Most of the local running community is gearing up for the Bentonville Half Marathon on Saturday. Mike Rush of Rush Running incorporates local races like this into his training plans for our weekly speed workouts. This week we did a tune up workout that was geared towards making race pace feel easy.
Each week Mike holds the workout top secret until after the group warmup. Tonight though the white board with the workout was out on display as the group was huddling up for announcements. The big news was that Mike has a new speaker system and microphone...let's hope he was just testing this out and won't have the microphone at all of our workouts! He's loud enough without the speaker system but the music playing during the workout was kind of fun.
We should all know by now that Mike's workouts can be deceiving. Tonight the white board displayed the following: 400 at half, 400 at 10k, 400 at 5k, 400 at faster than 5k. No rest between, 1:30 rest after times 2.
He described the workout to us and the entire group was visibly excited for a 2 mile workout. If only! Hang on for the surprise...written on the back of the board was the conclusion to the workout. 800 all out, 30 sec rest, 400 all out, 30 sec rest, 400 all out. Whooooo, killer finish!
The initial two miles were actually kind of fun to do. Mike asked us to hit the line and change gears for each pace change and then hold that pace for the full 400 versus fluctuating pace within each 400. I struggle with that and normally have a much faster 2nd half of any repeat. It was good to think about maintaining a steady pace during each 400. My first two miles came in around 9:18 and 9:24. I didn't take splits on each 400 and totally got called out for not doing so during our all out set.
For our all out set, we descended the pace on the 800 since we were both a little nervous about the pace over that distance. Mike wanted to know what our 800 time was and just laughed at both of us for not knowing. In our defense, we both were wearing our Garmins which aren't the best for stop watch capabilities. I think we hit around a 9:10 pace on the 1st half and 8:50 pace on the 2nd half but don't really know. It felt fast and like we had picked up the pace! Needless to say, we paid attention to our start/finish times on the last 2-400's and got 1:53 for both of those...that's definitely ALL OUT!!! I definitely felt the workout even though it was short.
Only a few more runs this week until the race. I'm planning to take the race easy since my fitness over longer distance isn't quite where I had hoped it would be. I always lose motivation in February and March and this year wasn't any different. I see 5K's coming in the not so distant future so that should keep me motivated. The race calendar just explodes once we get into April so I have no choice but to lose this winter weight and get race ready.
If you are looking for a good workout, give this one a try. It seems deceptively easy but you'll finish it up and have put in a hard effort.