When I unveiled my new training plan last week, I mentioned that it included an aspect of training that I have failed to include until this point - SPEED WORK.
In the past, speed work has taken a backseat to endurance building. I run a lot of miles at a comfortable pace and a few miles faster than that (depending on who I am running with), but I've never really executed intervals or tempo runs or fartleks. At least not intentionally.
That was until this week.
On Wednesday night, I finally executed. The schedule called for 3 x 1 mile at 10K pace (7:51). So, I hopped on my best friend, the treadmill. I started out with a quarter-mile warm-up at 9:40 pace. Easy peasy. Then, I kicked it up to 7:47. Not bad. I could handle that. And that quarter-mile recovery was HEAVEN. It felt like I was walking. Repeat the cycle two more times and the first speed work session was complete.
Was it easy? No. Was it as hard as I thought it would be? No. Did I pray for it to be over? Yes.
Fast forward to this morning. KC joined me for an early morning tempo run. The goal: 5 miles, tempo miles @ 8:18 (HMP). I was kind of freaked out before we started. KC completed a hard strength workout last night and I finished my 10 miler less than 12 hours earlier. We didn't know if we could hold the pace. And it was so dark that we couldn't read our watches.
Mile 1: 8:41 - Not bad. Still warming up.
Mile 2: 7:58 - WHAT?!?! Where the heck did that come from?
Mile 3: 8:07 - Almost on point.
Mile 4: 8:04 - Please someone end this now!
Mile 5: 9:03 - Cool-down
I read those splits and I was super happy. And sweaty.
Maybe speed work isn't evil after all ...