Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I Feel the Need, The Need for Speed... Altered Speedwork for Pregnancy Running

Maverick and Goose in had the right idea, "I Feel the Need... the Need for Speed!" A sentiment many runners would agree with.

With concessions that had to be made to keep me running safely through pregnancy, my pace has slowed considerably between the heat, increased focus on perceived exertion, and keeping my heart rate no higher than 160 bpm with walk breaks needing to be included to allow heart rate recovery to lower levels often.  My pace for run portions (12:00) has been about a minute slower per mile than my half marathon PR pace, (11:00) and 1 1/2 minutes per mile slower than my 5K PR pace (10:20).

This morning, all things came together for a great run.  I felt good, the weather was pretty ideal, and I had a decent chunk of time.  It was drizzling about 9:30 am this morning and felt very humid near the beginning, but the rain increased while the drop size still seemed small and it was definitely a slightly cooling rain, not always the case with the rare Texas summer thunderstorm.  Plus no lightning! I headed out for a few miles in the rain. 

It was so fun to see how much faster I could go at the same heart rate without the intense heat.  After 1/2 a mile, I decided that my body really needed to satiate that desire for some speedwork, while still trying to stay safe.  So I altered my running to the following:
  • 1 minute of faster-paced running, still keeping perceived exertion no higher than about a 7 or 8 on a 1-10 scale, and watching heart rate and slowing it down a little as necessary.  1 minute was about all I could do before the heart rate would drift up much closer to 170, away from the 160 bpm max the doctor had agreed to.
  • 1 minute walk break recovery, extended on the couple of occasions where 1 minute wasn't quite long enough to drop heart rate below 140.  Really used these frequent breaks to practice really focusing on slower breathing to help for quicker recovery!
I did this for about 2.5 miles. So then at 3 miles, I was back at the house, went in to refill my water bottle, and then set out to do another couple miles! Can you tell I was feeling good?

Finished up the run with 5.75 miles total, my longest run since April 11.  And did the speedwork for about 3.5 miles in two different segments.  I feel great and hope it continues.

This weekend: I won a free entry to The Colony's Liberty by the Lake 10K, which sadly has no Athena weight division :-( but will still be fun.

Happy Running!


  1. Sounds like a great run! I am thrilled for you! The weather was exceptionally nice today. I will look for you on Saturday, it is my hometown race! Erik and I are doing the 5K, it is tradition and the probably the only 5K that I will race this year. I think that you will enjoy the 10K, it is supposed to be on the Shoreline Trail, which is really nice. Erik and I have gone out there a few times and really enjoy it.

  2. woo-hoo. Glad you were able to get in a good, satisfying run.