Monday, August 25, 2008

5,000 Meters of Intervals

This morning's run was 5 x 1,000m at race pace with a 2 minute recovery between intervals. I'm still trying to train to an 8:00/mile race pace - and instead of a full 2 minute recovery between intervals, I did a 200m recovery (i.e. finishing out the third time around the track during each interval) so I didn't have to remember where I started each set of intervals.

I jogged up to the High School track around 6:15am. School starts today here in Montgomery County, MD, so I knew that by the time my workout was over the parking lot would start to fill with students. I thought to myself, "I'm glad this will be one of my last track workouts for a while..."

I lined up on the track at the beginning of one of the straight-aways and took off. I decided I would check the lap time on my watch every 200m to ensure I was within range of the 8:00/mile pace. For the entire morning, I was somewhere between 0:56 to 1:03 on each 200m. I'm feeling a lot more confident that I have this 8:00/mile pace down!

The split for my first interval was 5:00.4. Can't get too much better than that. The second interval's split was 4:56.7. During the second interval, I started breathing heavier, however, I kept my breathing in a good rhythm. As I started the third interval, I was telling myself that after this, I have less than half way to go! I finished the third interval in 4:59.1.

However, I was starting to get tired. I had run nearly 2 miles at the 8:00/mile pace - just as I had done the past two weekends - and I now could feel my body pushing harder to keep up that pace. I kept telling myself to keep pushing. I repeated a mantra - keep up the pace. I know that at this point of the race next weekend I'll be facing an incline - how am I going to get through that if it feels so tough on a pancake-flat racetrack?

I pushed through and finished interval number four in 4:57.5. One more interval left. I had run 4K by now - and only 1,000 meters left. My legs did not want to do it. I could feel them getting a bit tight...perhaps lactic acid settling in from all of my "fast" running (for me this is fast - but I received quite a dose of reality the past two weeks watching the Olympics).

Up until this point, I was able to get my heart rate down below 150 on my 200m recovery. However, after the fourth interval I was still a bit above 150 when I was about to hit my starting point. Instead of starting to run, I turned around on the outside of the track for about 5-10 meters and then came back. The extra 10-20 meters were just what I needed to get my heart rate down and ready for the final interval.

Although my legs may not have been ready to go, my mind was. I pushed through, doing the first 200 meters in 0:56. My 400m split was somewhere around 1:57. "One and a half more laps and I'm done," I thought to myself. I can do this.

As I was coming around the track the second time, there were two new runners who were entering the track. I was on the final 200m of my interval as they entered. I had no idea what pace they were going to be running at, however, I knew that I did not want them passing me before I finished this thing out. I didn't have much left in the tank, but I pushed it up that final straightaway and around the final turn.

Last 1,000m split - 4:48.5

The full 5K time (just the intervals) was 24:42. I had small breaks in between each 1,000, and this was done on a flat track and not a hilly race course, so I know that this is not fully indicative of how I will perform at this weekend's race. However, I see that a sub-25min 5K is within my reach...pretty amazing given that 10 years ago a sub-35min 5K was unattainable.

No comments: