I did my first speed work of the year on Monday and managed to survive! It actually wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be. I remember feeling absolutely destroyed after some of these workouts last year so I was expecting to feel that way again this year. I’m sure the pain will come as the intervals progress from 2 minutes to 4-5 minutes.
Here are my splits from my workout. I started with a 2 mile warm up before beginning my intervals: 2:00 at 5k effort, 3:00 recovery. I finished with a 1.15 mile cool down to bring my total to 6 miles.
I remembered from last year that I ALWAYS ended up overdressed and way too hot during speed work, so I created a route that would allow me to warm up for about 1.5 miles, stop back by my house to ditch some layers, and get across the busy intersection to the straight, flat paved running path before my warm up was completed. I was a bit cold during my cool down since the sun was setting, but still, I wore shorts and a tank top on February 1st. In Michigan. In my February 1, 2015 training log I noted that I had run in 3-4 inches of fresh snow.
I am still struggling to figure out exactly what 5k effort should feel like. For this workout I aimed to hit my best 5k race pace from last year (6:46). With my actual paces being 6:41, 6:41, 6:19 (what?!), 6:23, and 6:26, I was not really successful. The weird part is that my two fastest intervals were actually the ones that felt the easiest. The first two I was struggling to remember how to run fast and in the final interval I was starting to get tired. I tried to honestly evaluate whether or not I could have managed a 6th interval, and I’m sure I could have.
My best speed workout last year was 4 x [4:00 @ 6:54, 3:00 recovery] about 2 weeks before my PR race. I think if I tried I would be able to match this workout by the end of the month. Which is kind of awesome! Last year I didn’t even start my training until March. I was worried that between marathon training and my off season I would be starting from scratch this year, but after Monday’s workout I feel confident that I will actually be building off of last year’s progress!
Which is really good because the one thing I have been wanting to embody throughout this season is CONFIDENCE. When I set out to improve my 5k time last year, I didn’t really know what I was doing. I was constantly doubting myself and completely unsure what to expect come race day. This year I know that I have a plan that works for me and I know that so long as I do the work, I should be ready to PR this spring.