Temp: 19 Degrees, Wind 15NW
Total Ascent: 892 ft
Avg HR: 169 bpm
Miles this week: 38
As previously noted, I'm not a huge fan of the 800M repeat type workouts. I think they are highly effective for shorter race training, but I have found greater results in tempo runs. I frequently use a Speed/Tempo Hybrid Workout (similar to a Fartlek workout, but much faster during the "easy pace" portion) that combines both high speed shorter bursts, with tempo paces as opposed to rest - for extended periods of time. Following are my splits from today's run and how I used this workout:
Mile 1 - 8:49 (Warm up)
Mile 2 - 7:44 (Warm up with increasing speed)
Mile 3 - 6:54 (800M @ 6:30, 800M @ 7:30)
Mile 4 - 6:25 (800M @ 6:00, 800M @ 6:50)
Mile 5 - 6:41 (800M @ 6:00, 800M @ 7:15)
Mile 6 - 6:31 (800M @ 6:00, 800M @ 7:00)
Mile 7 - 7:10 (800M @ 6:20, 800M @ 7:20)
Mile 8 - 6:45 (800M @ 6:15, 800M @ 7:15)
Mile 9 - 7:01 (800M @ 6:30, 800M @ 7:30)
Mile 10 - 7:06 (800M @ 6:30, 800M @ 7:40)
Mile 11 - 8:00 (Cool down)
A few things of note about this workout:
- My goal was 8 miles of 800M @ 6:00pace and 800M of 6:30pace, but because of the hills and my fitness level, I am not quite there yet
- I do most of my speed work on the road, not the track. You don't run races on a track, so why do the workouts there. I try to find fairly flat stretches of street that I can repeat, but they usually have a gradual grade. Today's course had about a 1% grade over a 1 mile stretch (an increase of 100ft over 1mile) that I repeated about 4 times. So obviously, you are running uphill one way, and downhill the other.
- I try as hard as I can not to stop and walk - I just force myself to keep my feet moving. Usually after my 800M @ 6:00 is over I slow way down for a about 100M or so to catch my breath, but then speed back up to the tempo pace of aprx 6:30.
- I keep a close eye on my heart rate. I know where I want to be and where the "danger-zone" is. Today was an average of 169 overall which was great for me for an extended workout.
I love and hate these workouts. The hate is obviously because they kill me and I am wiped out the rest of the day. But on the plus side, they seem to go pretty quickly and the benefits of increased VO2 max and speed are obvious.
This is not to say that I never do 800M repeats or other speed workouts like Fartleks or Yasso 800's, I just think taking out the recovery time between each seems to produce greater benefits. I know the traditional speed workouts are proven methods, and I am really still a novice at all this - but I think it is important for each runner to find what specifically works for them. This seems to be a great workout for me.