Saturday, March 31, 2012

Prague Half Marathon - Quick Result Post

New personal best: 1:39:21 !!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Taper Time

Yep, it is THAT time of my training when I need to cut down on mileage, take it easy and only fine tune what was already trained and recharge my batteries. Comes in handy, because it is lots of stuff going on at work so I can still have enough sleep with the time spared with less running. And yep, I am freaking out a little. But I guess that is normal for taper time.

Trying to be zen and not stressing out :)

What is taper? It is the time when you start cutting down on mileage before your race so you body can recover, be rested and recharged, simply ready on the race day. You can see on my March training graph bellow that my peak week was the one of March 12 with 50.74 miles (81.66 km) in my feet (the remaining half mile was swimming). Then we went down with the tune up race on Saturday (VŠ liga again), will talk about it in another post very soon :)

Click on the picture to zoom in

This week, there has been quite some intensity, but fewer miles. Ended today with 3x 600m on a slight incline with heart rate reaching 180 BPM and 2.5 miles (4 km) at 8:02 min/mile (5:00 min/km). Tomorrow is day off, Friday easy warm up, stretches, abc and 3 km at race pace. Saturday - the Hervis 1/2 Marathon Prague. You can check the air view video of the course:

And of course, you can come to cheer the runners if you are not one of the 11 thousand runners running the race :) Drop me a comment about your spectator location so I can be ready to wave and smile :D :D :D

Taper time tips:

Loading on carbs
Don't overdo this, simply increase the ratio of carbs that you are already used to in your diet. RW advice: Instead of eating chicken with rice, eat rice with chicken :)

Stressing about your mileage
It is perfectly OK to cut down your mileage during taper, don't try to add any miles extra from your training plan / usual routine. They won't do any good for you in the last week before the race (or two weeks in case of marathon), they can only harm you if they suck the energy out of you. Go though your training logs so you can see you did your homework, you did your miles and workouts and you are ready to go! Do few yoga breaths to get the zen attitude!

Practice races
Don't include a "test race" that you go running all out. You can confirm you were in great shape, but you won't have enough time for recovery. (I will come back to the race I did last weekend - I did not run it as a 10 km race, but as a short tempo run where I slowed down not to get too tired and loaded on lactate.) Then you would have confirmation that you were in great shape, but you wouldn't be in shape for your A race you were working so hard to train for.

Don't try anything new
In the week before your race and especially the night before the race and the day of the race itself, don't try anything new. All week go with the well tested recipes, drinks, food supplements and so on. For the race day stick with your routine, use the energy sources you are used to and you tried during your long training runs. This applies also for your clothes, shoes, head protection etc.

Sleep well
I know it is easier said than done. But you should try to get in at least 8 hours of sleep each night in the week before your race. You might be nervous the last night before the race and not sleep good enough, but that is OK if you had enough sleep all the week before. That's what counts.

Spend time with your friends
You have the extra time on your hands that is no longer used for the crazy mileage you have been doing all the past months. Spend the time with your great friends that accepted the fact of you spending most time with your love for running. You will work on your friendships and have no time to freak out about your race (that much :) ).

Some sources for further information:
Greg McMillan's article about pre-marathon mistakes
Running Times' Finishing Touches (more for marathon training)

Articles in Czech:
Miloš Škorpil and his 21 "kicks" (advice) for your 21 km

Friday, March 23, 2012

Nespresso. What else?

I love Nespresso.

Simple as that, I love the brand, the philosophy, the branding, the message etc. I really appreciate the club benefits and since I studied marketing, I have always been interested in their marketing strategy. I find it brilliant. Here is a link to custom made magazine you can create - it came as a link in email for the club members. It is really great way to make you actually go through otherwise one of many newsletters. And for the marketing research, they make you select your favorite grand cru - clever way to get this information out of you without you even knowing it. Really cool. That is why I share it here. Nespresso did not pay me nor offer me any goodies. Yep, that is how loyal brand ambassador looks like.

