Last night I had my first speed workout of marathon training. The base building portion of training is over and now it’s time to incorporate “something of substance” workouts. The Hansons training program incorporates speed workouts on Tuesdays for the next five weeks. Treadmill Tuesday has become Track Tuesday! The workout they had on tap for my first week was 12 x 400m with a 400m recovery jog in between each interval. This was pretty daunting for me. It was the longest track workout I have ever done and I hadn’t actually done a track workout in ages.
I actually got so anxious about the workout that I ended up asking Barry to come along for moral support. He sat and laid in the stands while I did my workout and kept me company. I started out with a one mile warm up before I got down to business. It was nice and cool with low humidity outside, which is unusual for July. There was a strong breeze, too, which I enjoyed (except for the headwind on the back stretch of the track). I was going to break the workout down into 3 sets of 4, but once I got started I decided to just chunk it in half.
My goal pace for the 400m repeats was 2:15, which came straight out of the Hansons book and was based on my marathon goal and my 5K time. The Hansons explain that most training programs have you do intervals at 100% VO2max. However, their paces are based on 80-95% VO2max in order to maximize the physiological gains they’re aiming for. Here’s how the first 6 repeats broke down:
1- 2:16 4- 2:13
2- 2:14 5- 2:12
3- 2:14 6- 2:13
My legs were definitely getting more tired with each interval, but I was recovering well after each one. With that I headed into the second set of 6. Right after interval number 7 (or number 1 of set 2) I needed to use the restroom. There’s a building with restrooms right next to the track, but the women’s was locked. The men’s was unlocked, though, and no one was in there so I used the men’s instead! It was clean, at least 🙂
7- 2:13 10- 2:11
8- 2:11 11- 2:13
9- 2:09 12- 2:14
I started going a bit too fast on these. I would go out too hard during the first 200m and have to slow it down during the second half. The Hansons advise sticking to the prescribed pace and warn that doing speed workouts too fast can lead to injury. I think I did alright, though. After the second set of 6 I went right into my cool down mile.
This workout really intimidated me, as it was 8 miles total including the warm up, cool down, and recovery portions. I think there was as much to gain mentally as there was physically with this workout, as with most speed workouts. The Hansons say speed workouts require you to put your game face on, and I certainly did that last night. I’m glad today is a rest day, though, because my legs are sore and tired (especially my calves). Tomorrow I have my first tempo run!
When was the last time you did intervals on the track or a speed workout?
What types of workouts intimidate you the most?