A bit of a dilemma today - I'm ramping my mileage back up 'slowly' and w/ the past 2 days, I've logged about 16 miles so far this week. I'm also bringing back the long Sunday run (starting back up at 11-12 miles this week) so that makes 27-28 this week already. I had 34 miles last week and my longest week thus far is still a very modest 41. I don't want to do any more than say 38 miles this week. . . . meaning I've only got about 10 miles left over the next 3 days.
I figure Saturday will be perhaps a 6 mile easy day heading into the Sunday run, (along w/ an off day Friday). That left just about 4 miles to play with today - so, what to do? I haven't done any threshold work this week, but the 2-mile repeats (usually totaling 6 miles) is too long, and I just did a 5-mile tempo run last week so too soon to repeat that effort. . . I could do the 1-mile threshold level repeats, but I usually do some extra running there to make it a worthwhile day - again going over the mileage.
So I eventually said "the hell w/ it - today is just going to be a day to go out and have some fun." My idea of "fun" today was to go ahead and do three 1-mile repeats, but instead of doing them at threshold pace (6:10-6:16) w/ 1-minute breaks, I decided to increase the pace a little and lengthen the breaks such that my HR did not get above the top end of the threshold range (about 92%)
I figured I'd target about a 5:50 pace and then maybe ramp it down w/ each subsequent mile. I was really looking forward to this as I felt good even w/ the 9-miles in the hills yesterday and today was just going to be a day to go out and have some fun running. As has been typical of our weather lately, the second I got to the starting line the skies opened up and the rain came down. It figures. No big deal, nothing was going to ruin it for me today. . . . First lap of mile #1 was about 1:24 so a little fast. I slowed the pace slightly and came thru lap #2 at 1:27. The pace felt smooth and easy, a quick check of the HR showed I was still in the 150s so no issues there. I held the pace even the rest of the way coming thru the finish at 5:46.
Being that this wasn't a "interval session" per se, I didn't go to a 2-lap jog before the next one. Instead I just walked 1 lap. I didn't stop moving, but obviously I was allowing the HR to come most of the way back down. I started the 2nd mile about 6 minutes after the first one ended. (yes this is a long break, but this was not going to be a hard day)
Mile #2 almost a carbon copy of mile #1 except this time the first lap was 2 seconds faster at 1:22. Slowed the pace for lap #2 and held it constant for the last 3-laps coming thru at 5:43.
Last mile - lap #1 was 1:21, the middle laps were 1:27-1:27 and on the final lap I ran controlled negative splits for each of the last three 100m for a 1:23. Total for the last mile was 5:38.
Average HR for the 3 repeats was 156-163-165 so the last one was in the threshold range. More importantly, the peak HR's were (167-170-171) meaning the peaks on the last two miles were slightly above 93% max. (yeah that's a bit higher than I wanted)
I didn't record all of the 1/4-mile splits, but I remembered the times and as I went back thru the data - one very interesting thing jumped out. Of the 12 laps, 8 of them were run at 1:27 (the first lap of each mile was usually a little faster, and the last lap of the last mile was faster as well) But for the most part - this was a bunch of 1:27 laps that were run smoothly, comfortably, and for the first 1 3/4 miles - easily. The significance of this is that 1:27 per lap comes out to a 5:48 pace. . . which is exactly the pace I'll need to run to go under 18-flat in the 5k.
Now of course, my training is likely not going to set me up for this until the end of the year as I'm going to be primarily training for the track season this summer. So, I'm not going to be developing enough endurance until the base work starts up again in September. (I still have 6-weeks of base left now, but that's clearly not enough to get me there)
Anyway, today was fun. Was this the "best possible workout" for me today to further my development - probably not, but who cares. Sometimes you just have to do a workout because you feel like doing it. And in the process (and totally by accident) I learned what the pace of an 18-flat 5k feels like.
Training: 5 miles (including warm up and cool down) Mile repeats (5:46-5:43-5:38) 6-minute walk between reps.