Monday nights are the free Rush Running sponsored Rush Hour track workouts. I have been going to these workouts since they started six years ago. Every week is something different and you just never know what to expect for the workout.
Mike Rush and Drew Conner coach the workouts and they try to limit repeating a workout. Mike has a workbook of all the workouts from the years that he was a competitive athlete and a coach since. Tonight the guys pulled a workout out of the archives for the group. It was a doozy.
Warm up - run opposite direction in outside lanes of the track. I aim for 1 - 1.5 miles of warm up.
Work out - 4 x 400 m at mile pace with 30 sec rest between intervals. Rest 1 min at conclusion of the 4 x 400 m repeats. 1000 m at desired 5K pace. Rest 1 min at conclusion of 1000 m as active rest as you return to the starting line by walking across the infield. Repeat. 4 x 400 m at mile pace with 30 sec rest between intervals. Rest 1 min at conclusion of the 4 x 400 m repeats. 1000 m at desired 5K pace.
Cool down - run opposite direction in outside lanes of the track. I aim for .5 miles of cool down.
Tonight I ended up with 5 1/4 miles of running. This was one of my roughest nights out on the track. I was hungry heading to the track and quickly ate a mini Babybel cheese a few minutes before starting to run. Cue...the pain later on! I did an easy warm up with my friend Janet. I got in 1 1/4 miles of warm up running and then spotted my brother-in-law and niece. They were out on a bike ride and stopped by to say hello.
At 6:10, Mike began the announcements for the night. Then he explained the details of the workout. He divides the group into two groups based on desired 5K pace and then starts the groups into the workout. One of the greatest things about our workouts is that the group is so encouraging of one another. Whether it is the injured runner working their way back by shuffling the opposite direction or the faster runner passing you, everyone makes an effort to say good job or another kind word to you.
Once the workout is started, everyone sticks to their pace and gets it done. You might get a chance to talk to others during the rest periods but you've got Mike yelling at the group reminding everyone of just how short the rest periods are!
After the first 4x 400m I was happy to get to the 1000m because it was at a slower pace. That 5K pace felt so easy but that wouldn't last. Janet joined me again to start the second half of the workout. The second set of 400's felt tougher. I felt like I wasn't hitting the same interval times as I had the first time. As I finished those up, I started to feel either very hungry or my stomach pains could have been from the exertion. I just couldn't tell what exactly was going on but it only made the run tougher. I was so excited to hit that final 1000 m again because 5K pace felt like a breeze. We even picked up the pace over the last 400 of that interval and finished really strong.
As soon as we finished, we walked a 200m half lap in order to get back to the starting line. Then I began my 1/2 mile cool down shuffle. It was slow but I knew that it would help my legs recover so I got it done. I hung around a few minutes drinking a little water and chatting with friends but I didn't last long. After I stopped running, my stomach felt like it was starving. However, once I got home, food just didn't sound good to me at all. I finally ended up making some nachos with multi-grain chips, a little cheddar cheese, and some salsa. The chips were the closest thing I had to crackers to help settle my stomach.
I suspect that my pre-workout snack just 5 minutes prior to the run was a very bad choice. That's all I can think of that would have caused my tummy to have such troubles. Yes, the workout was tough but this was a whole other level of stomach pain. I will not be repeating that choice for sure!
Do you run track workouts? What is your favorite interval distance? Mine is probably the 1000m interval. Anything beyond the 1200m is hard to hold my focus and pace and intervals shorter than the 400m are really tough as the pace is usually much faster!