To make this post a little running and training related. I try to have my coffee intake under control. I have cappuccino with my breakfast and sometimes one more coffee during the day. About a month before an important race, I switch most of my coffee intake to decaf. Nespresso's Decaffeinato Intenso has great taste! Apart from that, my favorite is Arpeggio. Drinking coffee isn't really that bad for runners or anything, you would have to drink really lot of coffee to feel the effect (more than 5 cups a day). But by decreasing the intake, my body becomes more caffein sensitive, so I can use it then with purpose for some hard workouts and of course races (I love GU gels with caffein as my race fuel!). 

Check out Runner's World article on how coffee affects athletic performance and RW Readers' discussion on this topic.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Nobody's Perfect

... and I am definitely not an exception! I think that my attitude towards training, nutrition and healthy lifestyle is quite serious and well thought through. But let's face it, sometimes everybody has a slip. And when I was invited for a Champagne degustation, I was lost. I know it is perfectly OK according to the etiquette to spill the remaining wine and not drink it. For a girl who used to live in France and claims herself a gourmet and is addicted to champagne, that's kind of impossible, almost. My will cannot be always strong.

Back to not being perfect. I had a glass or two over the amount that my body can easily cope with (which is almost nothing since I started the serious marathon training last summer - glass and half, two glasses max). Add 4.5 hours of sleep instead of the 7-8 I am used to and you have me in perfect shape for today's last pre-race (Prague half on March 31) speed work. Since I was lacking energy from the sleep, my body was craving sweets. I decided I deserved a treat to power me through the hard workout: McDonald's ice cream with chocolate. Yes, nobody's perfect.

When I headed off for my run, I had a respectful feeling, since I new I definitely wasn't in top shape. The workout consisted of easy warm up with concentration and breathing in the energy chakras, stretching, ABC. Now comes the fun: 4x 800 m at 3:18 (6:36 min/mile), interval cool down to 115 BPM. Final 2 km (1.24 miles) at target half-marathon pace of 7:30 min/mile (4:40 min/km). I wonder how would have the workout gone if I was in better condition, because I didn't do that bad.

800 m splits: 3:13, 3:17, 3:14, 3:15 ... all just few seconds faster than requested - yay!

2 km also done, felt good, avg heart rate 170 BPM ... considering the speed work and my shape, I am happy with it. We will see how will I do with this pace in this weekend's 10 km race that I will run as a tempo test this Saturday.

What was your workout???

What are your sins? :o)

Do you use running to pull you out of the slumber?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Interesting Numbered Achievements

First of all, thank you all for the support and votes in the Best Czech Running Blogger competition. You were amazing and helped me win! I do translate your trust in a commitment for myself to provide you with hopefully interesting content and some fun as well :) Congratulations to all the participants, especially Advid (2nd) and 12Honza together with Running Shadow (3rd-4th). I hope we will all keep it up! And huge thanks to Leona for hosting the competition at her blog!

Now to the numbers. As I do track my workouts through Garmin Connect and Nike+ (I know, it takes more time, but I like having things in both places actually), this past week brought several interesting numbered achievements in my running (I hope 12Honza will enjoy :) ). Here they are:

  1. I crossed the 50 mile milestone in my weekly mileage for first time ever.
  2. My total mileage just poped above 2 500 miles since summer 2009 (I know this might not seem like a lot for some ultra runners, but I like it :) ).
  3. Number 2 translates in the fact that in the metric system, I crossed the 4 000 km marke (nothing to compare with 12Honza's 10 000 km, but yay for Honza and I will be there sometime soon).
  4. On a random note: My yesterday's easy long run (13.1 miles) came in with the average pace 9:02 min/mile (5:36 min/km) that is slightly faster than in the NYC marathon where my avg pace was 9:10 min/mile (5:41 min/km). The important thing is that during yesterday's workout, my heart rate averaged at 150 BPM! I am really looking forward to the Hervis 1/2 marathon on March 31 and Prague International Marathon on May 13 to see how this translates in my results. Thans to Radek for making me realize my mental block with going fast!

