Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Speedy Returns

It is one feature of my training that I don't do much speed work. I have been told quite a few times that I would be a faster runner if I did more speed workouts, maybe even all year round. Maybe so. What I do know, though, is that I get injured a lot less than your average runner (I can't even remember when I last had to take a day off due to injury. It's several years ago) and that consistency is very important. I also found it very telling that the one coach I ever had never pressed me into speed work, and in fact dialled it back quickly once I started because he noticed how quickly I responded to it.

Anyway, after a short hill phase and an easy recovery week after the 50k (still only 10 days ago!) I did my first speed workout this morning. The weather forecast almost had me reconsider, and it sounded truly scary out there when I wok at 3 am, but I decided to go ahead nevertheless, and if it was too windy I would do quarter mile repeats on the piece of road outside our house that is somewhat sheltered by trees.

However, it was much nicer at 6:30, so I programmed the Garmin for half mile repeats. I did two easy miles as my warm up, and wouldn't you know it, the wind picked up considerably and it also started raining extremely heavily. But I'm naturally lazy and couldn't be bothered to re-program the Garmin while standing out there so I stuck two proverbial fingers to the elements and went ahead.

3:02 (158), 2:57 (158), 2:56 (164), 2:51 (163), 2:54 (167), 2:48 (165) - 2 minutes recovery

I did 6 repeat, just as planned. The odd numbers are straight into a fierce headwind, the even ones obviously with the wind on my back. I ran this entirely by feel and not once checked the watch for either time or HR, just clicked off the numbers and looked at the numbers afterwards.

Wouldn't you know it, I felt so smug afterwards! The session was just perfect; the effort maintainable and always under full control, I always concentrated mostly on remaining relaxed rather than hammering out a fast repeat, I got faster the longer the session went on, I finished in the knowledge that I still had one or two more in me and to top it all off the pace was quicker than expected.

Next time I might not even dread speed work!

24 Feb
10 miles, 1:18:22, 7:50 pace, HR 142
25 Feb
8+ miles, 59:01, HR 146
   6 x half mile in 3:02, 2:57, 2:56, 2:51, 2:54, 2:48

1 comment:

  1. Good session. 2:48 would be a respectable 800m 'B' time at Vets track down here. No doubt you'd run a lot faster in a race - sub 2:30 maybe.