I have been feeling inspired to get back on track with speedwork training. Given the rare wintertime opportunity to go running in broad daylight on a weekday, yesterday I did my first speedwork session in several months. No better metaphor to closing out 2012 than to push myself out of my comfort zone, right?
- Run easy for about 12 minutes to warm up
- Alternate one minute at tempo rate (at whatever speed felt good) with one minute of walking. Do a total of 9 repeats.
- Run easy for another 6 minutes to cool down
The first tempo minute felt awful. My lungs were burning and my legs felt sluggish. I was thinking that this was a rude reminder of why I don't like doing speedwork. But then, something clicked and the next several repeats started feeling progressively better. I think I finally managed to find that "sweet spot" of the perfect tempo training pace.
|Andale! Andale! Arriba! Arriba!|
My Garmin said that my tempo minutes were done at per-mile paces generally ranging from 7:30 to 7:50, although for one of them I actually briefly got down to 6:53. Wow - a sub-7:00 per mile pace!?!?!? ME? Even though it is obviously much easier to hit that kind of pace when you're only trying to do so for 60 seconds, it was still very empowering just to see the number on my Garmin. For me, there is no better motivation than to see improvement. No matter how slight.
I had heard before that you should end your workout feeling like you could still do another repeat. I focused on hitting that point during the last few repeats as I was beginning to feel tired. I was tempted to skip my cooldown, but did it anyways. I came home afterwards feeling really good.
It's been awhile since I've felt so energized after a run. Usually I come back after speedwork thinking to myself that I really enjoy the easy long runs so much more. But for once I am inspired now to keep up with the speedwork. If only all my speed training workouts could feel this good. I want to see results!
One note on the not-so-positive side. Over the last week or so I've started experiencing some noticeable discomfort in my inner left ankle. I think it is posterior tibial tendonitis (I'll post more about it later). I am frustrated as I was just starting to get back into my running groove, especially after yesterday's great workout. But I have certainly learned the hard way that it is not worth it to run through pain. Therefore, I am going to try to rest it and pray for the best. Sigh.
Back on the positive side. Here are some other notes from yesterday's speed session:
- I wore my Saucony Progrid Kinvara 2 shoes (my minimalist shoes), which I consider to be my "speedy" shoes. Wow - I had forgotten how great these shoes are and how their lightness really does translate to feeling more nimble.
- Does anyone have any thoughts or experiences with the pose running method? I want to hone my running form and I've heard a bit about pose running being very effective, although it certainly has its naysayers, too. The form reminds me of some of the Kenyan marathoners so I figure it must have at least some validity. I tried to mimic the form but it will take some getting used to. Maybe later I'll write a post specifically devoted to pose running.
- It was a balmy 36 degrees outside. Absolutely amazing how wonderful 36 degrees can feel after doing several workouts with temps in the 20s.
- Speaking of weather, I know that I should be happy that we still don't have any snow here in Chicago. But I've heard so many people mention how much they enjoy running in the peacefulness that is right after a snowfall. I really want to run in the snow, too!
Happy running and I wish everyone a wonderful start to 2013!