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The Benefits of Coaching.

14 February 2017

Yesterday I did a good hard workout that I hadn’t done before. I’m relatively new to running workouts – as opposed to just going for a run – because I never had a coach. The closest thing to a “workout” I did was the tempo run. Which really just means, push a little harder for a run. But I didn’t do anything really considered speed work, like intervals.

For the past month and a half I’ve been working with a coach and she’s been planning speed work drills that challenge me to go faster than I would ever go on a tempo run, but for shorter amounts of time. I’ve said it before, but running fast is an entirely different exercise than jogging. More muscles, harder work, impacts you in different places. It’s good, but it’s a real challenge. Running is hard.

Yesterday I did a workout called a 3×3. First, a 10 minute warmup jog at a 10 min/mi pace. Then three minutes at “60%”, three minutes at “70%”, and three minutes at “80%”. I don’t really know what those percentages are. So I went with a “quick jog”, a “run”, and a “hard run”. After that I did a three minute “walk” to stop gasping for breath. Repeat that sequence three times, then jog home for about seven or so minutes.

I was really pleased with the paces I hit. I averaged about 9, 8:30, 8 for the min/mile paces of the three by three. The middle set, for the hard run, I even held a 7:45. The walk was, of course, down around 16 min/mi. But the overall average of the whole workout was 9:43, even with about 7.5 minutes of walking included (I cut short the last walk break and started jogging home early).

The entire workout ended up being close to 52 minutes, and about 5.3 miles. I’m basically hoping to get to a 9 min/mi pace for the half marathon at the end of March. I might. I might not. But I feel good about the goal, as opposed to how I felt about the full marathon plan – I just didn’t have the mental energy to get that one in. And that’s ok.

So I’m enjoying having a coach. Gives me accountability. Gives me ease of planning. And sets me up with challenges that continuously drive improvement.

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