Well, we got stuck, and couldn’t quite line anybody up this week (I take full responsibility), but instead of just not giving you a workout, we decided to do something a little different. Two of the guidelines that I’ve set up for this are: 1.) don’t feature one of my workouts, since the Legion already hears enough from me anyway and 2.) try to showcase a recent workout. All guidelines went out the window this week!
That being said, this week’s workout is one that I did back on August 1, 2007. At the time, it was one of the tougher workouts I had ever done. Luckily I had enough in my training log to be able to go with it, making the age of it less of an issue. What also made this one jump out is it ties into the piece by me that will be showing up in the next issue of Level Renner (soon-to-be-released!). This the workout that caused ____, which unexpectedly _____, eventually leading me to _____ and then to realize _______. If you want to fill in the blanks, you’ll just have to read the article. Basically it’s a companion piece, with all the details behind what set off a chain of events that changed the course of my life.
I hadn’t done a workout in a couple of weeks due to weekday races (Jim Kane Sugar Bowl on 7/19 & Blessing of the Fleet on 7/27), so it was gut-check time. My left foot was hurting so bad yesterday that I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to do this today. I had never tried a road race longer than five miles in racing flats before, and by the end of the ten mile Blessing race, my feet were barking at me. I thought I might’ve needed a day off and ended up wasting about ten minutes or so attempting to ‘test’ my foot before leaving.
Finally was out the door for the warm-up, although it was questionable if one was even necessary. Temps were still in the high 80′s and it was VERY humid (at about 8:00 pm!). I was in the beginning of my mileage whore phase, so I didn’t let the weather alter the number that went onto the calendar (somewhat stupid now that I look back on it). I went to the usual spot, the sheep pastures and fields by Stonehill College, and tried to prepare the mind for the endeavor as the muscles warmed up (three miles).
My foot felt fine during the warm-up so now there was not even the slightest hesitation in my mind to go forward. At the track, I discovered the infield was crawling with activity. On a summer night at Stonehill I typically had the place to myself, but it didn’t matter since the kids (ended up being foreign exchange students) never got in my way. Anyway, on to the workout:
1 mi / 2 mi / 3 mi / 2 mi / 1 mi, all with 800 m jog rest
target splits: for the 1 mi, between 5:10-15, 2mi at 5:20 pace, 3 mi at 5:30 pace. here’s how it all went down:
1 mi: 5:12.2
2 mi: 10:40.3 (5:20.2, 5:20.1)
3 mi: 16:37.9 (5:38.2, 5:29.8, 5:29.9)
2 mi: 10:46.8 (5:24.8, 5:22.0)
1 mi: 5:05.0
This was done in preparation for the Chicago Marathon that fall and my ultimate goal was to run a 2:30 there. I wanted all of this done well under target marathon pace, and am just a fan of the ladder in general. I like getting faster work in early (making the legs tired for the longer intervals), followed up by more faster work on the other side (getting in faster work again after fatigue starts to set in). I think, if done right, this can be really helpful for a marathon.
I was more than a little worried about going out too hard in the beginning and putting myself in the hole for the rest of the workout, so I didn’t push for the 5:10. Pacing had always been a problem for me and I was new to these bulk workouts (and it was hotter than the devil’s taint out there), so I was more concerned with pace than usual. I just missed the target for the first mile, but it was close enough. The first one is always the toughest so in my mind I knew that hitting my targets should be much easier going forward. I’ll take a relaxed a 5:12!
The rest jog felt painfully slow and long (looking back on it, I definitely went heavy on the rest). I was ready to roll for the two mile interval, and I was able to stay relaxed here in hitting my goal of 10:40. I can see that the miles were pretty even, but that can be deceiving. I remember in this workout that there would always be one lap per mile that was off, and it left me sort of scrambling on the other laps to get back on track. I guess I liked making things harder on myself.
The three mile interval is where it got real interesting. I shot myself in the foot on the first mile of that interval (waaaay too slow). The rest of that interval was fine, although I did feel it more than I thought I would. I was tempted to to make the second and third miles of it faster to hit the overall target time (16:30), but decided against it because the 16:30 didn’t matter as much as hitting the individual 5:30′s did. The first was blown, no getting it back now, but I could still salvage the remaining two. So with a renewed focus, I made sure to hit my splits to close it out.
I was over the hump now, time to crank it up, right? Well, the second deuce wasn’t too bad. Again, the first mile was too slow and the second mile wasn’t too far off. I was happy that even though the first mile was slow, I was able to pick it up and bring it home respectably, as opposed to seeing the pace continually drop-off.
Now, it was time for the ‘cherry on top’, the last mile. I was torn between trying to rip it all-out, or just hitting my split. I was in the mood to find something out about myself and see what I had left (stupidity alert!!!). I decided to push it, but roll with it, so to speak; just see how the first lap went and take it from there. If I was feeling it, keep going after it. I went out in 76 and felt good, so I rolled with it. I was able to pretty much hit that split each time and felt pretty good in the process. It wasn’t an all-out, go the well type of effort, but i did push it. Finally done, I was filled with an excited kind of exhaustion. You alway want to end on a high note and that’s exactly how it felt to me.
I did a very slow two mile “cooldown” before heading back home, where the real fun began…
With the benefit of hindsight, we can analyze further: the rest intervals were all between 4:35 and 4:56. I think it was too much, except for maybe after the three miler. It might’ve been more beneficial to do 400m jog rest for the other rest periods. An argument could be made to keep it at that since it was so hot.
Also, since I had the track to myself, I ran the first one mile and the three mile interval in the normal direction, and ran both two milers and last mile going the opposite direction. If you’re able to (i.e. the track is clear), I recommend doing during a longer interval session so you’re not over-stressing the left leg on the turns.
We’re trying to line up people for the next few weeks and should return next Friday with our usual Negative Splits.