Sunday, September 26, 2010

Progression Long Run - FAIL

I'm always amazed at magazines like Runners World, Marathon and Beyond, or even Mens Running (where the tagline is "for runners with balls" - literally).  I'm amazed at their ability to turn what is a pretty simple task, running, and turn out monthly magazines filled with enough unique content to have circulations in the hundreds of thousands.  I think that is a fairly common statement from non-runners: "How can you talk so much about running!?  How can it be THAT different!?"

I'm a creature of habit.  I like my beer cold, my wine red, my blog posts funny and irreverent, and for the most part my runs the same flavor each week.  However, I'm always open to new experiences (chocolate AND caramel on ice cream!?).  So, when a blogger buddy suggested a completely new type of long run, a progression long run, I was on it like Justin Bieber on a hair dryer sale.

Like all really good ideas, the concept is actually really simple and something that I wish I would have thought of myself.  After running a few 16+ milers, you swap out a regular long run for the following: 4 miles warm up, 4 miles marathon pace, 4 miles half marathon pace, 2 miles 10k pace, 1/2 mile 5K pace, 1.5 miles cool down......likely followed by puking.

The run does a number of things.  It really simulates the fatigue in the last 4-5 miles of the marathon, it trains your mind to push harder through increasingly stronger loads, and it trains your body to continue to push even though you're legs are tired and burning.  I still need a lot of training. Here is where I ended up:

4 miles warm up: 7:58 pace (7.55 mph) Good
4 miles MP: 7:32 pace (7.95 mph) Good!!
4 miles half MP: 7:02 (8.50 mph) Good, but tired
2 miles 10k: 6:35 & 7:25 (8.6 mph) Blah
1/2 mile 5K: 6:03 (9.9 mph) This suuuucks
1.5 mile cool down: 1/2 mile walking 1 mile jog

Everything was going well through 12 miles when my wheels fell off.  During the first mile of my 10K pace, my MIND, not my body, said that it had enough.  I had to take a breather and catch my breath.  I ate a gel and pushed onwards.  But, then about 1.5 miles later, another wall.  My legs and lungs were burning with the sum total of the miles and the increasing load placed on them.

Ultimately, I had to walk / take breaks twice - once in the middle of my first 10k mile and once in between my  10K and 5K paces.  So, overall the run was a fail.  To be a win, I would have had no walk breaks.  However, the run was not totally without value.  I learned that I really need to train myself for miles 22-26 of the marathon.  Those miles when your body is screaming to slow down and your legs either hurt or have gone completely numb.  So, I'll do this run again in a few weeks to see how much I have improved.

Has anyone else tried any new or different runs lately?

Finally, to be fair to the ladies and balance out my Kara Goucher Runners World cover above, here is the Josh Cox runners world cover with his famous 8 pack.  This cover always makes me wonder - how far down do those abs go!? how much of that is real vs airbrushed.  Either way, he's bachelor-tastic!

24 comments:

Lisa said...

Josh Cox's abs look absolutely unreal. There must have been some photoshopping done there.

I definitely think the mind plays a big role on the way we run. I've been having trouble with that myself lately and need to get over it already. I also need to mix up my types of runs, but lately I've just been trying to build up my distance since I'm just happy to be running again! This progression run sounds brutal but beneficial. Great job pushing through it!

Ewa said...

RW photoshopping photos? Never! (SARCASM) I can't stand their covers.

If I listened to my mind I would not be running at all. It is always playing tricks on me, especially in the beginning telling me I am sure about to die. After a couple of miles it shuts up but only for a while.
So I try to listen to my body but it is not very honest about what it can do either.
I tried progression long runs last year, just a bit different than what you described. Actually I liked them. Beats the monotony of a long, slow run.

Chris K said...

I don't know about that workout...not something I'd do. With regards to the image of the barefoot waterskier losing his shorts..... we already have to witness your image sans shirt, if you go sans shorts, I'm gonna unfollow you.

RunningLaur said...

