It seemed after my high mileage ending to 2009 I needed a few weeks of maintenance to let my legs adapt to the idea that 50 mpw could become a more regular thing. I spent about 4 weeks runnning 30-40 mpw, but I decided add in some speedwork.
I consider myself a self-disciplined person, especially when it comes to running a predetermined set of miles each week, but the idea of running at a pace that makes me want to vomit, REPETITIVELY, stinks! I had also increased my alcohol consumption those weeks, so somewhere between a glass of red wine or maybe it was a Guiness, I vowed to give it a go.
The first week I just wanted to finish the workout and not be dying, so I did the 6 x 400M repeats at 9mph with a 400M recovery. The idea was to see if my clydesdale like thighs could move that fast for 400M. I don't think I own many type II fibers and flying off the back of the treadmill into the wall definitely, was not part of the plan. I made it through 5 easily and on the 6th I did 800M at that pace. I still felt good. I figured it would be a bit slower than what I could do the 400M in or the recovery was a bit too long, but I just wanted to finish.
Week 2, I think was my favorite. I pulled out 6 x 1000M at what was supposed to be 15k pace with a 200M recovery. I find the treadmill extremely difficult to run my road paces at, so again to be safe I ran at a slower pace. Although, I can do it on the road, the idea of running 1000M at sub-7:30/mile was just not clicking in my head, so I went for 7:41/mile. On the 6th repeat I went for 1200M and again completed an extra 400M just like the week before. The workout is by far my favorite. I didn't feel like puking, but it did the job and fatigued my legs, indicating I had definitely gotten a quality workout.
I have never done Yasso 800s, but just the idea of running (10) 800s and running them well is something I would like to cross off my "to do" list someday, so I thought I would start with 4. I was definitely getting more realistic about my treadmill paces, not a lot, but more than week 1. I got very aggressive (for me that is) and decided to run them at the same pace I ran my 400s at in week 1 with a 400M recovery. The workout was challenging to the point where I was struggling a bit, but did not feel like I was totally wsted after each repeat. As I completed each one, I got more and more excited because I could do it on the road, but that dam 'mill was always so hard. I think part of it is a small mental block and the majority is the muscles that I engage to run on the road with are not the major players when I am on the treadmill, so I work significantly harder. Anyway, hit the fourth repeat like champ. Three weeks in a row of speedwork, who would have thought?
Finally, last week I really, really wanted to be outside a lot. I took my Garmin and hoped it would not have a "lost" moment where the mileage gets all wonky. I was going to try 2 x 1600M with 800M recovery and 1 mile at what felt a bit harder than a long run pace or close to MP. It was about 20 degrees, so I was extremely wary of how I had hurt my hamstring in the cold a year ago. I debated and debated whether or not to pull the plug on the workout, before going out. I decided to run near 5k effort and if I felt any twinges of tightness I would just back off immmediately. I ran a 3 mile warm-up, not really getting warm at all, before the first mile repeat. I dropped a 7:17/mile. I was definitely disappointed. I am not sure if it was the Garmin or me. It seems whenever I try mile repeats the first is always the slowest. My brain just needs some physical evidence that my body wants to go faster than usual, I guess. Mile 2 was 7:07/mile. I was 10 seconds faster...WOOT!! WOOT!! (add in the fist pump too). I wanted to try another, but my butt was frozen along with my elbows. I recovered for my 800M and headed home at my made up pace. The Gamin beeped for 7:45/mile, not bad. I slowed to cool down pace for the last 800M and began thinking about what I was going to eat when I got home in less than 5:00 minutes.
Mmmmmmmm, best part about running ... EATING!!
I still don't like speedwork, but with each workout I do, I seem to dread it less and less. I definitely want to keep the 1000M repeats a part of my routine, maybe once a month. The Yasso 800s will have to wait a bit though.