Just to illustrate how great was the weekend weather in Prague.
Oh the heat made me suffer in my semi-difficult run,
my heart rate skyrocketed.

The Garmin weekly total includes the half mile of swim,
the running total was 50.74 miles.

2500 miles of running crossed - translates in 473 workouts, 251 302 kcal
and amazing 15 days 11 hours 20 minutes and 51 seconds of running!!!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Skirt Season Officially Started

Just few weeks ago we were running in the temperatures well below zero degrees Celsius. And today it was even above 20° C (68° F) during the lovely sunny spring day. I did a 20k at an easy pace yesterday evening, obviously I finished doing 21.1 km or 13.1 miles to do the full half :) Since I did not take much to refuel, just one small FuelBelt bottle of Isostar, I felt totally empty after finishing the run. Like literally I could feel how my glycogen reserves in my muscles were depleted. Yep, you learn such things when you tend to be crazy about reading any running article you can find around internet or elsewhere ... I was exhausted yesterday evening and slept poorly since I only finished the workout at 9:30. I don't know how is it with you guys, but when I have really long or really hard workout in the evening, the quality of my sleep is usually poor. 

Yes, I am cheap, the white dot on my right foot is my toenail,
there is a hole, I love these compression socks so much...
I am getting some more so these can retire, I promise.
After waking up I felt nothing like running, still tired. Had a breakfast and went back to bed to catch up on my favorite TV shows (like Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, CSI ...). Soon it was after 1 pm and time to get ready to get my a$$ moving, since I had an afternoon walk date with my girlfriend and her little new born (just 7 weeks old!). Obviously, I had to refuel with nutritious lunch before leaving (who cares I only had breakfast like two hours before). I have the feeling that I am getting back to that more intense, more mileage part of training cycle when I become more or less constantly hungry :)

Confirmed on the walk, we had delicious smoothies at Fruitissimo, I had one made of apples, pineapple, blueberries, lime and mint. Loved it! And after walking some more we felt like sitting down for nice afternoon latte (yep, I know the Italians and French think you can only drink latte in the morning, we think otherwise). It was really gorgeous day and the thought of going for the run started to creep in. And I am not talking about any run, there are two hard workouts in each of my 7 day training plans and this was one of them = 6x 600 m (0.37 miles) hills reaching 182 BPM, get the heart rate down while going back down to 125 BPM and head for the next interval. Then few minutes of rest and recovery and 3.73 miles (6 km) at 8:02 min/mile (5:00 min/km). Janae at The Hungry Runner Girl recently posted two interview with an actual couple of runners Jake and Andrea. They made one thing clear: you are not getting any faster by NOT running (of course, you have to recover, take your days off or really easy days - never forget to listen to your body!). But hey, 8 more hours of recovery time since the morning and I was feeling much better.

I got home and the decision was already made, quickly changed in the workout clothes - and here comes the title of this post. I wore a running skirt first time this season!!! Yay, yay, yay, happy crazy hot pink me :) And short sleeved top, heaven on Earth! After all the months of layers and layers, what a relief. Back to the workout. The hills were not some crazy steep hills as we finally cleared with The Coach. Because previously I was trying to find some real hill of 600 m and it was not easy to find and also I was feeling like dying when doing the repeats. Now I know that The Coach wants that kind of "invisible hill", not really steep, but smoothly climbing so it pushes me to work more with the push off the ground and all the ankle and calf have to work way more while I am still able to go fast.

And damn the interval went fast and I am super excited about it. The hill was finally like 530 meters (or 0.33 mile) and I couldn't believe the time on my Garmin after the first repeat 2:05 for the 530 meters = 6:26 min/mile (3:59 min/km). I have never ran that fast anything longer than 200 m. I was kind of scared about how I was gonna cope with 5 more repeats. But thanks to Radek pointing out, I am working on not being afraid of going fast and feeling good about it. As usual, I went too fast in the first repeat and was not able to do another one faster than that. But it was not that bad, because I managed to do the last one in 2:10 which was the second fastest and that is great that I was able to finish strong.

