Tag Archives: Speedwork

Back on Track


Literally.  Made a return to the track today after missing last week.  On Monday I put up a quote about really wanting to do something and then making it happen, or making excuses.  Then I went for a mid-day run (first one in six days = eternity in my running world) and it was horrible.  Only made it four miles down the trail before my body said this to my brain, “No.  I will not allow you to run any further.  You can walk back home.  Up hill.”  There is little worse than being miles from home and totally defeated on a run.  So, body and mind walked back together and on those four miles I decided to do the training right these last 8 and a half weeks.  I’m going to embrace the runner’s lifestyle completely – from foam rolling to proper nutrition to stretching to rest days to dreadful track workouts.  Along the way I’ll work out some balance issues with fun and schoolwork but I’m in a unique position of having a relatively flexible schedule, a lot of knowledgeable people around me and great support in my new running friends.

I’ll admit it’s difficult to be surrounded by young, energetic, party things in this town and try to stick to a training regimen.  It’s hard to fit all the fitness in between classes, work, playdates and avoiding tequila and tex mex.  But no one said this was easy.  I need to stop expecting it to be that way.  That doesn’t mean it won’t be fun – I’m really looking forward to this race season (starting Sunday with the 10k!) – and group runs with new friends.

It’s going well so far, despite face-planting on the run Tuesday…I made it to yoga yesterday to take care of those tight muscles, and have been foam rolling my legs like an pain addict.  And today I made it to the track.

Week 9 Track Workout

Two sets of six 400s.  The first set my goal was to push it and keep the time under a 7 minute pace each lap.  The second set my goal was to try to stick to my 10k pace as practice for Sunday and I hit that pretty well too.  Under 8 minute pace for each lap but not faster than 7 minutes.


SJHM Week 13: Track Workout


Although Tuesday I managed to squeeze  my run in before my 8 AM class, I don’t think I can swing it twice a week.  Plus on Thursday there’s no free taco incentive to make it work.  So instead, I went to class with plans to get my track run for the week (3 x 1600 @ 7:27) after class around 9:30.  In theory it was a great idea.

The Sardine Can – my Systems Physiology class of 200+ students….

I took breakfast with me to class – an instant oatmeal packet (to be very specific, the maple and brown sugar weight control variety) with unsweetened almond milk, and had a banana just in case but didn’t feel like I needed it.  Class in the sardine can was a struggle today as we talked about osmolarity and tonicity (I know, I don’t know either…) but I now have one acquaintance to each side of me!  After class, I walked to the recreational track – Caven Lacrosse and Sports Center.

Just over the bridge….

The track is nestled across a creek and through some trees, almost like a little secret amongst the users.  I could tell on my walk from the Can to the track that I was not in the mood to do mile repeats.  First of all, I hate the mile distance.  It’s too long to go fast.  For speedwork I much prefer the 400 distance – just one lap.  I can do just one lap, even twelve times.  Second, I don’t like running when it’s not the first thing of my day.  And here it was 9:30ish, the sun was bright and the heat was on.  And I had a headache – dehydration, too much thinking in class about hypertonic solutions, I’m not sure.  The entire walk was me bargaining with myself – skip the run and do some core work later.  Skip the run and do it tomorrow on the trail.  Skip the run and save it for later in the week.  But my legs just kept heading to the track.  When will they learn what’s best for them?!

The track and field

Through the trees was a big turf field, bleachers and an oddly shaped track.  My final bargain with myself was to run at least a mile and see how I felt.  It’s tricky because usually when I make that deal, I’m thinking I’ll be off the hook after ten minutes but by the time the first four laps are done I’m ready for some more.

A little outdoor gym area

The first mile was ok – around a nine minute pace I think and by then I had talked myself into at least one speed mile.  So I grabbed some water, stretched a bit and was off.  I could tell that my legs were tight from doing the strength workout yesterday but tried to find rhythm in the music.  There was a little shade on the far side of the track, followed by a tiny incline and I’m thinking what the hell kind of set up is this?  But that’s just me being whiny.  My first mile was right on target 7:21.

Tiny bit of shade – capitol in the background!

