I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I would love to be fast. Training for the marathon I was focusing mostly on endurance and teaching my body to reserve energy and pace conservatively so I could make it to finish line upright. Since then I have still remained cautious in my pacing, even on shorter runs, just because in the back of my mind I feel like I need to have extra gas in the tank. But now that all my long distance races are over I want to get fast! (oh yeah, and remember, fast is relative for me, I'm shooting for anything under an 8 minute mile, including a 7:59 mile)
I was talking to a girl who is on the cross country team at her junior high and asking her what they do in training to work on speed. She told me about mile repeats. I'd heard the term before but never really read up on what they are. Well on the Jr High level you basically just jog easy for a half a mile then run hard (8:15 min/mile for the jr high kids) for a mile, then jog easy for a half, then run hard again for a mile. Jr. high kids only do 2 hard miles in their repeats. Now the varsity high school kids do 4 mile repeats at a 6:15 pace. HAHA! Yeah, I'm definitely not ready for varsity, but I figured I could do a jr high workout well enough so last night I gave it a try.
I had to do it on the treadmill since once again my workout got put off until night time. Still, it was nice because I could track the distance and pace very easily. So here's how it went:
-jogged 1/2 mile at a 10 min pace (6mph on the treadmill)
-ran 1 mile at an 8 min pace (7.5 mph)
-jogged 1/2 mile at a 9:13 pace (6.5 mph)
-ran 1/2 mile at a 7:30 pace, cuz I was feeling cocky(8.0 mph on the treadmill) but then I almost died so I went back down to a 8 min pace (7.5) and finished the other half of that mile.
-jogged at 9:13 pace for half a mile
-ran at 8 min pace for half a mile
Total miles: 4 miles
Total time: 33:57 minutes
When I was running my hard miles I felt like I was teaching my body a new kind of endurance. Not enduring distance, but pain. I just kept thinking, this hurts, but I know I can do this for a mile. I'm just not used to sustaining the burn, I usually work out at a pace that I can still carry on a conversation at. Even if I there had been someone to talk to I wouldn't have been able to say a word. Maybe I could've grunted out "help!" or "save me!" but that's about it.
Uncomfortable as those fast miles were, I really liked working out like that! It definitely made me work up a sweat and I just felt really good after. So yeah, my goal for the next two months is to work on mile repeats, speed intervals, and tempo runs. Then I'll sign up for a 5K and see if I can't get a PR. This should be fun! (well, in a sick and kind of masochistic way at least : )