As I learned through working with The Coach and reading the numerous articles, when you do some repeats or even on your longer runs, you should always aim to go from slower to faster. The ideal way to do your repeats is that the first half is more or less the same and then when you get towards the last repeats you try to make the last few the fastest of the session. That way you learn to finish strong and that is what you want in your races. Same for the long runs, even if it is an easy pace, it si good to start with slower pace and slightly increase it in the end of the run so you mimic the ideal scenario for your race day (though at way lower speed).

The second part of the workout went great as well. Again I felt like it might be really hard, but nope, it was comfortably hard and I felt strong. Funny thing was there were few guys doing their workouts on the same path in the park (it is 1 km one way and lot of people you it since it is easy to measure things without too much thinking). And obviously they did not like some girl in skirt and pink top going faster than they were. It is fun and always makes my workouts feel easier, because I start feeling like total Badasstinista when I am going at same speed or faster than the guys. Childish, I know, but I am not ashamed :)

How do your workouts affect your sleep quality / patterns?

What are your workouts for this gorgeous weekend?

What makes you feel really strong and helps you to go through your hard run?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Feeling Strong

Yesterday was one of those days when you have the feeling ... the good kind of feeling ... feeling of getting in the great workout while feeling strong. My friend Radek from bě had an innocent remark. He said that it seems to him like I am afraid of going fast. And after giving it some thought, I think he was right. Time for change! I don't mean that I will change the paces defined by The Coach in my training plan. I change my attitude. Running the same runs, but not with the predefined feeling of going for hardish run and having to struggle through it. The new attitude is: it is great to feel strong when going fast (or fast-ish).

And yesterday, I had 10 km at 5:00 min/km = 6.22 miles at 8:02 min/mile. Less than year ago, that was my 10 km personal best with really huge amount of effort put in. Finally, my 10 km went under 50 minutes with average pace of 7:52 min/mile (4:53 min/km), yay! And I felt bad ass strong, like the proper member of the Badasstinista team. I was running faster than most of the guys out there and still managed to keep my heart rate under control. I know this might be childish and they might have had their easy runs, but still, it gave me great feeling I am not ashamed of. I also wore my hot pink compression socks and my New Balance capris (sorry, no photo here, I still do not have mirror tall enough). And that is my feeling strong gear, sometimes you need to boost the confidence. Like Amanda in her Brooks top (check out the link, it goes to her last Vlog she recorded while recovering on a treadmill ... I wish my recovery runs are at such a fast pace once).

Another change is that I actually did the workout with music. Since I have started working with The Coach, I have been listening to music or audio books only on the long slow workouts so I am able to concentrate on my form and breathing during my faster run that I always do without music. Well, yesterday I felt like running with my favorite playlist to get some extra boost. As Honza highlighted in his last post, improvisation and randomness is a good thing!

On two random notes:

1) I am currently leading in the competition for the Best Czech Running Blogger. The voting ends tomorrow (March 17). Please, please if you have a minute of your time go to Leona's blog where the voting is happening. Thank you all who already voted and thank you all who will! :)

2) My dear best friend unfortunately cannot run the Prague's half-marathon, so she is offering her starting number for sale. Email me at barborkas(at)me(dot)com and I will put you two in touch. This is probably better for female runners, since she is a girly girl, so the number will be marked with F for female... :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Back On Track

OK, not literally on track, since I have never been training on track. I mean in my new running history since 2009, I used to run on track at my teenage athletic training, but back then I hated running ... Back to business. First of all thank you all for the support after my last post on feeling tired and finally listening to my body. I took two and half days of full recovery and was very happy to be ready for the session with The Coach on Tuesday evening. I have to admit, I was on my way to the black hole of overtraining, I am glad that I stopped relatively soon enough :) Thank you for your feedback and encouragement. You are the best readers I could dream for.

