Test your run fitness with under/overs

This morning I woke up at 5:30am to thunder which brought in some rain. But after 93 miles (5 hours and 40 minutes) and 6200 feet of climbing yesterday, I was ready to finish the week with my scheduled long run. 

After my typical pre-training snack of rice cake + PB + raisins + honey + banana slices + granola and some water and coffee, I was out the door around 7am to start my dynamic warm-up. 

7:20am my Garmin 910XT was turned on and off I went. 

There have been many new things to get use to in Greenville but one that sticks out (and makes my heart beat a bit faster) the most is: HILLS - and lots of them!

Aside from the Swamp Rabbit Trail, everywhere that I run has an incline and a decline. We live about 1 mile from the west end of downtown, 1/2 mile from the HS track, 2 miles from the YMCA and 1.5 miles to Falls Park. All of my favorite places to run to include hills and my quads are slowly getting use to this change. 

Some of my favorite runs are when I have no plan as to where I will run or I get to explore somewhere new. My plan was 13 miles or 1:45 (whichever came first). 

This morning I did a mile around the area where I live to warm-up and then headed toward the Caine Halter YMCA. 

After a 3.5 mile warm-up with drizzling skies, I stopped to stretch out and prepared myself for the main set which I planned to do on the 1/2 mile rolling paved trail outside of the YMCA.

5 min @ ~7 min/miles
5 min @ ~8-8:15 min/miles
1 min stop, refuel/rehydrate
Then repeat - 4 rounds total (40 minutes total with 4 minutes of rest)

After the MS, I headed to one of my favorite places to run on the Swamp Rabbit trail from the YMCA through Cleveland Park to Falls Park and then through the west end of downtown by the baseball field and then home. 

Total: 13 miles, 1:44 total time

I had a bottle (10 ounce flask) of 150 calories (3 ounces) of Napalm which is the sport nutrition that I use on the run in my races in a flask (1 ounce = 50 calories) and for every run off the bike as well as in my long runs. 
I left the bottle on a picnic table and sipped a few sips in between my intervals to simulate aid stations.There are water fountains on my fav run route so very easy to stay hydrated as I stayed fueled w/ sugars/carbs and electrolytes with my flask. 

Under/overs are probably my favorite type of run workout that I enjoy a few weeks before a race. With Ironman Austria in just 3 weeks (our first International race, my 8th Ironman and Karel's 2nd Ironman), this is the perfect time to push a little (much faster than Ironman run pace) with my healthy body and then recover with a steady pace just a tad faster than my goal IM run pace. This is a great way to teach the body to recover while training and although the fast (unders) often feels harder when the set continues, amazingly the overs begin to feel a bit easier to maintain the endurance pace.

If you are interested in incorporating over/unders (or under/overs - however you want to call them) into your routine, here's a workout that I did for Triathlete Magazine

Although this workout is great for runners and triathletes, athletes who train for triathlons can add in a 30-60 min spin on the bike before this interval workout to warm-up the legs and to give a tad more stress to the aerobic system.

Since I am a big fan of intervals, here's another great bike workout (for the trainer) to get your legs burning. 

For triathletes who would like to use this workout as part of a brick and feel comfortable running 30 minutes after a high intensity bike, I recommend after the bike workout to run a form focused run for 30 minutes. (don't forget your sport drink on the run - to train the gut and to help postpone fatigue and to help with recovery, sip every 10 minutes. Aim for up to 100 calories)

Start with 5 minutes comfortable and then stop and let the HR drop for two minutes. You will find that this will recharge your brain and body, especially if your legs were feeling heavy after the bike workout.

Then do 3 x 5 minutes steady pace w/ good form w/ 30-60 sec walk in between. Make your last 5 minutes your best. Then cool down as needed. 

Happy Training!