Now that I have completed a series of 2mile repeat sessions over the previous 6 weeks it is time to move into shorter- faster running. Monday night I ran 20 minutes of strides running diagonally on cushy new turf. I broke that into 4x5 minutes from corner to corner on the local soccer field with end line jog recovery. A simple, effective way to work on running fast, relaxed and efficient without elevating heart rate too much. Relative to 6 miles of track work at mile and 2 mile distances, this was a nice treat!
Wednesday brought on one of my favorite workouts for sustained faster efforts. 1000m repeats at 10k effort. These feel easy, and it is difficult to stay at 10k speed, the splits tend to dip into the 5k range as you don't have that final 600m to remind you. To temper this, and to develop surging effectiveness among other benefits I run the final 200m of each 1000m at 3k effort. Basically 800m @ 10k and then roll into a 200m controlled sprint. Jog around for recovery... 400m or so and then go again. I planned on anywhere from 6-10 of these.
Something refreshing happened. On my first repeat I was fast at 200, 400... all the way through 800m and then hit the sprint portion spot on. It felt- easy. For me it had been awhile since anything on the track was not a complete chore. I also knew this was too fast on number one. Mainly a result of anxiety to hit my splits I would guess. Number 2 and 3 were much the same but finally I was feeling the effects slightly.
Number 4 was bringing on the accumulation of lactate but the legs were still moving quicker than I had planned. At the same time the ASU marching band showed up for their practice. Since my pace was already established I made the decision to see how many 1000's I could run until I began to fall apart. This workout being within the framework of an upcoming 10k Xterra trail race on Sunday- no need to leave the race out there at this point.
After the sprint portion of #7 I was completely anaerobic and decided that would do it. I'd been going for 65 minutes total running time and with a 10 minute cool down it seemed the prudent thing was to feel tired, slightly worked, but as if I could still have done a couple more- if I pushed to hold pace;)
So down the road I went. The Appalachian State marching band "serenaded" my last few repeats giving me a nice cadence to speed along to. I doubt I could convince them to meet me in the middle miles of future races...