It was 2x 200 m, 2x 800 m and then 1 km at target half-marathon pace (we will see about this in less than three weeks). The first 200 m were originally planned under 0:40, but no go for that this time. On the other hand the 800 m repeats were supposed to go just under 3:20 and both went well bellow. Yay! The main target for this training was to get me running for "free" at these fast repeats. You know, I still tink The Coach is little insane trying to explain to me that you can run effortless at such paces ... but I started to understand the idea that I need to start the legs turning fast (like when you start engine in the car - that takes quite some fuel). But after I get to the speed I have to be able to recover as much as possible when I am not pushing myself off the ground = in the "flight" phase of the step. Not sure if this is understandable, I hope yes :) Was really excited with the half miles, I did not feel like going that fast, was checking my time but still I better concentrate on running when going so fast (eg. so fast for me). 

The workout ended with strength training for the core which is really important for the long distance runners. The strengthen core helps you have a good posture in your everyday life, but apart from that when you are really tired in the second half of marathon or so, it helps you to maintain good running form. Therefore I have to do it every session with The Coach. And preferably I should include some in my other days of week that sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. It will be way easier when it gets really warm outside and I can do the exercise right after finishing my run on the lawn or in the park or so.

The Coach promised that it was the last really hard session before the Prague's half on March 31. I have 6 training sessions left of the latest training mini-cycle and then we will be off to fine tuning and tapering. And today morning I headed off for the first of the six session - 9.3 miles (15 km) at 8:26 min/mile (5:15 min/km). My heart rate was all over the place due to the slight hill in one direction and the headwind when I was going up this "invisible" hill. After finishing I was really happy for nailing the run on my tired legs. 

And in the evening recovery swim - first swim of the season 2012!!! and power yoga to help me relax and stretch my sore body. Thanks to Martina I got free one day pass to her gym, so I could go to the class after like trillion years when I have been only running outside. The yoga felt great, I used to go all the time, but since I don't have any membership now and I have no need for it. I should probably start some yoga at home. But where should I find the time lazy me???

And I am off to bed, happy for being back and discovering that sneaky overtraining soon enough, so it did not cause any more harm than nice two days off. I will take my time and recover properly, I promise!

Being back on track has to be celebrated, so I ordered new running shoes & running skirt for the spring season, YAY! I am so excited!!! Wait for the surprise what I got ... hint: it is NOT Nike! Times, they are changing :)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

What is your heart rate telling you?

Yesterday's workout did not go exactly as planned. And it gave me another lesson on listening to my body. I checked my resting heart rate in the morning and it was slightly elevated at 55-60 BPM. This might not be too much for a normal person, but as you probably know, endurance athletes have pretty low heart rate. I checked my heart rate several nights ago and had 48-50 BPM in the evening when it is higher than morning after waking up (before you get out of bed). This is definitely a metric I need to concentrate on. Ray talks about it in his post on how to measure it and I can add the Instant Heart Rate app that I tried out today, it seems to be working pretty well. To add you more information, I also searched back for an article from the Runner's World on 10 signs you need a resting day. One of them is:

Yep, I should have known something is off. But I had a really bad night mare, I cannot share it, but it was really freaky and left me feeling upset, angry and sad at the same time. So I blamed the night mare and went on with my day. Ate my breakfast, wrote the wrap up post about my week and headed off for the first training of my new weekly plan from The Coach. Not an easy one, 10 half mile repeats at 3:25 each aiming towards 3:20 for the last ones. As I now know, the pace is 6:50 - 6:40 min/mile, this is the fastest I have ever done until now.

