and Tips to Do Speed Work

I like running fast sometimes. My fast.
It may not be fast for others, but for me it feels fast like the wind, fast like no one could ever catch me.

 
Wherever we may be in terms of running speed, improving it is not as hard as it seems. Our bodies learn to run faster, to breathe better, to move our legs more efficiently.
This is something I really like about running, we compete with ourselves, and eventually we win.

 
I did 2 speed workouts this week, they ended up being one day after the other (not ideal) because I had to change my schedule for work, although usually I do a rest/easy/cross training day in between speed days.

 
Monday was a HIIT workout with 6 relatively long intervals of 3 minutes each at 04:17 Min/KM (06:54 Min/Mile), with 2 minutes easy in between at 05:19 Min/KM (08:33 Min/Mile). Total time running, including warm up and cool down: 45 minutes. Total distance: 9.2KM/5.7M.

 
Even though the fast part of the interval is not a new pace for me, it is still a fast pace that I’m not too used to running. After the first interval I was wondering how I’d get through the second one, much less the sixth one.

 
I did this workout on the treadmill, so every new interval I visualized my weekend running route by the beach, and mentally placed myself 3 minutes before I finish the run (I know the route by heart and pretty much know where that is), and I just kept thinking “just pass the gas station and the bus stop and the interval will be over”. That certainly beat staring at the treadmill TV screen, although the NBA playoffs game was pretty entertaining too.

 
Today was a Fartlek run, also on the treadmill, with 15 minute warm-up, and 3 longer intervals of 10 minutes at 04:53 Min/KM (07:51 Min/Mile), easy pace 3 minutes, 10 minutes 04:37 Min/KM (07:26 Min/Mile), easy pace 2 minutes, and the last 7 minutes at 04:27 Min/KM (07:09 Min/Mile). Total time running: 50 minutes. Total distance: 9.9KM/6.1M.

 
HIIT Minute

 
Tips to start doing speed sessions:

 
* Do it on the treadmill – apologies to everyone who hates the treadmill, but to me being able to set an exact pace and know the treadmill will keep it, is a huge advantage. Sure, it’s mentally important to be able to control the pace without the assistance of the treadmill, but for a tough speed session, especially if you are a beginner runner, just running fast is tough enough for now.

 
* Set a realistic hard pace – Don’t get carried away with the speed you want to run or think you should be running, speed work is hard work, especially the last few intervals or the last few minutes of a fartlek run, so you want to keep it challenging but safe. Take one of your last regular runs and calculate your average pace, now do the hard part of the run at a faster pace than the average, and the easy part of the run at a slower pace than the average.

 
* Easy is good – You will be making quite an effort during the fast parts, so keep them short. For a HIIT session 30 seconds to 1 minute is enough, and make the easy part at least 2 minutes long, 3 minutes is even better. For a fartlek you can make the intervals a bit longer, but then go easier on the pace.

 
* Take your time – Write down your fast/easy paces, and do the same workout again next week. After you do it a few times, and the paces start feeling a bit easier than before, increase your fast speed a few seconds per KM/Mile while leaving the easy speed the same.

 
* It’s OK to stop – Speed sessions are tough and they are supposed to be. Pay attention to your body, and if you feel you really can’t go longer, it’s OK to give yourself a break. You could stop for a few minutes and then continue, or decrease the fast interval speed a few seconds per KM/Mile, or altogether stop.

 
* Have fun – you’ll be sweaty and hurting and huffing and puffing. But running is fun and speed work is enjoyable in its own way. So run hard, run fast like the wind, and enjoy it!

 

Do you do speed work?
Do you like it?
Do you feel that you are a faster runner from doing speed work?



 

Weekend Runs

Friday: Long Run

 
I don’t have any long races left this season, no half marathons, and I’m not running my first full marathon anytime soon. I am running a 10K early May, a 5K mid-May, and that’s it most likely. So I wondered if I should keep doing long runs.

 
And then I remember that I was doing long runs way before I started racing, that long runs are very enjoyable for me, and that they provide many other physical benefits, besides training for a race.

 
So Friday I ran 23.25K/14.4M. 01:58:46. Average pace 05:06 Min/KM (08:12 Min/Mile).
My first split was 06:06 Min/KM (09:50 Min/Mile), and my last split was 04:43 Min/KM (07:36 Min/Mile), getting progressively faster through the run. Mostly negative splits, with a couple seconds positive splits here and there.

 
It wasn’t an easy run, only because my legs were a little tired from a hard Fartlek run the day before. Usually my long runs come after a cross training day, so my legs are more rested than they were this Friday. Still, it was a good run, and if my tired legs helped me keep the pace relatively easy, that’s a good thing.

 
Garmin Friday

 

 
Saturday: Tempo Run

 
Starting the run with tired legs from Thursday and Friday’s runs, I was hesitant about this run. But, I had it on my schedule, so I had to try.

 
Plan Sat

 
I am happy I was able to pull it off, although I know I could not have run even a second faster on the last 3K, I was giving it all I had.
I’m satisfied with this run because it went according to plan, however I doubt on race day I can do faster splits than 04:18 Min/KM (06:55 Min/Mile), which is too bad because I am counting on the last few KMs being faster than that.

 

Do you keep long runs all year round?



 

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