I have a 5K in a couple of weeks, and just as I realized a few months ago before said 5K was postponed, I'm nowhere close to the level of speediness that I would like. Why do I always come to this realization so close to race day?
I have only done three 5Ks, because I find them highly unpleasant. This is probably why I never joined Cross Country in high school -- well, that and feeling like death if I ran anything over 400 meters. The 5K distance is short enough to make me feel like running as fast as I can, but long enough so that I can't really sustain that kind of effort for very long. Then, it ends up hurting, in a way different than long distances, but hurting nonetheless.
At this point, ANY kind of speedwork would help my confidence, so I headed out to the track for the first time since January to do the same workout, 6 x 400 meter repeats with a walk/jog lap in between.
My goal this time was to hit 1:35 - 1:42. I have a very specific rationale for this time range, but I'll share that in a later post.
Laps (Jan /vs/ Jun)
1 - 1:48 / 1:26
2 - 1:45 / 1:39
3 - 1:46 / 1:39
4 - 1:39 / 1:39
5 - 1:35 / 1:36
6 - 1:38 / 1:36
Needless to say, I'm pretty pleased that I clearly did better than last time, in spite of running less and carrying around a bit more weight (working on that *grumble*) than that time. It's also pretty clear that I went out way too fast on the first lap -- my lungs were pooped, and I wondered how I'd get through the last five. By the last one, I felt like I was giving it what I had, only to have the same result as the lap before, when I felt I was slacking a little. I should add that "The Ukrainian" came along with me this time. At first I had to convince him to program his Garmin properly and not just "wing it," and by the end, I think he may have started to realize how much one can learn from doing drills like this. He's never really done anything like this and probably isn't used to full exertion over a short distance, so I generally ran faster than him -- unheard of. Having him there MAY have led me to push a bit more...
It's quite possible that the key to long distance goals is meeting short distance goals, so as much as I can, I am going to do more of these types of workouts.