Sunday in my race report (which I guess could've been considered a speed workout in itself) I mentioned the fact that I was ready to start doing some faster training. As I had mentioned, all of my running has pretty much been at the same pace, which is fine, because ultimately the better stamina leads to faster times, but I wanted to speed up that process a little bit.
Like the great marathon guru Hal Higdon says...to race fast you have to train fast. Not sure if Mr. Higdon was the first person to say that, but when it comes to getting regular peeps like us ready to run, he's the man.
So Darcy and I headed to the Bartlett Park District gym, where they have a newly-surfaced running track. The sign next to the track says it's eight laps to a mile, which would make it about 200 meters around. At some point I might go totally anal and measure it myself -- because there have been conversations that eight laps is a bit longer -- but for now it will do.
I started off by running a really easy one mile. Easy, like 13 minutes-plus easy. Then after a quick drink of water I went 6x200 with 200 jog recovery, then a 1/2-mile cooldown.
In my mind, I was thinking that a 60-ish second lap would be a pretty good effort, and given my splits it was. I wasn't going all-out -- then again, at 45 years old I don't think I have an "all-out" gear any more (!) -- but it was hard. Mostly I focused on my form: back straight, eyes up, good arm swing. And most of all, stay relaxed.
I was very happy with the results (see below) and it was a good starting point. I did a little speedwork back in the spring and it manifested itself pretty quickly as it was around that time I ran my best time of the year for the 5K (30:05) at the Apple Blossom 5K in the first weekend in May. Hopefully I get that type of improvement this time too!
Warmup -- 13:02.86
Cooldown -- 6:35
What I was really happy about was the fact that the splits were fairly consistent, and my last interval was the fastest. Those splits translate to roughly a 7:45 pace, which was a pretty good workout!
I think between now and my next 5K I am going to focus on doing two speed sessions a week...one consisting of intervals and the other some kind of tempo-type stuff. It will be a really fun challenge.