Being that yesterday was an easy day, a bit more effort was scheduled for today. Again, I'm at the track due to the fact that the flat, soft surface and sure footing are better for the knee.
The plan was to do 7-8 total miles w/ the first 2 being easy and then alternate between quicker miles and easy ones. I figured Mile #3 would be at about 6:30, Mile #5 at about 6:20, and then Mile #7 at about 6 flat. I wanted the other miles to be easy, but not "too easy" as I wanted to have some fatigue going into Mile #7 to sort of simulate a race where I needed to pick it up and have a good mile at the end. I decided the "easy" miles would be about 7:35.
On Mile #3 I felt a bit sluggish and was behind the pace a bit. Rather than pick it up to hit the number, as usual I just let the workout unfold at whatever seemed natural. The 3rd mile clocked in at 6:38. Mile #5 felt better and I pretty much hit the target at 6:21. My HR was coming down nicely on the easy miles which were being run at almost exactly 7:35, and going into the last mile I honestly didn't feel that fatigued. So, I picked the pace up slightly during the last half of the last easy mile to get my HR up going into the final mile. Although this last mile wasn't going to be run hard enough to be considered a "test", I did want to experience picking up the pace to a decent level starting from a reasonable HR.
I entered Mile #7 w/ a HR of 158 which is below threshold HR, but I was hoping that the 6.5 miles (including warm up) that I had run previously would provide some level of fatigue going into this last mile. I hit the first quarter at 1:30, so exactly on pace. The half mile split was 2:57 so the pace had picked up on quarter #2. At this point, I felt like I had a great deal of energy. (which is surprising because I've only had about 10 hours sleep in the last 3-days) I picked up the pace again and decided to run negative quarter splits for this last mile. I ran very relaxed the whole way and Mile #7 came in at 5:48 - which was better than I was expecting. Like the negative split workout I did last week, I finished the workout knowing I still had more in the tank.
Overall, the 7 miles averaged exactly 7 minutes w/ an average HR of 156. Obviously my fatigue level was not as high as it would be going into the last mile of a race, but it was encouraging to throw a 5:48 up there in the 7th mile knowing I could have pressed harder if I wanted.
Training: 8 miles (including warm up and cool down) (7:38-7:27-6:38-7:31-6:21-7:37-5:48)