Workout Wednesday

4 x 5:00 at 5k pace

Last year I maxed out at 4:00 intervals so yesterday’s workout was completely uncharted territory. For the first time this year my speed work was exactly as hard as I remembered from 2015. I mean, I’ve definitely been training hard this year, but last year I remember fighting through every minute of every interval, wanting to lay down right on the sidewalk and just give up between repeats, and finishing workouts feeling entirely wiped out exhausted. It hasn’t been like that this year, until now.

The first interval was ridiculously easy. Fresh, snappy legs. A decent tailwind. And about 10 seconds/mile too fast. Average pace: 6:31.

I paid for that excess speed on the second interval. I also turned around and ran this one into the wind. Oof. What a beast. I slowed a bit in the middle of this one, but managed to fight my way back to a decent pace even with the wind gusting harder and harder. Average pace: 6:45.

I was ready to lay down on the sidewalk and cry at this point, but I was only halfway done. Interval #3 tried to slow me down with swirly thoughts of “You can’t do this.” and “You’ll never PR.” But every time I glanced at my watch I was right on pace, so clearly those thoughts were wrong. I am strong. I can do this. Average pace: 6:39.

Last one. Tailwind, but slightly uphill. Whenever I felt my pace slipping (which was the entire time) I tried to envision that I was at the end of race. People cheering, finish line in sight, PR on the line. Average pace: 6:42.

I was completely spent after this final interval. My cool down run was a major struggle featuring multiple walk breaks.

I’ve been trying really hard not to think about goals this season, just my sort of blanket statement of I’d like to PR. Considering the fact that my training has been faster and more consistent than last year, I am starting to feel fairly confident that a PR is in the bag. Maybe not at the first race of the year (three more weeks!), but I have four more 5ks lined up after this one.

It has been oh so tempting to start thinking that this is the year for a sub 20 5k. I know that I run faster during a race than I can in training. Last year my 5k speed work averaged 6:54 in my longest/hardest workout, but my PR race was 6:46 (including a stop to tie my shoe!). Yesterday I averaged 6:39…so during a race? Or maybe in June after another month of hard training?

I’m doing my best to stop thinking about it. I just want to train hard and race to the best of my ability. I do not want to get a nice PR and find myself disappointed that it wasn’t a few seconds faster. I do not want to bury myself under unnecessary pressure. But I’m keeping my fingers crossed that maybe, just maybe…


10 thoughts on “Workout Wednesday

  1. That workout sounds insanely tough considering, at that pace, 5:00 is almost an entire mile. Yikes! Way to go getting through that, and in the wind too!

    It’s so hard to predict how races will go and how we should feel about them, even when training is going well. We don’t want to sell ourselves short and make ourselves too afraid to push hard in the race, but we don’t want to be overconfident and end up disappointed either. I think it’s good that you have so many races lined up this season. It takes the pressure off you to perform perfectly in any one of them, and the racing experience will help your performance just as much as the training will.


    1. They ended up being 3/4 of a mile. Which kind of made me think I should probably try some mile repeats at some point this year (or not. It also sounds impossible).

      I think that describes exactly where my thoughts are: I don’t want to sell myself short; I don’t want to be overconfident. I’m really happy to have so many races lined up because otherwise I think the pressure would be too much. So I’m trying to just not think about it, because then I will start obsessing over every little detail of every single workout.


    1. It’s not so much motivation as it is discipline. I don’t give myself a choice: if it’s on the calendar and I’m not injured, I go do the run.

      On days when I don’t feel like running (like yesterday) I will change into my running clothes and then lay down for 10-15 minutes so I at least have the illusion of taking a lazy afternoon nap. And then it’s like, well I’ve already changed, I might as well go do this.


  2. oh goodness, my workout today was JUST like this!!! I had the exact thoughts going through mind, I wanted to stop at the 3rd interval but made myself do the 4th.
    I ended up doing 4×1200 (well it was repeats around my neighborhood so I had the strong headwinds-it is exactly 0.75 from my mailbox,around the block and back to my mailbox. 3/4mile. I hit the first one the fastest at 6:35 pace and the other three were between 6:39-6:44. I felt like I was dying and seond guessing I would ever see 19xx on the clock for a 5k. BUT workouts like this are the ones we WILL be thankful for when we finally reach our goal!!!
    keep at it chica,


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