Run: 7km @ 38min
...we get a timed set in my masters swim. I knew something was up when the 1000m warmup included descending 4 x 50m sprints (I did mine on 60sec each, which resulted in 10-16sec rest on each 50). That and the big "STOP HERE" banner at the end of the warmup.
I hadn't run during the day on Monday, so I was feeling rather loaded up on energy for the swim. I was able to hit my form in the water quickly, and was feeling confident - even with the other fast, strong swimmers in the fast lane (yes - that's where I'm swimming now!). So I decided to push a bit for the timed 500m set and see how it goes.
The result: I finished first in 9min20. I didn't expect to finish first (one advanced swimmer was absent, and he can s-w-i-m, so really I was second) and I didn't really expect to nail a sub-10min 500m. The last time I did a 500m timed set I was over 10min - was it really that long ago?!? 2007?!? In any case, I see that as a great kick-ass improvement.
Our coach has told me that she's going to be belting out strength and speed work in the pool to get people's times to drop in the "advanced lane" (as she calls it). Hey - I'll take it!
Skip to today.
Peter's in his final week leading to this weekend's Fall Colors Marathon, and I joined him for today's race-pace 6km run. After a 1km warmup, we moved into Peter's 5min20/km pace (he's been training towards a 3hr45min marathon) and managed to stick it very well for the whole 6km. Even better, I felt like I was aerobic for almost the entire run (and my HRM proves it)! And we held a conversation the entire time!
For me, that's big. Sure, it's cooler outside (which helps lower the exertion level) but last year I couldn't hold a conversation nor stay aerobic below a 5min45/km pace. Very cool. I'm skipping my bike commute tomorrow to join Peter for his race-pace 10km set - I know I can hold that pace!
It's very invigorating to see these improvements still hanging on after this year's training and racing. It only gets me more excited to do more, and to achieve more. And if I'm able to remain consistent and diligent in this phase of training (I believe it's the prep phase), I'll keep making great strides in the year to come. Chuckie, Lucho - your blogs are becoming my bibles this winter!
This stuff is getting very, very cool.