Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Short, Fast and Out of Control

I'm thinking now that what I've been calling a sinus infection is really just an allergy issue, possibly brought on by the recent warm weather. The throat isn't sore, just really constricted, and while I feel pretty good during the middle of the day it's a bear at night through the early morning with the congestion, coughing and (now) sneezing.

I headed out early today to the track for a quick sharpening workout. Mystery Coach prescribed 3x800 with as long a recovery as I needed (he suggested anywhere from 800-1600). I think his words on the speed were to run "...at a good sharp pace (imagine you are running a 1.5 - 2 mile race (I'm guessing 2:27 Maybe faster but the first two should be the slowest of the lot)."

With this in mind I hit the track after three miles easy and a few strides. A nice cross-wind during my warm up lap convinced me to focus on speed for the first and third 200's of each interval and to work on maintaining momentum for the second and fourth 200. The effort to get to 200 at 37 seconds surprised me a bit during the first interval, and for most of the 2 minutes and 27 seconds it took to complete the 800 meters I felt like I was running much faster than usual. Honestly I don't think I've spent more than 5 minutes total under five minute mile pace over the past 6 months. After walking the first 50 of the recovery I got back to jogging, and by the time I'd run a slow 800 I was ready to go again. This time around the first 400 felt easier, but the last 200 into the wind really worked me as I crossed the line again in 2:27. I tried the same recovery scheme, and by 800 meters of jogging I knew I wouldn't feel any better even if I ran another mile before the last interval, so again I hit the "lap" button and accelerated. For the final 800 I never looked at the watch as I focused instead on trying to keep my breathing under control while pushing off strong with good extension and immediately picking my legs up behind me with each stride. 2:26.

I still feel like a bull in a china shop while wrestling through the final 200 on workouts like these. I imagine part of it comes from not feeling these paces often, and hopefully with some time I'll improve. I remember when running an 800 at 2:34 had me feeling like the wheels needed balancing, though now at that pace I feel fairly smooth. Thursday's workout of 5 laps of 100 sprints-100 floats should hopefully help me in this regard as well.

On the work/homefront, the tension is easing after a final bout of late-night painting packing. After Saturday I'll get my weekends back, and hopefully I'll be celebrating my first day off in quite a while with a good 5K.

Training: 8 miles, w/3x800 (800 recovery) in 2:27, 2:27, 2:26

7 comments:

Michael said...

Nice speed, well done!

Blaxabbath said...

Are you running the YMCA 5k? There is gonna be some sweet awards in that bitch. I'll be there.

Thomas said...

Holy crap, that is smoking fast.

Abadabajev said...

Check your shoes for burn marks. 2:26 800m. Smokin'

Mike said...

Thanks all. Blax, I'm signed up and ready to go, though I've never run the course. We'll have to get a warm up in together. I'm trying to convince Lucas to run too.

Homeslice said...

Nice job! Sub 5 pace is movin! You really seem to be adapting to the faster training.

Phil said...

Great speed workout. I think you're right about your allergies. Mine allergies are acting up something fierce with all the plants starting to bloom in this warm, wet weather.