Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Back to the track

I’ve done 559 workouts over the last (nearly) 32 years of running. Over the last 10 years I haven’t done many due to injuries and getting speed-work from racing. I found that there is a definite correlation between speed-work and injuries. Of course the connection may be that if I’m fit enough to do workouts I’m probably doing more mileage which may be more closely tied to injuries than fast running (a relative term).

Anyway, last Wednesday night I did my first speedwork this year. The idea was to get some leg turnover prior to racing at New Castle this weekend and also to see how my foot feels after doing some faster running. I hoped to run under 80 for four x 400m with a 400 rest. It may not sound like much of a workout but I’ve found that 2 miles of speedwork is about my limit (before I start breaking down) and 1 mile of speed seemed to make sense for the first workout. I was lucky enough to have Robert the Hungarian join me which made it easier in less than ideal conditions. It was a bit under 50 degrees raining and windy when we hit the track.

I was pleased with the result, running 77.9, 77.8, 78.4, and 77.9 for the 400’s. The first workout always seems to be the toughest and I certainly was wondering during the third one how I hoped to go out in 5:20 this weekend if it is tough to run a 78 second quarter. My goal this weekend is to break 17 with a stretch goal of breaking 16:50. Time will tell.

Last Wednesday night’s workout:

3 mile warm-up, 77.9 – 400 rest in 1:58, 77.8 – 400 rest in 1:56, 78.4 – 400 rest in 1:56, 77.9, 2m warm-down.

From my list of all-time hardest workouts
1 - 10 mile tempo run on the Elks half-marathon course – 51:19
2 – 3 x 2 miles on the Pinkerton track with 800m rest – 9:33 / 9:27 / 9:24
3 – 9 mile tempo run on the Elks course – 45:40
4 – 8 mile tempo run at Fresh Pond – 40:56
5 – 6 mile tempo run on the Elks course – 29:45


Derrick said...


Great to see you back healthy and on the track. Just curious about your list of hardest workouts, and wondering if you feel as though they were in fact your hardest workouts regardless of fitness or if was more due to how fit you were at the time?

I look back on some of the workouts I remember as being hell, but a few of them were actually from when I was trying to get fit again after illness/injury, early season, or when I wasn't running fast (for me) times at all.

One final desire to run speedwork on the roads/trails instead of track with the aim to stay healthier?

double-d said...

I'm definitely not "back healthy", I'm mostly just hanging on. PF is still hovering at a 5 (on 1-10).

Good question on workouts. I didn't rank them on how I felt or how fit I was. I just ranked what I thought were the hardest workouts I've ever done. I think my effort is just as hard doing the stuff I'm doing now.

I have zero desire to run on the road or trails. The track gives a much more accurate results and plenty of feedback (every 200).

Derrick said...

Ah, sorry to hear it's not closer to a 10, but at least you're managing.

Totally agree on the track. Nice to have the constant feedback. I just find that my body isn't as structurally sound on the track as I'd ideally like it to be...or as it was 15+yrs ago. I've tried to stick to speedwork/fartlek on rail trail personally. I've found it's now almost nicer to avoid the track as the last time I ran 400's, 70+sec felt like 60's used to. Don't like seeing those numbers, even though they do tell you what you need to know on race day ;)