My repeats went as follows:
1. 3:17
2. 3:23
3. 3:23
4. 3:23
5. 3:25

6. 3:27
7. 3:28
8. 3:24

I am supposed to go down to 125 BPM between each of the five repeats and to 115 BPM in at least 3 minute rest interval between the two sets of five. As you can see from the Garmin splits table bellow, it already took my half minute more to recover between the 4th and 5th repetition. After the 5th repetition, I had trouble getting my heart rate down to 115 BPM, it took me over 5 minutes, whereas normally I would be bellow 100 BPM in the 3 minutes I am supposed to take the rest. My 6th was slowest so far, so I made a deal with myself to go really fast in the 7th and 8th and call it a day after 8 repeats. In the 7th I had a feeling like going really as fast as I can and I was even 1 second slower, bummer. I motivated myself for the 8th, but knew when finishing that I cannot cross the 3:20 mark again that day. Going to the Garmin graph, I barely reached 180 BPM in the last three repeats even though the effort felt really hard, this can be another sign of being tired ...

BTW new Garmin connect feature, you can get these detailed graphs
by clicking on the double arrow in the right top corner.

Got home really tired, called The Coach, explained the situation and got thumbs up from him. Giving me either total recovery day off for today (Sunday) or an easy 5 miler for recovery. Given my resting heart rate was elevated again in the morning, I choose the day off option. I slept until 10:30 am in the morning, went to bed to sleep again in the afternoon and am ready to fall asleep now at 11 pm. I guess my body really needed some rest. Thanks to the iPhone app mentioned above, I am planning on adding my resting heart rate to the metrics I follow to know where am I with my fitness and recovery levels.

Any similar experience, remarks, advice???

Update based on Blondýna's comment: yep, the elevated resting heart rate can also mean you being sick. I am secretly ignoring this option by adding lot of vitamins and immunity boosters such as fresh ginger tea and echinacea drops.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Legally Blonde

Totally random post. Hope you will enjoy bit of Saturday fun.

As Honza pointed out in his comment on my previous post, I tend to be quite systematic about planning my workouts. Hey, I do pay The Coach each month, so I better get the most of it. Yesterday evening I was working on implementing a new plan from The Coach in my schedule. This takes tiny amount of time as we live in Europe therefore we are using the metric system - eg. The Coach is. Me on the other hand, I am running in miles (read this post to find out why). So every time I get a new plan (mini cycle of 7 training units), I need to do little adjusting of mileage and paces.

Now comes the legally blonde part. For the past two or three weeks my speed work distance has increased to 800 m repetitions. You know, 800 meters is a half mile simple as that. I had to do eg. 10x 800 m in 3:38. Do you know what my brain created as a way to find the pace? Calculate the min/km pace = recalculate 3:38 in 218 s, divide by 8 (800 m), multiply by 10 (1 000 m), now you have number of seconds per km, calculate back to minutes = you get min/km pace. Then use this clever site to get the min/mile pace. And then I am talking to my friend over phone yesterday evening, having the plan in front of my eyes and it suddenly hit me like a lightning ... I can simply double the time per 800 m and I get the min/mile pace, since 800 m is actually a half of the mile. I started laughing so hard. Yep, I am legally blonde :)

Two more random tidbits:

I am really happy for running friend Janae from The Hungry Runner Girl and her husband Billy, since they are expecting! Apart from that, Janae is great and funny blogger especially if you like running and food as much as we both do :)

Don't forget to vote for the Best Czech Running Blogger at Leona's page (on the top left corner). Please, please, help the PINK TEAM win!!! (= one of the girls)

Guess what movie I am watching tonight? :)
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Faster, Further and Frequent

Long time no see? Honestly, I really need to get the iPad to be able to post from anywhere, getting my posts ready on the way to work etc. (Do you hear that you know who? :) ) OK, so I have been busy with driving around the country last weekend and around Europe for work purposes at the beginning of this week. Back to the running. Last weekend two longer runs, Saturday 8.7 miles, Sunday supposed to be 12.5 miles, but obviously I had to do the full half marathon :) That run was a cool change of scenery. As I got back home from the mountains (yay, for the first roof less drive of the season!), grandpa just got back from two hour walk with Bourbon. Thank you grandpa for being the best dog sitter in the world. There was a chance to do a dog free run. I love running with Bourbon, but I limit running with him to parks where he is not forced to run on roads = bad for his joints. And for longer runs that means doing many laps in the park. I headed towards Vltava river and did back and forth run from Vyšehrad towards Zbraslav and back. It was great change of scenery.

