So lets begin with what I did to prep for my Thin Mint Sprint Race last month.
Leading out two weeks prior of the race I decided to start hitting the treadmill a little bit more than the road and worked on interval training about three times a week.
I did 11:2 sets of 11 minutes running at normal pace and then for 2 minutes I picked up the pace increasing my mph every new 2 minute set when it recycled.
My goal was not only increase my speed but maintain my endurance as I never stopped to walk the entire 30 minutes. I made sure I did at least 3 miles before attempting a "walk break", and I was able to accomplish it.
I believe this method definitely helped me shave off some of my race pace time as I ran faster than I thought during that 5K race and surpassed my initial goal of 30:00 and did sub! Yay!
If you recall the last time when I set some running goals back in March, my short-term was to be able to easily run 5-6 miles by June 1st.
I did not make the June 1st date, and in fact didn't start working on increasing my mileage until after my last 5K race since I wanted to focus on speed/endurance.
So "technically" I didn't start on increasing my mileage until the last week of May to try and readch the 5-6 mile goal. In fact, I am still at the "comfortable challenge" (= not easily running) thru my 5 mile runs.
I basically recognized for some time that I was staying in my 'comfort zone' of 3-4 miles during my runs and needed to challenge myself by breaking my 'run ceiling' (how on earth will I ever accomplish Goal #2 - run at least 13 miles for my half marathon goal).
This article on running past your mental blocks REALLY helped me to keep things in perspective! Check it out!
So one day I was twittering it up and noticed one of my e-Tweet runner pal Ms. TheFitLounge in how she increases her mileage; and I decided to adopt something similar:
Run Day 1: 4 miles, Run Day 2: 5 miles Run Day 3: 5 miles
Then the following week repeat or increase more.
I personally plan to continue this method about every 3 weeks before stepping up .5 miles. Another good reference article on how to safely increase your mileage was a good read too!
Another push for me to get past my 3-4mi zone was to finally wake up at O'dark:Thirty in the morning (5:30AM run kick-off to be exact!) with the Ebony Eagles group on Tuesdays and Thursday (they do anywhere from 4-6 mile).
I even got Ms. Marilie to go with me couple of times too!! :) Yay!
This will keep me on target in doing my run routine something like this: Tue - 4 mi Thurs - 5 mi Sat - 5 mi.
Let me also say that the route we run has two nice 'creeper hills'!! BTW is great prep training for my upcoming 10K race.
I decided that only for the month of June to run this route with Ebony Eagles since I won't be on the same side of town anymore after that.
This is my third week now trying this method and will push myself next week to do 5.5 miles. My goal is to get up to 6 miles by the end of this month (*crosses fingers*).
Speaking of goals...I have reached a big one.
I started out running initially as a cheap way to lose weight and have a total body workout. And that certainly happened by remaining steadfast and having great encouraging people around me (old and new!) the entire time. THANK YOU!
Since I started running in September until now I have reached my "happy weight" and lost a total of 16 lbs!
That makes me very happy and will continue to stick with running as not only a way to keep the weight off but to remain healthy!!