Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Speed Work

Yesterday afternoon I laced up my shoes and hit the track for the first time since I was in high school - over 8 years.  The running club I recently joined does track/interval training on Tuesday nights, and I thought it would be good for me to try. 

There are two groups: Group A and Group B.  Contrarily to what a person would assume, Group B is actually the faster group that does harder workouts.  Before going, I assumed I would be in the slower group.  I'm not incredibly fast, and it appeared that Group B people were. 

When I got there I spoke to the wife of the Group B coach.  I told her I didn't know what group to go in, but assumed A.  She asked me my PRs and mileage, and said that I should go in B.  From that point on, I had to do a lot of positive self-talk, reminding myself that this is the group I belonged in.  It would have been easier to be the best in A, but I knew I could get a better workout in B.  I knew I would be near the back, which is hard for me. 

Everyone started together with a 1 mile warm-up.  We then split in our groups.  My group then did another 1/2 mile around the track with striders on the straight away segments.  Then, the fun began.

Tuesday's Speed Workout
1 mile warm-up
800m of striders
400 at 5k race pace
800 at 10k race pace
mile at half marathon race pace
mile at half marathon race pace
800 at 10k race pace
400 at 5k race pace
*400 recovery in between each set
1 mile cool down

I was quite pleased with myself and how I did, especially considering how nervous I was.  I felt like a total amateur among the elites.  I ran a faster split time for all of my splits than my race pace, which I thought was great.

One of the most interesting things I heard all night was from the coach.  He was saying that this workout really teaches you how to must start off fast, settle down and get into a rhythm, and then finish strong. 

The workout ended in a hurry, as the tornado siren went off.

Do you do speed workouts?  Have you noticed a difference in your race times because of them?


  1. When I do speed work I just run a mile as fast as I can. Take 5 mins rest. Then repeat for 3-4 miles. Thats what works for me, and thats what makes me fast. I never did something you did, but I sure would like to! Sounds fun.

  2. I applaud you for running with the elites, the speed work plus trying to "hang" with the elites will pay HUGE dividends in your racing career. Reminds me of a quote I have

    "Surround yourself with people slower then you and you are bound to appear a winner. Surround yourself with people faster then you and you are bound to win"