Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Track...A place to go to prove someone will always beat you!


Track is a funny place.....everyone apears to be laid back and friendly but when the intervals come around.....we are all ruthless predators looking to gobble up all the competition and be the winner in our respective groups.

We set our time by percentage of last mile time trail and get lumped into range groups. Some runners make sure they are the fastest in their group and adjust to accomplish just that....why? well they don't have to work as hard and assure themselves a front row seat when the hard stuff comes and the final kick is in.

My group was supposed to be 7 min to 7:15 and once we left the start line I knew something was wrong. I had all I could do to keep up.....what gives? Am I that bad, I think as I struggle to catch up. My time trial was 7:07 and that was only two days after the being midrange, I should at least be able to stay with the pack.

After the first 200, I settled back into the 7:15 group. I felt slow in my mind knowing that I should be running up front. Instead of my planned .53 x 200 splits (which is 100% of 7 minute pace), we ran .49 which "suprise" is 100% of 6:40 pace.

In the process of running our 6 x 200s, our slowest pace was 6:44 and the fastest was 6:19......Hmmn a far cry from 100% of 7:15 pace as the group claims their time trial represents.

Everyone in our group managed to get past the very fast 200s but when the 12 x 400s came around, Three people gradually dropped out. We were supposed to run the 400s in sets of three, the 1st set @85% (we ran 90%), 2nd set 90% (we ran 95-100%) and the 3rd set @95-100% (we ran 100-115%).
100% of my time trial should have put me at appr. 7 minute pace yet I averaged 6:48 and ran the last 400 in 5:44.

I thought, wow some pretty fast 7:15 runners here and was quite happy with my own speed. In the end there were three people in my group that beat me even though I ran 5:44 pace. I decided to get some answers....this did not make sense.

I started asking around trying to see where my groups time trials were. Now, things began to make sense. The three people that dropped out had time trials of 7:00, 7:02 and 7:12 ..... they actually should have been in the group ahead of us (as should have I) but they ended up in the group behind us (8:00 group).

The one runner I beat was 7:04 and the three that beat me had time trial times of 6:44, 6:49 and 6:51. Hey, the three that beat me should have been two groups in front of this one. I wondered what times the first group I started with had.....6:30 minute?

SO, in the end, I worked my butt off and though I was the slowest (on paper) in my group, I held my own quite well, was fourth in my group and was very happy with my split times. I suspect that I think I worked much harder then the others in my group with perceived effort to acheive it though.

By the time it was over, the workout was quite tough and probably just what I need to get my speed going for the next couple races. One thing I am noticing this year is that after training for and running the ultra, I have a much better base for the speed work and the body recovers much quicker.

Overview of the workout without going into explicate detail,

2.18 mile warmup @9:11 pace
Form workout .35 miles
6x200 intervals(6x100 jog recovery).....average pace 6:38
12x400 intervals(12x100 recovery)....average pace 6:57
1.15 cooldown @10:03 pace

All said and done 9.1 miles of track workout. It seems that is enough for one night!
Oh, Anouther plus, my heart rate was normal.... I suspect it was the equipment that was malfunctioning. My splits and HR are availble by clicking on the Run Ahead Icon to the right.


trailgrrl said...

I have such a hard time dedicating myelf to interval, speed or hill workouts..I know they wil make me a stronger runner and help me to be a faster runner..but I am just soooo slow on the track that I get so discouraged..I don't know the last time I ran a mile or really knew my FAST mile pace..based on long distances(1/2 marathon and beyond) I am anywhere between 9 and 11 minute miles and that makes sense but to just run on the track and see how slow I really am...I am actually scared to find out!! Have any helpful hints for overcoming my scaredy cat mentality : )

chris mcpeake said...

Love / hate the track. Its always so humbling yet can be super inspiring at the same time. HUH.. now that doesnt make any sense at all.