Wednesday, September 7, 2011

"What Happens When I Die? (In a workout, that is....)"

I posted some information about doing repeat workouts last week. One of the goals of this kind of workout is to run the repeats at about the same time. But despite your best efforts, sometimes you just poop out part way through the workout. What do you do then?

This just happened with a few guys at our team's workout yesterday. The workout was to do five 1,000-meter repeats with about two minutes of rest in between. It was one of our first warm days of the late summer (here, our warmest weather occurs in September), and the guys were suffering. A few of the guys were dragging at the end of #3. Uh-oh.

Here's what you should do if you find yourself in that situation (which might simply be due to running the first one or two too fast, not necessarily because of the heat): First, and always most important, make sure you are not having a serious issue, like dehydration or heat exhaustion. Basically, if you are feeling dizzy or unusual in any way, you should be stopping and telling your coach what's going on. Hopefully, your problem is simply that you're feeling tired. If that's the case, try to cut the next repeat short. We can do this where we do our repeats because it's in a park, and we have sort of a lightbulb or keyhole shaped course.

The reason you should cut the next one a little short is that you can still do some fast running, and maybe recover enough to do the entire subsequent repeat with the group. That is, it's better to do 4½ 1000s at the appropriate pace than to do three of them, then just jog the other two. Plus, it's more likely that you'll get closer to the same rest as everyone else - if you finish waaaaaaay behind everyone, you'll get a lot less rest than the others because they will have finished sooner.

Another thing you should do as you tire is focus on running with good form - I will write about this specific issue in the future....

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