Sunday, October 13, 2013

Speed in the morning, lost in the afternoon

Quiet at the track this morning
Today's run (track workout): 3.3 miles - 1 mile warm-up, 8 x 200m repeats, 1.3 mile cool down 

With its forgiving and flat surface, I should love the track. But, believe me, I don't. Running around a big oval is boring. It's not as tedious as the treadmill, but the repetitive scenery undercuts a sense progress in a similar way. My difficulty with the track also relates to the type of workouts I do there. If I'm at the track, I know I'll be feeling some pain.

If I do have to run at the track, I prefer to do it with as few other people around as possible. I try to get there early, before the crowds, but it's rare that I get the place to myself. This morning was very quiet, with a lone woman walking around the outside lane and a couple walking together. A little while later another man joined us, walking at an impressively fast pace. Even with that, it seemed peaceful, with the low sun illuminating the track and field like a scene from Field of Dreams.

I started with a mile warm-up at an easy, mid-9:00 pace before shifting to my speed workout of 8 x 200m intervals. I usually go for 10-12 repeats at 100m, but I thought it would be useful to stretch out the distance this time. I averaged 54 seconds for each repeat and covered that mile in 7:18. Not exactly burning up the track, but good performance for me over a series of 200m segments. The two workouts this weekend represent the last real race training I'll do prior to the 5K.

One of Muttontown Preserve's descending trails
Later in the afternoon my son and I paid a visit to the Muttontown Preserve to see if we could find the ruins of the old mansions from the 1930's. We didn't locate them, but we managed to get very lost, something I do every time I go there. It took us about 20 minutes longer to get through our hike than planned, because we got turned around a few times. No matter, hiking places like the MP are fun, even when you're not exactly sure where you are.

14 comments:

  1. It is going to be 28 mins for 5K. BTW, to prepare well to a 5K, you have to do intervals every week for at least 2 months....

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  2. Yeah, I love the track. I go in knowing it's going to be work, and I kind of find it comforting to know that there is structure there. Like, track days are the days I can measure my progress or fitness a little more accurately.
    I think 7:18 is damn good for a mile!

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    1. Thanks TPP. I agree that the track provides a beneficial workout. And I do like to measure performance. It's focusing on little else than that strip of brick colored track for 30 minutes that tends to get to me!

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  3. That's great you're incorporating this speed work. You will definitely reap the benefits. I love the cushy bounce of the track, as well as the accuracy. "If you build it, he will run."

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    1. He did run. Unfortunately, not very fast.

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    2. I actually dont believe there are benefits whatsoever from track workouts in the last week before the race -- the benefits appear only if it is being done for 6-7 weeks before the race.

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    3. (I meant if it is being done every week, starting from 6-7 weeks before the race)

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    4. I think speed work can be helpful a week before a race because it helps fine tune fast twitch muscles. Competitive runners do speed work weekly, but I'm not at that level. However, I would probably benefit from monthly speed sessions.

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    5. You'll see (if previous races have not been sufficiently convincing) that it does not. To get prepared to a race, you should follow a structured program (and not run 3.2 miles 5 times a week -- that's useless), such as http://www.runningforfitness.org/book/chapter-11-races/racing-5km/5km-training-programme-intermediate

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    6. Thank you. I do appreciate what you are saying. I race and run for fun. Doing speed work every week would not be fun for me : ) So if that means I won't break 25 minutes on a 5K or 55 minutes on a 10K, I'm fine with it.

      My 3 mile runs keep me healthy. I run longer on weekends and try to incorporate hills. 18-20 miles a week has been a pretty good training schedule.

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    7. To each his own. Like you said, what you are doing works for you. You have been a consistently dedicated and good runner for a long time, all the while inspiring others with your personal accounts and honesty. Are you trying to win this next race? No. Are you trying to run your best race? Sure. Like the rest of us. Rock on, ER.

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    8. Thank you! I really appreciate your support. I realize that everyone has their priorities and they are not always aligned with others. I am happy running my own race but I secretly wish I could run as fast as you : )

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  4. I changed my template. Would you mind taking a look and letting me know if the comment option changed for the better? Thank you :)

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    1. The site looks really good and everything worked as it should. Congrats once again on rocking that marathon!

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