But reflecting on a year's worth of training and racing, I've come to a conclusion: my aerobic capacity is weak in comparison to my leg strength.
I spent a lot of time this year in the gym working on leg strength. Weekly running-specific strength and plyo workouts made my legs stronger than they've ever been. Until this year, I'd never squatted more than my body weight. I definitely put on some muscle.
I also felt stronger running at 5K pace for short intervals than I did for threshold runs at a little slower than half marathon pace. My hardest runs during last cycle's half marathon training were definitely the thresholds. In contrast, I responded very well to speed interval training. Each week my speed workouts felt easy, even the pinnacle workout of 15 x 0.5 miles at 6:27. But I cut a lot of threshold runs short, unable to hang onto the pace. I also ran my long runs slower than I ever have before - but that could have been the heat wave that sat in San Diego all summer and fall.
Further evidence in the case of weaker aerobic capacity: I performed better in short distance races this year. My best 5K and 10K race times indicate faster half marathon times than I achieved. My June 5K time of 19:53 indicated a 1:31 half marathon time on a pace calculator. But I ran a 1:34 PR half in June. My November 10K pace of 6:33 indicated a 1:29 half.
Solving it - my to do list (Penny, note the effective use of a bulleted list, :)):
- Increase overall running volume by adding an additional easy run in the week or by making easy runs slightly longer.
- Run more thresholds.
- Tack on some progression runs to the end of easy and long runs.
- And since I'm now in marathon territory, I need to run longer long runs.
Week 2, Unknown Spring Marathon: 32.25 miles/4h27m
Sunday 12/16 - Easy run (8:30, 2% treadmill incline) + progression (7:15 for 20"): 7.25 miles in 60"
In Boston this week for work. Thank god for treadmills - it was cold, windy, rainy, and snowy. And thank god for hot tubs in hotel gyms. Felt so good to soak after a long plane ride.
Monday 12/17 - Easy run (8:15, 2% treadmill incline) + fartlek (4 x 2 minutes at 10K pace): 4 miles in 30"
Tuesday 12/18 - Rest day, kind of.
Lots of work, full day in court.
Wednesday 12/19 - Rest day, kind of.
Another full day in court, plus over 8 hours on planes traveling back to San Diego.
Thursday 12/20 - Easy run (8:15) in Balboa Park: 7.2 miles in 60"; yoga
Friday 12/21 - Easy run (8:45) in Solana Beach: 6.8 miles in 60"
Saturday 12/22 - Easy run (8:00) in Del Mar/Solana Beach + 6 short hill sprints: 7 miles in 55"; yoga
two little runners