Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Ladder Workout: Going Up and Down

I firmly begins that running is mental.  Although tonight's track workout called for a ladder, I was  excited to do.  Ladder workout's are challenging and teach you how to race, but I was up for and think I conquered that challenge tonight. 

There are a couple variations of the ladder workout, but mine consisted of: 400, 800, 1600, mile, mile, 1600, 800, 400.  I was supposed to run my 400s at 5k pace, 800s and 10k pace, 1600s between 800s and half marathon pace, and mile between half marathon and marathon pace.  I was fast on all of them.  My splits were:

***Warm-up - 1.1 miles - 9:12 - 8:24/mile pace
400 - (0.26 miles) -  1:28 - 5:48/mile pace
800 - (0.51 miles) -  3:11 - 6:14/mile pace
1200 - (0.77 miles) - 5:06 - 6:36/mile pace
mile - (1.02) - 7:02 - 6:53/mile pace
mile - (1.03) - 6:49 - 6:39/mile pace
1200 - (0.78) - 5:04 - 6:28/mile pace
800 - (0.51) - 3:12 - 6:15/mile pace
400 (0.26) - 1:29 - 5:50/mile pace
***Cool down - 1.1 miles - 10:31 - 9:33 pace

Did you catch all that data?  My times would not have been accurate if I went solely on the given distance, as each time I ran farther.  Each step counts in speed work and in races!

When I look at that data, I can only think of how far I've come as a runner in the past year.  I am proud of my accomplishments....the races I've competed in and the workouts I've done. 

One thing I've learned is that track is challenging.  I have to focus hard in order to run well, but it makes me so happy.  Almost all of my paces, except my first mile, were done faster than my current 5k pace.  Although speed work is beneficial, it cannot predict everything. 

But, after running tonight, I just want to go out and run a 5k for the fun of it.  Maybe next weekend?  It might be nice to get in one more race before the marathon. 

Have you ever completed a ladder workout?  Did you enjoy it?  I've done a wide variety of workouts this summer.  One of the best aspects of the ladder is that it is not boring - the different distances of the ladder make it interesting.  Here's to the last ladder of the outdoor track season!

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