If I ever had the fuel to burn on a good track workout, today was the day.
Coach GP obliged by putting this on today's lunch menu:
Tuesday Track: Warm up and strides as described. (4miles)
8 laps sustained in and out pace:
Meaning run the odd laps @ 1.15 i.e laps 1,3,5,7
Even laps @ 1.30 i.e laps 2,4,6,8
It is key that you run each lap at the right pace. Keep the 15 seconds per lap differential, that is 1 minute per mile differential. This is an advanced and skillful workout working a change of pace and forcing your body to recover on the move.
Jog an 800
4 x 150; followed by a 250 jog (this begins in the middle of the turn) in 26-25 secs, smooth and relaxed. The recovery is a super easy 250 to take you back to the same starting position each time. 2 mile cooldown.
I used to describe a track workout as being like a journey to the edge of an abyss. Lately they've been voyages into the unknown, as I have no idea going into them how I'm going to do on these strange reps.
After going through the preliminary miles, the first challenging stuff were the "in-outs". I like that name. This workout is designed to get used to changing gears in mid-pace. The idea is to go all out at 75 secs for one 400, and then recover, on the fly at a relatively fast at 90 secs, before dropping it back to 45. Eight laps go like this.
I've tried to do 75 second 400s with a regular recovery and never could sustain that speed. Today my ins and outs came in at 74; 90; 74; 90; 75; 91; 74; 92. This workout was right about where I was at. I really had to push to get that last "in" in, and I went two seconds over on the last "out" more due to a mental lapse than anything else. Its funny how when you go 75, a 90, which is still a 6 minute pace, feels like a jog. I leaned into this last one as a recovery a bit too much in the early part of the lap and meant to speed things up but my mind wandered and I never did push to get it back down to 90. Not a big deal, the main thing I'm psyched about is how I nailed those 75s and how I was able to push myself to get them. My innate sense of pacing returned to me today, as I was pretty good at judging what felt to be 75 and 90 paces. 75-speed is pretty much goal pace, and I've got a ways to go for that, but nonetheless today bodes well.
After an 800 recovery, I went into phase 2. 150 is basically a sprint. I didn't know how fast 25-26 translated into. So for the first one I went all out and hit a 22, then 24; 25; and a 24. These were easy. I guess they simulate kicking towards the end of a race, but I never felt winded and the distance wasn't long enough to where I was sucking for air afterwards. As soon as I ran that first 22 and saw how I felt I knew the rest of them would be cake. More of a sprint exercise than a VO2 max type workout.
It feels good to kick ass on the track, to turn this beast into the wind. I'm riding on that high right now as I prep for my class this evening. Then I just want to get to bed early tonight.
9.5 miles, total elapsed time 73:17.