Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Speed Work: I didn't die!

I did my first speed work of the year on Monday and managed to survive! It actually wasn't as bad as I expected it to be. I remember feeling absolutely destroyed after some of these workouts last year so I was expecting to feel that way again this year. I'm sure the pain will come as the intervals progress from 2 minutes to 4-5 minutes.

Here are my splits from my workout. I started with a 2 mile warm up before beginning my intervals: 2:00 at 5k effort, 3:00 recovery. I finished with a 1.15 mile cool down to bring my total to 6 miles.

I remembered from last year that I ALWAYS ended up overdressed and way too hot during speed work, so I created a route that would allow me to warm up for about 1.5 miles, stop back by my house to ditch some layers, and get across the busy intersection to the straight, flat paved running path before my warm up was completed. I was a bit cold during my cool down since the sun was setting, but still, I wore shorts and a tank top on February 1st. In Michigan. In my February 1, 2015 training log I noted that I had run in 3-4 inches of fresh snow.

I am still struggling to figure out exactly what 5k effort should feel like. For this workout I aimed to hit my best 5k race pace from last year (6:46). With my actual paces being 6:41, 6:41, 6:19 (what?!), 6:23, and 6:26, I was not really successful. The weird part is that my two fastest intervals were actually the ones that felt the easiest. The first two I was struggling to remember how to run fast and in the final interval I was starting to get tired. I tried to honestly evaluate whether or not I could have managed a 6th interval, and I'm sure I could have.

My best speed workout last year was 4 x [4:00 @ 6:54, 3:00 recovery] about 2 weeks before my PR race. I think if I tried I would be able to match this workout by the end of the month. Which is kind of awesome! Last year I didn't even start my training until March. I was worried that between marathon training and my off season I would be starting from scratch this year, but after Monday's workout I feel confident that I will actually be building off of last year's progress!

 
Theme song for my 5k season.
 
Which is really good because the one thing I have been wanting to embody throughout this season is CONFIDENCE. When I set out to improve my 5k time last year, I didn't really know what I was doing. I was constantly doubting myself and completely unsure what to expect come race day. This year I know that I have a plan that works for me and I know that so long as I do the work, I should be ready to PR this spring.

8 comments:

  1. That's great that you're feeling more confident, good for you! Nice job on your speed work, sounds like you are right where you need to be. I often have some of my best speed work sessions in the beginning of training and the off season, since I'm still feeling fresh and energetic. It's a great feeling to surpass your expectations in a workout!

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    1. Thanks Hanna! I'm sure as the weeks go on and I start building up fatigue I will slow down a bit, but at least I started on a good note, lol.

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  2. Best blog post title ever :) Great job on this workout! I think you're off to a great start to training. Keep it up girl!

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    1. Thanks Gretch! Here's hoping the good runs last all season!

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  3. Congrats on the great start! Love it when things start to click. hey, I like that song too! :) Good plan to make a swing by your house to ditch layers. Way better plan than stuffing your clothes in a bush and hoping they are still there when you get back!!

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    1. I've definitely wanted to do the ditch the layer and hope for the best method before, but this is the route that someone stole my stashed water bottle from on one very hot summer day. Since then I have been too wary to leave anything unattended.

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  4. Yay for not dying! That's pretty much my standard for speedwork. Don't want to set the bar too high, you know! ;) I need to start keeping track of the weather for my runs - that's smart. Congrats on getting started on the right foot and feeling confident!

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    1. Thanks Tracy!

      I only track the weather if I think it would have had an effect on my running, like running in fresh snow or days when it is crazy hot or cold.

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