As I mentioned in the previous post, my weeks have consisted of your basic boring easy days, a longer day (still not very long, 9-10 miles) a threshold day, and an up-tempo day. For the past month, the up-tempo day has been Tuesday. Here's a recap of the previous Tuesday workouts:
Tue 8/5: 3 x 800m
This was my first real rep day since the injury. I had been running since May, but everything was either easy or threshold, so nothing all that fast. The interesting part about this for me was that I forced myself to run these reps very relaxed and mandated that my heel had to strike the ground first on every step. So I wanted to go at a decent pace, but have it feel more like part of a longer run - try and stay very relaxed and just get a good heel striking stride going - the target pace was 2:40 per rep. The workout was successful as the reps came in at 2:38, 2:36, and 2:39. A good first rep day.
Tue 8/12: 3 x 600m
Similar idea to the 3x800 the previous week (i.e. good quick heel striking stride) The difference this time was that instead of 2:40 half pace, I wanted to quicken it up to a 2:20 pace. In order to accommodate this, I decided to shorten the reps to 600m. The target pace for each rep was then 1:45. After a first rep of 1:48, I got into the swing of things and did the last two in 1:43 and 1:46. It felt nice to go that quickly in a comfortable heel striking stride, however my lack of aerobic fitness certainly came into play on the 2nd and 3rd reps - I can tell I'm just not in great cardio shape.
Tue: 8/19: 4 X 400m
OK, time for some faster stuff. This time I didn't have any restrictions on forcing my heel to strike first. This workout was meant to get in a little more speed and work on my running form. I wasn't exactly sure where to put my target pace on these guys, so I figured I'd just see how I felt after the first one and adjust accordingly. I did want to run a nice first 200m and then cruise home during the last 200m.
First rep I came through the first 200m in about 31 flat, eased up a little and finished up at 65.9. Not a bad time, but I felt I could run these a little faster, so I made an adjustment. For the last 3 reps I targeted running the first 200m in 29 seconds before cruising home. The next 3 reps fell into place perfectly at 64.8, 64.7 and finally 64.5.
Not bad. Like the previous week, I can tell my cardio isn't terrific, but it will get there eventually. The thing that bothered me about this workout, however was that my body angle never felt quite right. I felt like I was running a bit too upright and thus I wasn't running as economically as I should be. But, then again - that's what this workout was for, to work on running form and economy. It was only the first time I've run faster w/o the heel striking restriction, I expected to run better next time.