Thursday, June 08, 2006

Speedwork Report

In case you don't have a lot of time to read, I can summarize my speedwork for you pretty handily:

I am not fast.

The "S" on my pajamas doesn't stand for Super; it stands for Slow. It used to stand for Slothful. Maybe someday it will stand for "Speedy." I posted earlier this year that my running time was largely responsible for my long triathlon times; it hovers somewhere between 11 and 13 minutes per mile (or more, depending on whether the run is at the beginning or the end, or if it's a 5k or a 10k) That, and my lackadaisical transitions. I say this not to be self-depracating, but to be honest and forthright.
So anyway. Here's what I did:
  • I jogged about a mile and a half down to the high school track. This is a nice warmup jog: it goes up a steady, about 1% or slightly less for about a 3/4 mile, and then steeply downhill for 1/4 mile, then uphill again, with the last 400 meters or so through sand. I did it slowly, as it was a "warmup".
  • I used this time to work on getting rid of the last of my "bad form" problems by using "soft ankles," an idea I picked up in spinning class. I tend to hold my feet pretty rigidly, which I uses up a lot of my energy and makes my feet hurt.
  • I started out by running the 400 meters full out to see if I could do it. I made it about 2/3 of the way around in a little over a minute before my heart threatened to blow up.
  • I rested about 3 minutes, and then ran the 400 meters again, at a slightly slower pace. I made it in a little over 2:20.
  • I rested for 2-1/2 minutes, and then repeated it three more times. Times 3 and 4 were slightly faster, around 2:10 or so, but the fifth time was decidedly slower: around 2-1/2 minutes. I was running out of power. During each rest, I sucked down some Ultima Lemon-lime, to which I'd added a dash of lemon juice (see my previous post on Sugar).
  • I jogged home, back the way I came.
The last part of that run was a slight downhill 1% grade, as I mentioned, which in my opinion, is the best way to finish any run. You feel powerful and ultra sleek and athletic running on a slight downhill grade. The music is pounding ("Lose Yourself" by Eminem and "Loser" by Beck) and you're running and, for some reason, people in pickups poke their heads out the window because they've apprently never, ever seen anyone jogging before.
Time will tell if I get "speedy" doing this workout.


  1. You know, 2:20 for your very first 400 is really not bad at all -- you'll get there! It will take time - have faith!

  2. My understanding is... yes, this will make you speedier. But I think you should only do speedwork once/week. That's my plan anyway... I'll let you know how it pans out. :)

  3. Yes - I've read that running 3x/week is optimal for running conditioning, so I figure speedwork on one day, a slow long run on another day, and a short moderate run on the weekend if I don't have a race.


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