Quitting a workout…

Quitting a workout…

This morning I did something I told myself I would NEVER do this training cycle.  I quit. It sickens me to type this because I do not think of myself as a quitter at all and I can usually muster up a way to get it done no matter how bad I feel. Not today.

I got to the track a few minutes before 6 am.  It was still dark and very hot and humid.  I knew during my 2 mile warm-up that it was going to be a tough one.  The air was so thick and muggy and it seemed harder to breathe.  Not ideal for a speed workout.  The first part of my schedule called for 2 x 2 mile in 6:31 with a 2 min rest between each set.

I finished my first 2 mile set in 12:29 (6:14 avg.) so it was a little fast.  I got some water and rested another minute.  Then I did my next 2 mile set in 12:50 (6:24 avg.).  At this point I was done.  For some reason these 4 miles took everything I had in me today. This would have been fine if this was all my schedule called for but I still had 1,000’s and 200’s to do. 

I took a few minutes and went under the sprinklers to cool off.  I drank more water.  I was tired, thirsty and felt so sluggish but I had to finish this workout.  I really just wanted to cool down and go home but I had to finish it, right?

Next up I was supposed to do 3 x 1K @ 3:44 pace.  (A 1K is 0.62 miles in case you were wondering….)  My first 1K was 3:54.  I was ten seconds too slow.  I have never run a 1K this off pace.  I told myself my last two would be in the 3:40’s.  During my second 1K my entire body felt so tired.  I looked at my watch and pace was my current HM pace.  I just couldn’t move faster than that.  (When I’m running 1K’s I should be running at a 6 min. or faster pace.  NOT 6:45+.)  My 2nd 1K time was a 4:12.  It was at this point I knew I was officially done.  I needed to run one more 1K but I knew it wouldn’t be even close to the time I needed and it would only be more discouraging.  I knew the 4 x 200’s were NOT going to happen because they are supposed to be run at a 5 min. pace and I was NOT up for any more speed work.  I jogged back to my water bottle and stretched.  I was stopping for the day..

Thoughts?  What was the problem?  I think my number one problem was lack of sleep the past few nights.  We had some out of town company for 2 days and I found myself going to bed way too late and waking up early so I could squeeze in my runs while everyone was still asleep. This might have worked for my easy runs but it was not enough for a track workout. 

According to Running Research News, (Nov. 2011) Sleep is not just something that’s ‘good to do’, but something that will help our bodies recover faster from running workouts. Getting adequate sleep is one component of the training and recovery cycle that is readily correctible.  In fact, it’s indispensable.  One of the fundamental rules of recovery is getting enough sleep to allow the body to repair itself.”

My lack of sleep the past few nights combined with the heat and humidity resulted in a speed session failure.  I am going to take tomorrow completely off and yes, this throws off my weekly mileage.  Sometimes when we listen to our body it tells us what we don’t want to hear.  Today I did not want to stop my workout but my body was exhausted.  Hopefully I will be feeling better for an easy run on Friday.  Saturday is my first 20 miler in this cycle.  I need to make sure I’m hydrated and rested. Temps are supposed to be much better on Saturday so I’m sure this will help too.

Have you had to quit a workout recently?  If so, why?  What is the right amount of sleep for you?

23 thoughts on “Quitting a workout…

  1. Aw, Tia. It happens to everyone. Honestly, I don’t know HOW you guys manage to run in all that heat and humidity! Running by the gulf coast last July almost killed me.
    I’m the same way with rest – the pistons just don’t kick in if I’m not getting the sleep I need.
    I bet this little break will help you pound your 20 miler!

    1. Well, there is only so much you can do it the heat and humidity which is why I did so much on the TM this summer. I probably should have done that today. Also, maybe not doing my 2 x 2mi so fast might have left some energy for the 1k’s. Oh well. Hindsight is 20/20!

    1. Thanks! Yes, you know exactly what this heat feels like! I’m excited to see that Saturday’s weather will be much better. Perfect for the 20!

  2. That is an incredibly tough workout! I would be thrilled to be able to run one set of 2 miles at that pace right now. I would have taken it today, for sure!

    Yeah, sleep is a BIG issue here. I do so much better with running if I can sleep in a bit during the week, but then it’s hard to get in all the mileage too.

    Have a great 20!

