Did two runs today, one in the morning one in the evening. The first and noteworthy one is my last interval track work, a 3x1600 done at the track shown above. I did this same run last fall pre-Marine Corps Marathon. Last year, I aimed at 6:24 splits and came in with splits ranging from 6:21 and 6:27
A 6:24 split coincides with a 5K time of 20 minutes. I set my new PB last month with a 19:31 showing, so that technically lowered the possible goal VO2Max pace to 6:14. At any rate, my goal was to strive for 6:24 and see if these legs, lungs and heart has room for improvement.
I warmed up with 2 miles up to the track. The sun was just rising and I snapped the picture just before my first interval. Some kids (I assume) tore up the track, moving the heavy football equipment onto one of the curves, obstructing the inner three lanes. So I cleared the track. One of the contraptions was very heavy. I launched into the runs and felt great. I tried to focus on form, on not trying to hit too hard, and on hitting my 200/400/800/1000/1200 splits. Through the three miles, I kept pretty consistent pacing so I never really had to gut it out.
Instead of walking between the miles, I did a slow jog. In his book, Guide to Road Racing, Alberto Salazar advises jogging between speed workout sets, not walking:
Proper recovery breaks are nearly as important. They should be done at a slow jog, not a walk... Jogging continues to give you training benefits while you're recovering, and there are psychological gains from not feeling as though you've beaten yourself up so badly you have no choice but to walk..
Have to admit that in the past I'd walk about 15 seconds after a set before breaking into a jog. Today, I didn't. I found it actually helped my heart rate to slowly come down between sets
1. 6:15 182 max heart rate (173 average)
2. 6:15 186 max heart rate (178 average)
3. 6:14 189 max heart rate (181 average)
For comparison's sake, last October's 3x1600
1. 6:21 184 max heart rate (176 average)
2. 6:27 188 max heart rate (182 average)
3. 6:28 187 max heart rate (182 average)
I'm pretty happy. I'm not necessarily in better shape than last fall, but I'm definitely found more speed and my racing in the shorter distances is paying off on the track.
I ended up doing 8.76 miles with an average pace of 8:07 miles in 1:11:14.
This evening, it was sunny and I decided to avoid the possible rain tomorrow by doing a double, a true recovery run of 5 miles, paced at 8:26 miles in 42:15.
I'm taking a few rest days before this weekend's 12 miler.