Confession: the last time I did speedwork outside was years ago (like 3 or 4). When I was in Iraq, it was impossible for me to find an area on the base where I could run without worrying about hummvees, tanks, or even indirect fire, so I began to do my speedwork on the treadmill. I guess when you are left with no choice, you learn to love the only option you have. I have stuck with the treadmill for the past few years.
After Saturday’s 6 mile progression run, I realized I needed to suck it up and start doing the speedwork outside. While the treadmill can give me a great workout, I find that I push myself much harder when I am outside.
There isn’t a local track that I can go to so I will be doing my repeats on an area close to my home that has just under a mile of flat pavement (the last .1 or so is a bit of an uphill). It’s definitely not ideal – I have to keep an eye out for traffic since I’m going through a bunch of intersections, but it could definitely be worse. Trying to be optimistic – HA =)
I was out the door into the freezing cold (it was 30 degrees) at 6am yesterday. (I find doing speedwork first thing in the morning before my mind full wakes up and knows what I’m about to put it through works best for me).
Since I’m working on gaining the speed that I lost during pregnancy, I will be focusing on sets of 1600m (mile), 800m (1/2 mile) and 400m (1/4 mile) for the time being. Typically, I prefer just doing mile repeats (I work up to 8) for marathon training, but I want to ensure I’m giving myself a good base of speed before I start that.
1.75 mile warm-up (I ran to the red area above)
- 2 x 1600m: 6:24, 6:21
- 2 x 800m: 3:09, 3:08
- 2 x 400m: 1:31, 1:30
The workout was painful. My lungs were burning by the middle of the first mile repeat. I’m not comfortable with pacing myself outside yet and started WAY too fast (watch said 5:56 at the 1/4 mile mark – definitely no where near ready to run times like that for mile repeats) and paid for it by the end. My legs felt like dead weight during the last few repeats.
My mantra for this training cycle is Embrace the Pain. I’m re-familiarizing myself how to run uncomfortably. I wear these words on my wrist for all of my runs and have been repeating the words to myself during hard workouts. Yesterday was no exception. PS. If you like my Say It Do It bracelet, check out Erica Sara Designs.
YES – mile repeats!!
Do you have a track that you can use for speedwork? Do you do it on the treadmill?