Official start of the convertible season :)
Monday was a hard workout, supposed to be 10x 800 m around 3:30 each (= 7:00 min/mile pace). I got up early, had breakfast and got some work done. The body is not really ready for such workouts right after waking up. I am able to do them, but since I have been working with The Coach, I gave this few thoughts and I have to admit that doing these hard workouts with my body fully awake is way more pleasant and easier to do. I wasn't really feeling like a great speedy runner and the intervals were tough to go through, I couldn't manage to go under 3:30. Did a pact with myself that if the 8th one was under 3:30, it was OK to finish with just 8 of them under my belt. It was 3:32, bummer. So I did the 9th and that was honestly slow struggle, so I ended with that one. I was immediately regretting it on my way home, but from the feelings in my legs all the day after, I think the 9 were enough. The Coach tells me I should listen to my body! Easy game of squash and sauna afterwards.

Pretty happy with my training this month so far :)
My heart beat did not hit 180 BPM once in the 9 repeats.
As The Coach said, I might be finally becoming endurance athlete.
Unfortunately more probably it means I am tired of all the training.
Time for pre half marathon taper! (not until 7 more trainings)
Tuesday early morning I left with two of my colleagues to go and check out the news at Cebit (biggest digital world convention in Europe). Woke up at 4:30 am, followed by more than 5 hour drive, all day walking around the Hannover exhibition center. Deal with The Coach was to do some easy miles just to get my legs moving, no given pace no given distance. Here comes the surprise and the reason for the headline - I did a 10 miler (I know that is a normal for many people), the treadmill speed was 11 km/h (approx. 8:46 min/mile) with 1 % incline (I read somewhere that 1 % incline gets you closer to the effort of running outside). There were times when I was able to hold to such a pace barely for a minute or so. Yay, I was excited that it felt so easy and natural! Another easy 5 miler on Wednesday morning. I planned on doing few more miles in the evening after arriving back to Prague, but that turned out to be too much. The tiring effect of more than 10 hours in a car, early wake ups and important meetings finally got to me. But still I have in mind Radek's word that the faster, further and more frequent you run, the easier it gets :)

It was a nice change of scenery to go on the treadmill,
certainly better than not being able to run at all.
But I still prefer running outside!
Before the 10 miler ...
... and after (the darker tone of my top means
that I am all soaking wet from sweating)
But in the morning I was ready for the Thursday session with The Coach. After being really mile, the weather showed up the wintery face once again. So it was around 0 degrees Celsius and with some snow on the ground in the morning. Not that ideal for the speed work we planned. I tried to talk The Coach out of it, but that did not work. I did four sets of 200 m (0:44, 0:47, 0:44, 0:43) and I felt pretty great. Until The Coach said that now I am going to do two more half milers going under 3:30, ufff. Finally they turned out to be quite fast - 3:18 and 3:19. To be honest, they were at different spot than the Monday ones. This is supposed to be well measured by some distance runners many years before and the others I just did using my Garmin. So I am not sure about the compatibility. But from now on, I will be doing the half mile repeats at this one spot, so we are able to compare them.

That is actually what I am going to do right now :) Have a great weekend everyone!

What are your weekend workouts?

I am doing 10x 800 m speedy today and a 9 miler tomorrow.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Pink Team Calling for Help

This post is mainly for my Czech speaking readers, since it links to the sites that are in Czech only - sorry about that. As you might have read few weeks ago, I was nominated to the competition for the Best Czech Running Blog. I made the cut for the final round - THANK YOU!!! So there we are 5 girly running blogs (eg. the PINK Team), 5 guys (the Blue Team) and one blog written by a couple. Here is what, the PINK Team is losing a lot, now none of us girls having chance to win :( Too sad. So please, please please, go to Leona's blog, the voting section is on your left and vote for any of the girls if you don't like particularly my blog ... 

This is official call for help - Please, HELP PINK!

Have a great week running everyone :)