Tag Archives: speedwork

Sweet little gifts

Today, my wife gave me a great little gift.

There is no step 2.

That little gem, (based on this) arrived in the mail before we set off on my workout. I mentioned during my post about Sunday the power of mantras; hopefully this one will serve me well. Though I’m sure I’ll confuse some people, shuffling along behind them during the Brooksie, muttering “There is no step two…”

For that workout I mentioned, my 4x800m intervals today, I figured out how to download an outlined workout into my 305 and to run it based on heartrate. It was a great change from a pace based workout, because of how broad the ‘zone’ was, but it definitely required me to pound the pavement hard to keep myself in zone 4 for all the

That said, optimizing those workouts has grabbed my attention, and so I found a plugin, called Garmin Fitness, that allows me to start creating and following this kind of a complex workout through Sport Tracks 3.0. Certainly, it’s nothing I couldn’t do before for now, with the basic functionality of intervals and quick workouts on the Garmin, but I have high hopes that I can find a way to use the functions of that great little device to the fullest.

For example, today’s 4x800m workout was:
Warmup in HR Zone 1 for 2:00
Warmup in HR Zone 2 for 2:00
Warmup in HR Zone 3 for 2:00
Do the following 4 times
– Run in HR Zone 4 for 0.5miles
– Jog in HR Zone 2 for 4:00
Warmup in HR Zone 3 for 2:00
Warmup in HR Zone 2 for 2:00
Warmup in HR Zone 1 for 2:00

Pretty simple workout, but the general format has so much power, and the watch beeping keeps me on track, and on distance, without having to stare at a stop watch or search for a measured track. I’m intrigued to build a pyramid workout, or my hill workouts, onto this.

But really, the first step in that is to do some detailed analysis of my heartrate zones, to see if I can define them better than I currently do. Should be fun!


Intervals in the Rain & Race Plans

Last night was my third intervals workout. It was pouring when I got home and changed to go running, but aside from one wistful thought of taking the day off, it didn’t deter me. There was, however, a frantic search for Body Glide because I’ve learned my lesson the hard way about water, warm days, and friction.

I set out, feeling foolish in my sunglasses, but unwilling to run without them because I feel squinty and stupid without glasses. The rain didn’t let up for my entire warmup mile; I was soaked to the bone in seconds. When you’re just wearing wicking fabric and 5″ running shorts that’s not a huge amount of soaked, but still! I ran out of my neighborhood and along a 4 mile route I use a lot, letting the Garmin beeps tell me when to start a 400m interval and when to stop and walk a 60s rest.

The first couple intervals I pushed too hard. I didn’t look down at my watch, as I’m trying to become more aware of pace and to use my Garmin to supplement, not replace, my own body knowledge (more on the conflict between instinct and data later).  The rain continued for the first couple intervals, though once I was soaked, I didn’t care. It’s refreshing to feel not only that I can defeat the elements, but that I can ignore them.

Around interval 5, I ran west along Savage Road, and the sun came out and shone fully in my face, drying everything except me. I was grateful for the sunglasses (which I had been cursing just a minute before, because they were so soaked I couldn’t see through them) and tried to enjoy the run.

Later analysis shows that my first interval was fine, but my second interval was an excessive 6:49 pace, a 1:42 1/4 mile split! And then after that they steadily slid, a few seconds at a time, to 9:00 paces for the last of 8.

I don’t want to burden too little data with too much evaluation, so I think I just ran too hard early and didn’t have enough left to give as intervals 7 & 8 came up. While my 10k is this Saturday, my Speedwork Summer is just beginning, and I think training my body is going to be a great challenge. Of course, I also need to keep piling on the miles, because this interval workout represented the 400mile mark for the year for me. That means that if I stay on this course, 2011 could be an 800 mile year.

The Solstice Run this weekend is going to be fun, and I am looking at other races to sign up for. Later this year I’ll be visiting the Boston area for a college friend’s wedding, and was considering running the Providence Rock & Roll half marathon. It is the morning of the wedding, and I’d be driving to the race in the morning, and then all the way back to Boston before getting dressed up to celebrate Matt’s wedding. It’s in low lying Providence, in the heat of summer. And if I register right now, it’ll cost me $105. Steep price, lot of driving, lot of heat or humidity.

However, it’s got advantages too! I would get to run it with my mother-in-law, who’s crazily eager to have me run a race with her. It’s a R&R Half Marathon, so it’s got music every mile, a crazy cool medal with “Inaugural Providence 1/2 Marathon” on it, and it would get me one step closer to a 13.1 magnet for my car (Steph says I can’t have one until I run THREE half marathons!).

I do think I’m going to sign up for the Detroit Half in the fall. It’s right around the corner, and the ‘international run’ gimmick (the course goes over the ambassador Bridge and back in through the Detroit-Windsor tunnel) seems like a good story to tell.

I can’t seem to find a 5k I’m excited about running. I may do the Detroit Zoo again, but that’s way off in September, and I want to see if I can record a 28min 5k time long before that. But browsing for 5k’s is hard, because there are just so many! Charities, town celebrations, holidays, one through a graveyard (!?), costume ones. And I want one with chip timing and a certified course, because I go to races for the air of authority and officialness! As a novice I assumed this was completely standard, but the aforementioned graveyard run is… uncertified and I think a ‘tear tag’ system. That’s, as far as I can tell, one step above setting the course length by a guy taking 6561 steps and recording finish time by the approximate position of the sun.


After a few months of just running miles, intentionally keeping speed off the plate, last night I got in the first of my 400m intervals. Though I did quarter miles, because the garmin had a setting for that, and I am its willing thrall. Plus, I don’t have a nearby school track.

It was a blazingly hot day here in MI (96° at 6pm when I got home) so I put the run off until almost 8pm. As the western end of the Eastern time zone, we have 9pm sunsets for the next couple months.

I ran a 1 mile warmup, then 4x400m with 1 minute walking cooldowns. It felt good to push myself. My 4 intervals were a terrible mess, with splits alternating between 2:15 and 2:00 (9:00/mile and 8:00/mile respectively). Consistency will only come with practice, so I’ll try again next week, and hopefully stay a bit closer to my 9:00 target.

I’m going to do walking cooldowns for the intervals while I get started. At first it felt unnatural to reduce my pace so suddenly, but it helped my heartrate recover really rapidly. When I get a bit more practiced with speedwork (which I will, because this is Speedwork Summer for me) I will move up to more ambitious workouts.