Some Nasty, Nasty Intervals at the Track

>> Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Coach Jen was going to give me one more interval workout to do this morning - 1 week before my 1 mile road race. (HERE was her first round of intervals for me, and HERE was her second round.) She recently tweeted this:

She sent me a workout that was pretty easy (6x200 descending). I figured it was just because the race was a week away and I had nothing really to gain at this point. Then a few hours later, I get THIS tweet:

Ah hell naw.

Just after that, I tweeted her workout thoughts for me:

Yep, 16x200 done 4x(4x200). First set at 35, next set at 33, next at 31, next at red line. I was to jog 200 between the 200s and walk 3 minutes between the sets of 4. The best part of her workout was when she said "If you go 'macho man' on the first set and do 31s you will not finish the workout correctly. Better to be at 36 on the first set than 31. The idea is to warm up into it and still get the muscles firing quick quick quick by the end."

I got to the track this morning at 4:45 as the sky was just starting to brighten over the St. Thomas campus:

I swear Jen Harrison workouts make me crazy: I talk to myself the most before her workouts. I was walking around on the track getting ready to go while repeating what I needed to do. I did the same thing during her workout 2 weeks ago.

I knew my "jog" times would most likely get slower and slower throughout the workout, but I didn't care - I wasn't going to look at those times. I wasn't going to dawdle between the intervals, but I wasn't going to kill myself trying to only take XX seconds of a break if Jen didn't give me a specific time goal for that.

Here's what I logged:

1.5 WU: 12:50

About 8:00 of stretching / walking

0:37.0 (1:09)
0:36.5 (1:04)
0:35.4 (1:03)
0:34.4 (3:00)

0:32.4 (1:07)
0:34.3 (1:03)
0:33.0 (1:03)
0:32.7 (2:59)

Coach Jen is always able to get me to hit my numbers. I somehow become able to sense my pace REALLY WELL when I work with her. Look at that last set: I knew the first was a little fast as I was about to finish it, so I told myself to ease back to maybe a 34 for the 2nd (which I did). After that one, I thought "OK, now a 33 like I'm supposed to do." Bam - 0:33.0 on the nose. And then I finished with a just slightly fast 32.7. HOW CAN JEN MAKE ME DO THIS?!? I remember a 4x1600 workout she gave me when we worked together 3 years ago where she told me to run the final interval faster than I'd ran any 1600 interval ever before (when I usually just do 3x1600). And I nailed it. This is what a coach can do to you!

OK, back to the workout:

0:32.0 (1:07)
0:32.0 (1:10)
0:32.7 (1:11)
0:32.3 (3:02) - not a single 31 in this set. Dang. But not unexpected.

0:31.8 (1:07) - YES!!! A 31!!
0:32.0 (1:09)
0:31.8 (1:15)

About 4:30 of walking / cussing / trying not to die, then jogged home.

I figured I might not see any 31s in the 3rd set, but I was THRILLED to see 2 show up in the final set! When I started that final set and ran my first 31, I wasn't seeing straight for a while. I was BEAT UP! I really felt like I had to puke as I wrapped up my 2.75 mile cool down. (But I didn't.)

Overall, this workout wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. The first set wasn't horrible. The 2nd started to suck. The 3rd really sucked, and the 4th was just "survival." But it wasn't long and depressing. I've learned that I LOVE workouts broken into chunks like this. If Jen said 16x200, I'd have punched her. But 16x200 done as 4x(4x200) is much more do-able. I MAY do something like this again.

Alright, that's my last hard workout before next Wednesday night's "road mile!" We'll see how it goes!


SteveQ 10:55 AM, July 03, 2013  

Interesting. Not the workout I'd have you do, but I'm not your coach. You have decent speed, but the last set shows your absolute top-end speed's lacking; it's not going to be a problem in the mile race, though. You should be able to run well under 4:50 if properly trained, but since you're looking at 4:53-4:59, you just need to be able to maintain pace at the end. I hven't looked at the new course, but there's no long downhill, so times will be slower than in the past.

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