So I'm going to disregard everything in your post aside from Josh Cox. Of course. (And I think the photoshop level is high there, because he has a good number of tattoos, and well, they aren't RW cover art legal- wimps.) So, is there any way that you're booking your flights into PHX early next week to go to the RNRAZ training run Thursday night with Mr Cox himself?!?

Oh and running. It'll be nice to see what sort of progress you can make on the run next time out. Good benchmark.

Forward Foot Strides said...

You were drawn as this weeks Featured Blog of the Week yay!!

(Meaning I linked to you in today's post, and your blog is linked to in flashy animation above my blog roll.)

Christina said...

I love the water skiing pic. That's great. I go out on the tube and wear pants to keep my bathing suit on.

I've never tried a progression run and know that would be incredibly hard.

AM-GoalsfortheWeek said...

i think i need to follow you...why? b/c you're stinkin' fast on your runs!

jealous!;-)

Cynthia O'H said...

Even though you took walking breaks, you got the run in and the miles count. I have to take walking breaks when I'm upping my mileage or adding intensity. On race day, I walk through the water stations (anything longer than 10 miles) so I get my breaks there.

Running Through Phoenix said...

I like the idea of progression run. Don't think I'm ready for it yet, but the LSR's are needing something to make them more interesting. Nice running!

Jill said...

Josh Cox was on the Bachlorette once and I was completely stunned. Not that I watch that show...but someone told me about it so I had to look ;). Turns out, the chick didn't like his Mormon ways. Nevertheless, I LOVE progression runs into long runs. I'd say if you slowed your 4 warm up miles down a notch, you may have cranked out the rest w/o walking. Still, you did a great job!! Those are not easy. My other favorite are cruise intervals. :)

C2Iowa said...

Progression run -- I like the sounds of it. I wish that I had time for one before my full.

New running ideas - I am currently trying to Chi. Micro experiment in process.

The Sean said...

This is good Adam, you took a risk and got in some hard, long running. It will pay off- though you feel like it was a fail, pushing beyond perceptions will do nothing but make you better!

Pam said...

That guy seriously needs to be introduced to a bench press. Abs like that and NO pecs whatsoever? He looks deformed.

Runners Fuel said...

I can't believe that carmel and chocoalte on ice cream is anew thing for you. If I'm in town Sunday, I'm trying out a new trail.

Chad said...

Looks like we both had a blowup this weekend. Mine was running and yours was a doll. Zing!

Jeri said...

Ick that workout sounds brutal..... kudos for finishing it, that's a win in my book!

Matty B. said...

You're one step away from having your head Photoshopped on that dude's 8-pack totting abs. Why not just go the extra mile?

The monthly magazine for runners is very close to Glamour or Cosmo, where it's basically the same articles month to month "run your best 5k", "marathon training plans", etc., but I read it for the pictures and those change month-to-month

Jamoosh said...

YOU didn't know about progression runs? I slowly take my palm and there it is - face!

funderson said...

ew...he looks like a cyborg or something

Andrew Opala said...

Killer workout idea. I see Jill saying this is good - I may need to learn about them before I agree to anything.

It would be inappropriate to say that the cover of Josh Cox is ... so I won't. Not that there's anything wrong with that! (Women prefer Jim Belushi anyway - at least that's what I tell myself.)

kilax said...

Ha. I don't even know who Josh Cox is. Oops.

I think you did really well for your progression run! I am impressed!

RunnuRMark said...

You know, Josh Cox is pretty ripped an all, but that picture just screams gay on a stick if you ask me.

Nice job on that run...even with the breaks. I've never done anything like that, but it sounds REALLY hard.

Colin Hayes said...

Not sure I'd call your run a "fail". You put your body under the stress you were shooting for - walk or not.

Any run that doesn't involve getting hit by a 74 yr. old Hungarian woman driving a brown 1981 Yugo on the sidewalk is a success in my book.

Anonymous said...

I just signed up to your blogs rss feed. Will you post more on this subject?