"It's a treat being a runner, out in the world by yourself with not a soul to make you bad-tempered or tell you what to do." - Allan Sillitoe

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Great interval session - still some speed (a little) in the old legs

Despite the less than perfect weather for riding a scooter across town to the new athletics stadium I got out for my scheduled interval session this morning. I actually got woken up by the stormy wind and rain in the middle of the night which didn't bode well and even when I got up, I contemplated re-arranging the session or doing something different. In the end though, I decided to stick with the original plan.

Update on Wednesday first though - 8.4km in 48 mins, average HR 125. Very easy which I needed after Tuesday's 25km workout.

Thursday - I underestimated how much time it would take me to get to the stadium from home. As the scooter is only 50cc, I can't go on the Freeway so it adds quite a bit of time having to come through the CBD. As a result, I didn't actually get onto the track until 7.25am (the track opens at 7am).

It was the first time I had been there and what a great facility it is. Sort of place that just motivates you to train hard by being there.

The rain was still drizzling and there was a little bit of a breeze in your face down the back straight and behind you in the front straight. The track was wet and had some puddles but no flooding.

The "Michigan" Intervals Workout:
3.2km warmup
1 mile @ 5km or faster - 5.29 (3.24/km pace)
1.5 miles tempo @ marathon pace
1200m @ 5km or faster - 4.04 (3.23/km pace)
1.5 miles tempo @ marathon pace
800m @ 5km or faster - 2.37 (3.16/km pace)
1.5 miles tempo @ marathon pace
400m all out blast - 66 secs (2.45/km pace)
3.2km warm down

Total 16.4km in 1 hour 6 minutes (average pace 4.01/km).

Although the workout actually called for the tempo parts to be at 10km-marathon pace, I decided pretty much from the start that I was going to run them at marathon pace for two reasons. First, I wanted to hit the speed parts hard and get some real quality as I haven't done a heap of speed work and that was the main reason I was at the track. Secondly, I'm training for a marathon, I don't need my cruising speed to be any quicker than marathon pace.

I think the tactic worked. I'm not great at doing pace conversions in my head but even I knew that I was going OK especially when I hit the 1200m interval in 4.04. It was only a year ago that 4.04 would have been hard for me to run for 1000m.

What I am most surprised at though is the last 400m interval. I wouldn't have thought I could run much quicker than 66 secs for a flat out 400m straight up, no way I thought I was going to run that after already running 13km with 3 previous intervals. Having run 2.37 for the 800m interval, I said to myself that I have to try and run under 75 secs for the 400m. Didn't look at my watch until I stopped it at the end and was very pleasantly surprised.

I made use of the shower facilities (lovely hot water, pity you have to press the button to restart the shower every 10 seconds) but having organised a flex day, didn't have to go to work. Rox and I went and saw the new Harry Potter movie on the IMAX at Carousel. I also did my bi-annual sock purchase at The Athletes Foot. I wear the Lightfeet socks which are $32 a pair so wait until they have their "Buy 2, get 1 free" sale. Still works out to $21 a pair but they last much longer than ordinary socks and really do the trick as far as no blisters are concerned (99% of the time).

Aren't track runners a funny lot though? Not many there but there was one bloke with his coach. No warm up, but took 10 mins to set up some blocks. Then 10 mins of starts and 50m strides before some standing long jumps on the track (no spikes and nearly came a cropper once) and then throwing a mini basketball for distance (which they measured). After that they called it quits. 45 minutes tops and looked like a complete waste of time.

I'm looking forward to getting back to the track for my next session but am going to have to find a way to make it work out better timewise next time. I left home at 6.40am and didn't get home until 9.20am. That's not going to work on a day I have to go to work afterwards. Might have to be afternoon interval sessions if I can't come up with a plan.

Recovery run tomorrow (Friday) before long run Saturday.


DC64 said...

Sounds like a great session (tough!) ; you'll have to come down to Coker next Thursday to do the 3k and test this leg speed of yours out (and I 'm dying for a bit of competition). It's not quite the same as the new stadium (which is, in the words of Bill and Ted, 'most excellent') but its still a good track.

trailblazer777 said...

Got to go check out that new track sometime soon! When I can afford the time to travel that far...If you have enough determination energy systems wise you should always be able to finish off hard for 60-90 seconds or so like you did with that 66 second 400m which is pretty impressive!, although you can only do that once, as you need 90 seconds or more to recharge the ATP-PC system I think thats correct if I remember rightly from my sports science days in the late 90's...