Today’s Speed Workout

April 6, 2017

I spied this morning’s speed workout on my calendar last week, and was nervous about it. I attempted this workout 2 weeks ago, and while it wasn’t awful, it wasn’t great either. This morning’s weather wasn’t exactly encouraging; it’s unseasonably cold today (in the 30s when I headed out) and windy. Wind is never a friendly addition to harder efforts, or at least not when you’re running into it. The prescribed workout was a 3 mile warm up, 5 x 1K (5K pace) with 200m jogs in between, and a 2 mile cool down. The goal was also to run the 1K’s progressively faster. Last time, I failed to do this, but I think mostly because I hadn’t quite visualized the paces. I don’t normally run kilometers, and I guess it was a bit of a cerebral malfunction. When I viewed the repeats by the mile pace required for each it made more sense, so I knew what it would loosely feel like. I also wrote the times on my hand because I think seeing them helped with the visualization, and also helped me hone in on each split’s specific effort. Small things.

Here’s where I landed:

Two Weeks Ago Today
Split 1 4:22 3:57
Split 2 4:26 4:15
Split 3 4:10 3:55
Split 4 4:24 4:11
Split 5 4:18 3:59

I really have no idea how I was running the odd splits as fast as I was, because they felt comfortable, much more so than the even splits. The goal was to start around 4:20 and work down below 4:10. The even splits followed this trajectory, so I was okay with them. I don’t know if it was a mental thing, as my elevation wasn’t really anything to take note of in either direction. There’s something about running down this route that always feels faster than going back up it, even though it’s fairly flat. I have no idea why. It’s also possible that I ran the odd splits too fast for the progression, making the even splits more difficult, but I just went with the effort that felt appropriate for my goal. It didn’t feel especially hard, so I let it be. No matter what, this felt like a huge improvement over my last attempt, and I felt much more in control. I will be ecstatic if I run these paces in next weekend’s 5K, or at least that I run the race as consistently as I ran this workout.

I’ve been sitting here riding out the warm fuzzy feelings that come after a good, hard effort. I feel like it’s taken me a little while to start to find some speed in my legs, but I’m getting there. Patience, I know. Besides, I feel like the wind helped up the confidence quotient. I mean, they weren’t hurricane grade gusts or anything, but still. In the movie version I’ll have to grab onto a telephone pole to avoid being blown away, and I’ll still hit my split goal.

Happy running,


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