Friday, February 24, 2012

Beauty of the track

Never thought I'd think of the track fondly. It hasn't been so many years ago that I hated it. That may be a little harsh, but definitely a strong dislike. Perhaps, it was because I pulled a groin climbing the fence to get onto the track. I've even gone so far as to mark out 100 meter increments on the quarter mile stretch of road in front of the the high school where the track was located.

This mornings workout was my second Jack Daniels workout in my six week quest to sharpen up for a fast 5k. The first effort on Wednesday was a bust. The workout was pretty simple.

2 x 2 miles at T pace
3 x 800 meters at I pace
3 x 400 meters at R pace

The 2 x 2 miles at T pace went really well. Not hard to get on the right pace with the GPS and then just ride it out for 2 miles. Recover and repeat. No problem. (also didn't hurt that my VDOT put this pace at 6:51, marathon pace only a few months back) The problem was the 800 meters at I pace on the road in the dark. Went out to fast, (story of my life) and then gasping through eternity, only to find out I've only gone a quarter mile. One more quarter at that pace wasn't happening. Bleah. Tried a couple more times, but still couldn't get it to work. Just slogged it back home after regrouping with the W brothers after they had finished their workout.

Today's workout was a solo effort. Couple of the guys headed over to Saddle Drive for some hill repeats, it was the track for me. May also have helped that the workout started out with fast stuff, a little slower effort and then back to the fast stuff.

4 x 200 Meters R pace
4 x 1,000 meters I pace
2 x 400 meters R pace

Two things really made this effort work. Being honest with the VDOT and the track. I used last weeks 5k effort chasing the fast guys and BQ1 as my basis for the 50 value. This seems to be about my starting point most years. I've tried to start out at a level higher and it didn't work. This table gives the VDOT

Using the track instead of the road is huge. For me, it's being able to see how much more distance is left in the current repetition. Plus, being able to look at the watch at 100 meters and know, to fast or to slow. I try not to look at the watch anymore after that, only to make sure I'm still on pace. Only wish some of the guys would come out to the track. That makes the effort even easier. Either chasing the fast guys, or trying to keep someone from catching me. The efforts just seem different with more bodies on the track.

I've run a couple of races where the finish is on the track. Actually they're both in Murfreesboro, the Boro Dash and the Middle Half. One's a 4 mile turkey trot and the other a half marathon. Not much speed left at the finish of the half, but still something left after 4 miles. Especially, if you're trying to chase down another runner. Shot of me getting out kicked by someone a lot younger than me.

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