Monday is our weekly speed workout session at the old high school track. We have track night year-round even when it's dark. Tonight was a special night since Pearl Izumi was in town to share one of their new shoes with the group. It was a cold night and I felt bad that we didn't get to hear more from the Pearl Izumi rep but we were all business with the cold.
The workout always starts with a warmup. I got there early because I do better with a longer warmup especially in the cold. I got in 2.5 miles and did the last 1/2 mile in the new Pearl shoes. They were very different than my Saucony shoes which was partly due to the type of shoe. The Pearl shoe that they were showing was a neutral shoe and I normally wear a high stability shoe. Pearl Izumi has made changes to their shoe design which makes it a more minimalist style shoe. The insole materials are very different than previous. The new shoe models will start hitting stores in early February...the colors were awesome.
After the warmup we learned what the workout would entail. It wasn't a long workout but it was tough. The workout called for 3 x 400 at 5K pace with 30 seconds rest between each. Then 2 x 800 at all out pace. There was 2 minutes rest between the last 400 and first 800 and then another 4 minutes rest after the first 800. It is unheard of for Mike to give us 4 minutes rest in a workout...that means that he serious about wanting to see all out pace on display. After the last 800, there was 2 minutes rest and then repeat the 3 x 400 at 5K pace.
I got started and ended up between groups. I was too slow for the girls ahead of me and too fast for the girls behind me. I didn't pay much attention to my Garmin and instead just ran by feel. When I got started on my 800, I called out to my friend Tony that was just running. He was running a similar pace as what I wanted to achieve so I asked him to pace me. I don't think he thought I was serious because he kept going (we were running opposite directions on the track.) We met back up at the start line and then he joined in and began to set the pace for me. It was tough...but exactly what I needed.
I took my rest time and even though it was cold I enjoyed it. I started the next 800 and made it around a 400 again before Tony joined up with me. This interval he talked me through it and tried to help me work on my breathing. I tend to wheeze and whistle (completely unintentional) when I run hard and Tony was encouraging me to breathe more deeply to get oxygen in to fuel my leg turnover. All valid points but hard to think through what he was saying and to do it when trying to run fast.
Last I got started on my final 3 x 400 repeats. These were again accompanied by Tony...he would meet me on the opposite side of the track and run about 250m with me. He definitely pushed my pace and got me to perform better than I would have otherwise. The last 400 was super tough and I was not a happy camper when we finished. I ran hard and it hurt...the last 100 Tony was taunting me to try and catch him, increase my turnover, etc. This time he wanted to hear my wheezing to know that I was giving it my all on the final one.
Here is my workout recap. I couldn't have hit these paces without using Tony as my pacer. The paces that he helped me reach were faster than my comfort zone and the experience helped me learn that sometimes we need friends to pull us along versus just trying to push ourselves alone.
I had my Garmin set to do splits every mile and so I pieced together my times by looking at the times from each stopping point or rest interval. I also use the Auto-pause setting so it pauses during my rest intervals too. I'm really proud of the 400's...I managed to drop my pace considerably from the first to the last. My 800's came in at a very respectable time since I don't feel as fit as I should when it comes to my running. The last 400 is what I'm most proud of...I'm not sure when I last ran a 400 below 2 minutes. Wow...what a great way to start the week!