Uneven Intervals

Wednesday was the hottest day of the week, so naturally that was the day I had speed work on the schedule. I was supposed to do 8×400.

I don’t do intervals at the track, because I am self-conscious about track workouts. I’m not fast, so I would feel a little silly about running repeats around a track at an 11:00 pace. I would probably do my speedwork on a track if it wasn’t for the other reason I’m self-conscious about track workouts. Even though I know people all over the place use local high school tracks for their workouts, I’m always afraid I’d be kicked off for trespassing or something. I don’t like to be places where it’s not explicitly clear I am allowed to be, specifically when I’m working out and already a little self-conscious.

My other choices are to do speedwork on the treadmill or to keep an eye on my watch and do it on the road. I don’t think speed work on the treadmill is helpful to me at this point, as I need to regulate my pace myself. So I did it on the road. I actually drove to school and parked in the parking lot there, since it’s much flatter than the area around my home. I felt dumb driving 2 miles to run on sidewalks, but I did it anyway. I warmed up for 0.85 miles. I know this because I used the lap button on my watch! Eureka!

I’m glad I used the lap button because now I know how fast I really run these intervals. I ran each 400m (well, a quarter mile actually, although I am sure my watch could be switched to metric) and then slowed way way down to recover for 0.1 mile. The plan called for a 5K pace for the repeats, and my plan was to run a little bit faster than that, because I want a faster 5K pace and I want my current 5K pace to be my 5 mile pace. That may be wishful thinking but the plan I had was to run at around an 11:00 pace.

The results were: 10:48, 10:51, 10:46, 10:11, 10:19, 11:02, 11:26, 10:32, 10:44. Yes, I realize that I did 9 400s instead of 8. My counting skills need improvement.

The first 3 intervals were very consistent, but too fast. I knew they were too fast and tried to slow them down, so the pace graph has these big spikes and then a ski-jump shaped drop-off where I tried to slow down. I am really not doing myself any favors by running these intervals too quickly, and I have got to figure out how to back off the pace slowly. A few times I looked like I slowed down a little too much and was down in the lower 11s/high 12s, but that didn’t occur often. I need to find a flatter spot, too, because while the hills were fairly gentle, the intervals were unintentionally spaced so that many of them were downhill, which inflated my speed and hindered my braking. I also need to find a route that doesn’t have a dead raccoon decomposing along the side. The smell was not pleasant.

I have improved with these repeats somewhat, because I am no longer going out too hard and then running out of gas, as I was before. At least the slowdown is intentional now. I just need to work on consistency and evenness of pace for the next set, in two weeks. Oh, and accurately counting.

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