I am a fan of The Biggest Loser. I watch that show every week that it’s on and find it inspiring. Those people put in a lot of effort and get amazing results. Now I realize that if I had two professional trainers, a full medical staff including physical therapists and athletic trainers at my disposal while doing nothing but training 5-6 hours a day 7 days a week I could get some amazing results too. But I’m not writing to minimize what those contestants go thru. They are all amazing and inspirational to a lot of people around the country including me.
What amazes me about The Biggest Loser is the contestants that make it into the finals and run the full marathon before the finale. They’ve been training for several months by that point, but have not really been training for a marathon. Add in that many of them are still obese and I am once again amazed and inspired.
So what does The Biggest Loser have to do with “A Need for Speed”? I remembered one contestant last season, Daris, who not only finished the full marathon, but crushed the time record for the show by running the 26.2 miles in 4 hours & 2 minutes. Seriously!?!? I ran my 20.75 miles in 3 hours & 52 minutes. So Daris is obviously faster than me. This got me thinking a lot about speed. I’ve read in articles that running for more than 4 hours is something you don’t want to do on a regular basis. I know I know….people DO do this all the time, but rest & recovery between sessions is a huge priority for them I’m sure.
My trainer has also been on me about speed work and I’m beginning to see why. Yes Tatum, sometimes I need you to draw me a picture! 🙂 Suddenly I flash back to high school and all those skinny people wearing their clever track shirts that say, “The faster you run, The quicker you’re done.” It’s a completely true albeit obvious statement that leads me to the point that I need to cover more ground in less time or speed my butt up! I currently run a 10 minute mile comfortably and my half marathon race pace has been closer to averaging 09:45/mile. The Drumstick Dash taught me that I am capable of a faster pace so now I just need to increase my longevity at that speed.
So if you read my post on “Refocusing” then you’ll recall my running schedule of Monday, Wednesday, Saturday. As a part of this plan Jeff Galloway recommends running during the week at a pace 30 seconds faster than race pace to get out of your comfort zone so for me a pace of 09:20 to 9:30 would be about right for the two 45 minute runs on Monday & Wednesday. Obviously as this pace becomes more comfortable then I will push the speed up a little. The fastest I’ve ever ran one mile back in college was 8 minutes and I weighed 175 pounds at the time or 15-20 pounds lighter than I do now.
So besides getting into the gym all 7 days a week (or just working out all 7 days) I am also adding in some mile repeats on Saturdays when I’m not doing a super long run & possibly some sprints during the week. Jeff Galloway suggests 1 mile repeats with a 5 minute walk rest between to recover before going again. Remember this plan is for 1st time marathoners not seasoned veterans so there is more recovery.
The pace I’ll run for the single mile will push an 08:50 min/mile pace. This of course will help my 45 minute runs feel easier and I’ll push faster which will help me push the Saturday repeats faster as well as improve my overall long run time. Each workout supports the next one and the recovery time between workouts supports them all.
I write all the time about having a “complete & balanced” program. Everything supports everything else! Nutrition supports recovery and the workouts. One workout supports another and everything prepares you for the big day when you pin on a race bib. For me, that’s January 9th!