  3. Oh man, even though you didn’t finish, you pumped out some phenomenal times for those 4 miles- if the humidity is anything like it is here, than I give you props for even getting out there. I had a rough workout this morning as well, and didn’t complete it – was shooting for 10 HM pace miles, inside on the treadmill and barelyshot 7 done at 6:30 pace. It’s rough, but I credit lack of sleep as well. It plays such a big part. I was at the gym at 4:45 am and didn’t get to bed until late. Keep it up and move on to the next one. There will be rough days, but know there are great days too, speedy mama!!:)

    1. Thanks Katie. I’m thinking I should have probably done today’s workout on the TM. Oh well. It’s over. Next time those 1K’s are mine! 🙂

      Great job on 7 @ 6:30! I have yet to wake up in the 4’s- let alone be on the TM at 4:45!! Yikes. You are stronger than me!

    1. I am following a customized plan from the Run S.M.A.R.T. Project (Jack Daniels plan). One of my friends recommended it and I’ve really liked the variety. I’ve never used a customized plan before but they worked in all my races and training over an 18 week period and it’s been VERY helpful! http://runsmartproject.com/coaching/

  4. I think it is great that you know when you need to rest. You worked so hard to get over your injury this summer and you don’t want to get hurt this close to NYC. A tough call, but definitely the correct one!

  5. Tia, I wouldn’t beat yourself up over one workout. The heat and humidity likely played a huge factor as well…Your 2 x 2 times were amazing…so I would just focus on that and forget about the other distances. I think you did the best thing you could/should do – you listened to your body.
    Good luck this weekend with the 20 miler =)

    1. Thanks Michele. As the day went on today I started to feel better about it. The 2 x 2 did go well and next time I will focus on nailing those 1K’s! Good to see you running on DM again. You are doing AWESOME!!!

  6. Sometimes stopping is the only sensible thing to do. Sleeping is a huge issue to me. I often have problems getting to sleep and once I get there I have problems staying asleep. When I’ve slept well (8 hrs a night) running feels so much easier. I hope you manage to get the rest you need. But that can be a tough ask when your kids are still young and you have so many of them.

  7. Ditto what all the others said. I quit a tempo run, this training cycle, and beat myself up over it for days. Why, though?! There’s no glory in hurting yourself trying to complete a training run and risk not safely making it to your goal race.
    You did the right thing. Let it go…:)
    Good luck on your big run, this weekend! Can’t wait to hear how it goes.

  8. Tia, I just read your comment on my blog about using the same Hal Higdon program for a marathon you did. I went back and found some of the posts about it. Thank you for sharing this with me! It is good hearing about your experiences with the program. I read somewhere on here that you use a customized training program now. I would love to know how/why you chose this. Your current program sound very challenging–how does it compare to Hal’s Advanced?

    1. Katie,

      I always loved Hal’s plans but I guess I was wanting something a little more customized to my goals/ times. One of my friends signed up for a customized plan using the Jack Daniels- Run S.M.A.R.T. project. (Apparently my former Janet who just ran in the Olympics was coached under the direction of Jack Daniels recently. I figure if it worked for Janet I should give it a try!) I just signed up for the marathon customized plan. For 18 weeks it is $65 and you can include as many races as you will be running. (I think I had 6 in my schedule!) I like that it gives pace ranges for each run and the 1-2 quality sessions each week are challenging but I know they are within my reach. I would say it is more challenging than Hal’s. Maybe that is because it is customized and gives specific time goals. I like the variety of it. Here is the website for more info: http://runsmartproject.com/coaching/

    2. Janet lived and trained near the Run S.M.A.R.T. facility. She was coached in person- not just using a customized plan. You can pay for the coaching by the month but it is much more $$ and I have found this one time charge of $65 plan to be working great!

    3. Ok, thanks for the info. I just read on your sidebar that you ran 20 plus miles today in 7:45. What is your time goal for your marathon? You are really such an inspiration to me. Your training is something I enjoy reading about. You are one tough cookie! I will check out the link.

  9. I hear you! My speed workout this week was 2 X 1.5 miles. I struggled with my paces. We’re going through monsoon season here, so it is still desert warm but now with added humidity. Your body just doesn’t perform in those conditions. 2 weeks ago at the track, it was all I could do to run a 6:29 mile for my 1-mile time trial. I was bummed because I thought I could at least get it in the 6:1X range. But at 87 degrees and 73% humidity (at 5:45 am!!!), that’s all I could do.

    I definitely agree with your sleep observation. I probably need 9 hours, but most nights I get 6-1/2 to 7. It’s just not enough.

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