(I agreed to let Tiffany, an aspiring Crossfit coach, lead me through a what I believe the kids these days are calling a “WOD” after work. Send help and ice packs and Bengay.)
So I met Margot at our super special janky track last night for a cold, misty, didn’t-really-want-to-be-there-but-went-anyway-and-am-so-glad-we-did workout. I tried to capture the true beauty of the unlit, potholed mess blinded by the stadium lights from the girls’ football (?) practice across the fence. Every lap’s an exciting adventure when you can’t see where you’re stepping for 50 meters around the curve.
epic’ly bad on-the-run photography
In my return to ‘fast’ running this year, we’ve done three speed workouts and each time I leave the track all high on endorphins proclaiming “THAT WAS MY FAVORITE WORKOUT EVERRRR!”
(regardless of what I was saying during it)
Interested in playing with speed workouts but no idea what to do or how fast or how many? Me neither, that’s why I have Margot. But maybe you don’t have an experienced former track star in your bag of running tricks. In which case HERE is a good article on getting started for beginners, HERE is a list of solid workouts, and HERE are more complicated combo workouts for when plain ol’ repeats get stale.
Once you decide what you’re doing, visit Mr. McMillan’s Every-Runners-Best-Friend Calculator to get an idea what pace to run. I put in goal time for the race I’m training for (half marathon) and follow the equivalent race paces. Keep in mind these are GOAL paces, not what your current fitness level is. Like, I’d drop dead trying to run what it says for a 5k right now, but that’s a good measuring pace for shorter interval work.
And because not everyone has access to a track – even one as hilariously pathetic as ours – keep in mind most of these can be done on a treadmill or regular stretch of flat pavement (use mapmyrun.com or your GPS watch to measure). 800m (1/2 mile) and mile repeats are great off-track, so long as you’re comfortable with sideways glances from non-runner pedestrians/neighbors.
Here’s a list of what we’ve done this cycle and why I loved them. In case you’re looking for some inspo or want to come crash ‘Ragnar Track’ next time…
- 5x800m @10k to 5k progression, 90s rest – easing back in with good ol’ standby, loud and proud love for the two-lap repeats
- 2x – 8x400m set1 @
10k5k, set2 @ 5ksub5k, 60s between reps, 3min between sets – over before it starts hurting too bad, just make sure your watch has enough lap data and you don’t lose count
- 5x1000m @
10ksub5k, 2min rest – chasing Margot who apparently likes running faster in the rain and trying to calculate split paces made this one fly (maybe I like 800s so much because the math is so easy?)
Looking forward to many more laps around the oval – I think I’ve asked before, but what are some of your favorite speed workouts? Also would you make fun of someone wearing a headlamp on the track? Hypothetically of course…