Today's workout was like a long interval session w/ a twist - split 1000s. (meaning not run at an even pace) A great split 1000 w/o can be found in this article which talks about training for 800m runners.
In that one, it's 3 x 1000m w/ the first 600m at about 3k pace, then a slower 100m float which they call a "lactate shuttle". The idea is to use the 100m float to clear the lactate produced by the first 600m quickly through a fast active recovery. The last 300m are then kicked up to 1500m pace. That's a great looking workout - I'm hoping to try it out somewhere down the line.
And while that session is certainly no picnic, it's probably easier than the one I had today. For my split 1000s I had 800m at slightly slower than 3k pace followed by an acceleration to around 1k race pace for the last 200m. (I'll tell you, by #3 I was wishing I had a 'float' somewhere in there)
The target was 4 x 1000m broken down as follows:
800m: 2:40 (5:20 pace)
200m: 32-33 (about 4:20 pace)
I'd never done a workout like this, and wow, it was hard. Having to switch gears to that degree takes a lot out of you. This is MUCH tougher than running the 1000m at an even pace, and the fatigue escalates in a hurry! It also didn't help that we're having some east coast weather out here in CA - 80% humidity. What the heck is that!? This is CA, we're not supposed to have humidity. On the bright side (if you can call it that) I did lose 3 pounds during the session, and that's with about half a gallon of water and recovery drink post workout! Hey Rick - if you want to lose weight, I've got the workout for you!!
Here's how it went down:
Mile w/u, 1 x 200m (cut out the 2nd 200m due to humidity - sticky and disgusting already)
#1: 800m - 2:39, 200m - 33, (3:12)
#2: 800m - 2:39, 200m - 32, (3:11)
#3: 800m - 2:42, 200m - 34, (3:16)*
* inadvertently slowed on lap #2 in anticipation of the kick, workout starting to take its toll
After that I decided to call it quits - I was pretty fried. But after 2 minutes I talked myself into doing the last one knowing it was going to be absolutely dreadful. I figured the time would be terrible (I was right about that) but at least I had the guts to go to the starting line and give it a go.
#4: 800m - 2:47, 200m - 34, (3:21) Yuk! Yeah that one was really bad, but I just didn't have anymore in the tank.
If we had cut it to 3 x 1000m, I'm sure I'd have done a few seconds better on #3 (knowing it was the last one) thus nailing the w/o. Four was one too many for me today - but since I had run #3 anticipating there being a #4, I was glad I went ahead and threw that 4th one up there.
I was looking forward to seeing what I could do w/ this session as I knew it played straight into my weakness as a middle distance runner - sustaining or picking up the pace when fatigue has already set in. I'm more of a - go kill the first half and hang on kind of guy - I'm sure the sprinting background has a lot to do w/ that. I'm going to ask coach for more sessions like this until they start becoming easier to manage. This is an area where I really need to improve.
All in all - a good learning experience, and it was actually fun too. Trying to drop your pace a full minute per mile when you're already going 5:20 - if I can't get up for that, I shouldn't be doing middle distance!
Wed, 5/6: 4 x 1000m (split-1000s) 3:12 (2:39-33), 3:11 (2:39-32), 3:16 (2:42-34), 3:21 (2:47-34) PM - core work at home.