Early Morning Track Workout

>> Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I hit the track last week for my earliest interval session ever. I took this photo at 4:30 a.m. at the start of the homestretch looking diagonally across the track (from the 300 meter mark towards the 100 meter mark):

It was DARK. As I walked down the track, I thought I spotted SNOW, but then I realized that it was melting ice from some activity the night before:

So yeah, it was dark AND chilly. It was about 39 degrees. Fun times.

I set out to do 3 x 1600 every 8:00 (so that's 2:00-2:20 rest). I was wearing my Garmin for the first time on the track, and it doesn't light up unless you hit a button. So I told myself this would be good for me: I'm used to checking my split every 400, but now I'd only know my split at 800 and 1600 (when I take my splits), so I'd be running more by "feel."

My first 800 was the slowest I'd had in a LONG time, so I knew I had to make the next 800 fastest.

INTERVAL #1: 3:00, 2:52 = 5:52.

The start of my 2nd 1600 was better, and I was STILL able to negative split it:

INTERVAL #2: 2:53, 2:47 = 5:40.

I started the final interval with heavy legs, but that's kinda the point. This was going to hurt, but it was going to be a solid workout.

INTERVAL #3: 2:55, 2:46 = 5:41.

Average: 5:44.3 / 1600

My times weren't stellar. I've ran 1600s with less rest and kept them all under 5:30 before. But this was my first track workout in MONTHS, so I was happy to just have completed the workout. NEXT time I do intervals (maybe this week, maybe next week), I'll push for faster times and start to remind my body how to run harder.

I snapped a photo as soon as I finished my last interval:

My glasses fogged up the moment I stopped. Welcome to winter running.
And yes, you southerners, it was 39 degrees and I was sweating in shorts and short sleeves. ;)

I had to check out my Garmin data from the workout. I knew it would look "interesting." Here's my route:

Notice lots of "wandering" lines to the left: that's the homestretch where I walked back and forth between intervals (sipping water from my bottle). There are 14 laps on that map: 12 "interval" laps, 1.5 laps as part of my WU, and 0.5 laps as part of my CD.

And here's my pace data - I let my Garmin run the whole time:

3 intervals near the middle. You can see subtle slow-downs on the final turn of every lap.

This was part of my BIGGEST WEEK OF RUNNING in a long time! More on that soon....


JP 7:27 AM, October 16, 2012  

Steve - you can change the setting for the backlight to stay on all the time. I do 80% of my running before work at ~4:30a and I just leave it on all the time during those runs and have had no problem with batter on even the longest runs.

Steve Stenzel 8:34 AM, October 16, 2012  

JP, I figured there was a way as I was on that pitch-dark track. I've got to figure that out before the next un-Godly-hour interval run. :) Thanks!

TriMOEngr 12:10 PM, October 16, 2012  

I'm having a hard time imagining the day that I want to work out badly enough to get up that early and go somewhere other than right out my front door. Way to knock out a killer workout at an ungodly hour.

Amy H 10:04 AM, October 20, 2012  

Good workout! I take lap splits every 800 too - otherwise the "auto mile" thing (which usually isn't right - see tracings on the track for evidence!) screws things up. Is the St Thomas track open 24 hours? My usual track opens at 6 am. (Although if I had to do something that early, I would probably go to Lifetime.)

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