I had hill repeats on my schedule for FOUR weeks in anticipation of speed work, the idea being to get me psyched and physically ready for it. I'm chagrinned to admit that I never completed a whole one of those hill repeat workouts...not a one. And I actually enjoy running hills.
Yes, I did do a timed mile last week. But that was an act of desperation.
On Tuesday I saw "6 x 400" on my calendar for the first time in a long time. I winced. I hid. I had a migraine. But I've run with a migraine before. Tuesday I didn't want to. So I didn't. I need for running to be fun. It can be hard, hard work, but it must be fun. I have never viewed speed work as fun. I've even (frequently) substituted elliptical for running using a heart rate training model to avoid running speed work.
I'm here to tell you something.
Heart rate training works.
So does the Don't Run, Run Faster plan.
Wednesday night after my kids were in bed, I finally sucked it up and ran some intervals.
And they were kind of fun. And, dare I say, kind of easy.
The random training plan I've been using this fall (cannot for the life of me remember which one it is...and I have no real goal race at the end of it...it's all kind of weird and nebulous-sounding, I know) calculated something from somewhere to suggest that I run these 400's in 1:52. I explained to myself that there was no need to be stressed about hitting a 1:52 for a quarter mile given that I was able to run a 6:47 mile. Luckily, I listened to myself, suited up and headed out.
My one mile warm-up was 10 minutes long. I was worried that I was running too fast for my warm-up, but I checked my heart rate monitor a few times and it had me in the high 120's...nice warm-up place to be. Then I began my first interval. Whoa, Nellie! 6:45 lap pace is a bit speedy, girl...rein it in. I had a heck of a time easing up enough; it felt just way too easy when I backed off. Aren't these supposed to leave you almost breathless but ready to go again after a brief rest?
1:49 (7:16 min/mile)
The last two I didn't think about hitting a specific time. Instead, I focused on feeling light and relaxed and fluid. They definitely felt the smoothest and easiest most likely because I wasn't playing the speed-up-slow-down game the whole time!
So I think my training methods are working. And I don't hate speed work anymore. And I won't be avoiding it.
Of course, maybe I'm doing it wrong :P
How do you feel about speed work?
– two thumbs up...now :)
If you have kids, what do you usually do after they go to bed?
– I don't always go run...maybe only once or twice a week. Sometimes I go to the gym and cardio or rock climb. Sometimes I sack out on the sofa and watch a movie. Sometimes I stare at the wall.