A week and a half ago I did a speedwork session. On the schedule was 3 x 1600 m at 9:45 pace. Before setting out, I decided to change the session to 6 x 800 m at 4:39 to 4:52 pace (an appropriate time range according to the McMillan running calculator). The mile speed run always seems daunting to me, so I thought cutting them in half would help.
The times I clocked for the first two 800 m were unexpected. At this point, I decided to scrap the last four 800 m and instead run two 1600 m as I was curious what times I would get. Here they are:
800 m – 3:59
800 m – 4:09
1600 m – 8:51
1600 m – 8:36
Um, yeah. What happened here?
I recalculated the distance of the pseudo-track I’ve been using and realized it may be off by 0.01 mile (so 0.24 mile instead of 0.25). This weekend I made sure to add the appropriate distance to the end of each interval (two fence posts per lap). I intended to follow the previous week’s session of 2 x 800 m and 2 x 1600 m, but I had a weak mental moment on the third run so in all it ended up being one 1600 m and 4 x 800 m. Hope that makes sense.
Ok, so here are the times:
800 m – 3:47
800 m – 3:53
800 m – 4:08
1600 m – 8:37
800 m – 4:05
Yeah, I still don’t get it. I’m slower than molasses during all my medium and long runs, but apparently I’m a little speed demon (relative, of course) for short distances. Hell, I didn’t even think I was capable of running a sub-9 minute mile without risking cardiac arrest.
As of now I’ve made the executive decision to modify the rest of my training schedule. It’s currently set up to have one easy run, one speed or tempo run and one LSD per week. From here on out, I’ll be using a more FIRST-like approach and changing the easy run to another speed or tempo session, depending on whatever is already scheduled for that week.
My crazy speed session times were not the only reason for this decision. I hate to admit it, but I was actually influenced by a comment Vanilla made in his Runners’ Lounge Open Mic interview. He said, ‘I’m in ‘like’ with running, I’m in love with better results.’ I can completely identify with this. Mentally, I grumble and bitch through the entirety of the speed sessions, but I absolutely love the numbers I get and I really want to keep improving. When spring time rolls around and the shorter distances races crop up again, I want to smash my 5K and 10K PRs and I know doing speedwork is the only way I’m going to achieve that goal.
If you all have any advice you want to throw my way about any of this, please feel free. I’d love to know what you think.
Have a great week, everyone.
P.S.--Jenn at Getting Fit and Loving It is running a 21-day habit changing/forming challenge. Entry deadline is today by 11:59 pm EST. I've signed up to do two things: (1) not eat chocolate and (2) keep up with my language study. You may notice a gradual increase in irritability in my posts over the next three weeks. That would be the result of Habit Goal #1. Just FYI. Come on, lemmings, go sign up. Why wait till January 1st to torture yourself? Start now! :)