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(Really) Early Speedwork

February 18, 2010

betsyruns: have tomorrow’s speed workout all written out in my notebook so I can do it on the treadmill at 4:45am. I guess I should go to bed…

runBen: @betsyruns OMG SPEED WORKOUT AT 4:45AM? You’re crazy! No no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no.

Thanks for believing in me Benny.

Yup.  pretty crazy.

I really want to keep focusing on doing speed workouts regularly to keep getting faster and faster so I’m going to try to do them once a week.  Good thing that the Whippets do a weekly speed workout at the track by my apartment.  Bad thing is that this week, I can’t make it.  So, I asked Matt, one of our captains, what workout he had planned, and put it in my calendar to do it this morning. However, because I have a long commute, if I workout in the morning, I have to do it crazy early and always at the gym.  I’m an early riser anyway, so normally it’s not a problem, but I’d say I have a 70/30 rate of waking up for an am weekday workout/not waking up (if I have a workout planned).  Last year, I actually was doing 4:45AM runs about twice a week—normally I would do 7 miles at a tempo pace before the sun was even close to up.  It brought back a lot of memories to walk into the gym this morning, the same overnight guy at the desk, and the same 3 or 4 people doing their morning workouts.

This is the workout Matt gave me: You can do a longer version or a shorter one (800/300 or 600/200). Run the 600 or 800 at 10k pace, float by running long run pace for 100 meters, then go as hard as you can for the next 200 or 300. Jog for 400 meters to rest. Do between 6 and 8 repeats.

I wrote it out the night before in my moleskin and figured out the paces on the treadmill so I wouldn’t have to do any thinking.  I had to adjust it a bit because I only know miles, not meters, on the treadmill.  Here was my plan:

1 mile warm-up at 6.5 mph

800 (.5 miles) at 8

100 (.06 miles) at 6.3

300 (.19 miles) at 9

400 (.25 miles) at 5

Each repeat was a mile exactly, and my plan was to do as many repeats as I had time for. 

I got to the gym a little later than I planned (sometimes I’m REALLY slow when my alarm goes off at 4:30), around 5:10, so hopped on and got going.  I was still nervous about my left shin (c’mon now!), but it only hurt during the first part of the warm-up.  I was able to get in 4 repeats, and each was quite hard.  Those 300 meters all out were insane, and I was definitely making grunting noises and faces.  Glad there were only 2 other people to observe that!  Each repeat took me about 9 minutes, which seems about right, considering I was basically walking during the last 400.  I got a bad blister, however, on my right arch (blah) so I had to do a 10 minute cool-down on the elliptical instead of the treadmill, and was out of there by 6AM, just about when the gym was starting to fill up. 

I would definitely prefer to do speedwork at a track; when doing it on a treadmill, I’m automatically setting my pace on a machine and it’s hard to gauge if I can push myself more.  On a track, I’m setting my own pace according to exactly how my body is feeling, no help from any machine besides myself.  However, I do not feel comfortable running around my neighborhood at 4:45AM, no matter the time of year.  So, when you’re a crazy runner, a treadmill is sometimes the only option and a close second to a real track. 

On the injury front, things are getting better every day.  I actually went skiing this past weekend with my fellow Whippets and was nervous about how my leg was going to feel, but I had absolutely no problems.  And this morning during my run I wore Zensah leg sleeves that I purchased a few weeks ago.  I know a lot of people swear by compression socks and leg sleeves, and they worked great today.  I might be a convert.  And, I look super cool in them—always a plus.

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