On the second mile I had more trouble, my legs were tight and heavy.  I shifted my thinking to my stride – lean forward a little so gravity does more of the work…kick your feet up behind you so you have more power in your stride…bigger steps…lighter landings…relax your arms.  It helped for a little bit but after two laps of the sun baking me, I had to stop for a drink.  My little quitter voice said that’s enough, you can finish the rest tomorrow morning on the lake.  To which my athlete voice replied yea but we’re halfway done, it might not be pretty but you’re gonna suck it up and finish.  And then my coach voice came in to settle the two you will finish with your best effort, but cut yourself some slack – it’s bloody hot, there’s not enough shade and you haven’t done speedwork in weeks.  Did you think it’d be a pretty reunion?  And I was off to finish the two laps of that mile for a 7:34 average (obviously watch was stopped during all the discussion in my head)

Turf field

I stopped for one more stretch and water before my last mile lap.  I thought maybe reversing the direction would help me but I’m not sure it really did anything.  It was the longest mile I’ve run in a while – the ultimate frisbee practice, boys without shirts running sprints, a man doing work on the outdoor gym could not even distract me or help pass the laps.  It was awful but I got it done – last mile 8:04.

So I obviously have some work to do as far as the track workouts go.  But I’ve got a pretty cool place to run them now and maybe will have to figure out a way to get them done in the morning next week instead of after class – at least until “fall” comes (does that exist here?).  And surely that’s soon, because Starbucks has their pumpkin stuff out already!

Do you have a specific time of day you like to workout or run?





My very own T.N.T.


Back in Memphis someone nicknamed Tuesday night track workouts – T.N.T. or Tuesday Night Torture Track.  I went several times towards then end of my stay there and while they were tough, the group dynamic forced me to push myself and I know I was getting faster (that is until I stopped going in favor of another version of T.N.T. – Tuesday Night Tequila – hey, I was celebrating my way out of Memphis).

Well today I re-introduced myself to the track workout with some modifications.

  1. I did it in the morning.   I put evening runs right up there with dentist appointments on my least favorite things list.
  2. I did it alone.  No one on the B-team has speedwork in their vocabulary so I broke of from the group for this workout.  It was a blessing and a curse – I didn’t have the group pressure to push myself.  And I didn’t have the group pressure to push myself.
  3. I did it on the trail.  There’s a great, flat, shaded, softer-than-pavement section of the Zionsville Rail Trail and that’s where I headed for the repeats.

    My track.

    The Workout – 10-20 minute warmup, 12×400 (1:40-1:50) with 90 second RI, 10 minute cooldown

    Avg Pace
    Summary 56:51.4 5.41 10:31
    1 9:30.5 1.00 9:30
    2 1:49.8 0.25 7:15
    3 1:41.3 0.05 36:27
    4 1:40.4 0.25 6:42
    5 1:19.9 0.03 43:58
    6 1:38.7 0.25 6:36
    7 1:30.2 0.04 37:18
    8 1:38.1 0.25 6:40
    9 1:42.0 0.04 40:09
    10 1:43.4 0.25 6:54
    11 1:32.4 0.05 32:45
    12 1:47.0 0.25 7:01
    13 1:27.5 0.04 35:12
    14 1:46.4 0.25 7:08
    15 1:28.6 0.05 30:14
    16 1:53.1 0.25 7:28
    17 1:21.9 0.04 35:12
    18 1:58.6 0.25 7:53
    19 1:16.9 0.03 43:03
    20 1:56.9 0.25 7:42
    21 1:35.6 0.07 22:13
    22 1:56.7 0.26 7:36
    23 1:32.5 0.07 21:03
    24 1:51.9 0.23 7:57
    25 1:42.7 0.09 19:04
    26 7:28.4 0.81 9:14

    I put the 400 repeats in bold in Gary’s report above.  I started off pretty strong but can tell that I fatigue by halfway.  It became increasingly harder to maintain the 1:40 goal and even tough to hit the 1:50.  My biggest accomplishment was completing all 12.  There were many times I considered shortening it – especially as the dark clouds rolled in.  I had two repeats to go when the wind picked up and leaves started falling off the trees, across the path.  Since it’s been so dry there were actually quite a bit (can I blame slower times on wind resistance?!)  I even got rained on for the cool down but it felt incredible.  Not too hard and just enough to cool myself off.  Well, only 17 more track workouts to go – eye on the prize!