Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Split 1000s

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.


Michael said...

Doing mixed pace workouts like that are hard, but I think they're well worth it. I've run a couple variations in marathon training, my favourite though is 2x5k alternating 1,000’s 3:30/3:40.

Keep up the good work!

Ewen said...

Very interesting session Mike. We've done what we call 'kick-down' intervals, but not the ones with a float before the kick-down. Usually shorter and very controlled - like 2 sets of 4 x 500m, with the first 300m at 1500m race-pace and the last 200m at 400m race-pace.

I guess the total time is critical, as well as the splits? It does show where you slowed down! Well done on getting the 4th in.

With the USTF card, will you be running some open meets, or do you need that for Masters meets as well?

Mike said...

Thanks guys.

Michael - 2 x 5k @ 17:45? Unless the rest time between reps is a day - I don't think I can handle that one! : )

Ewen - the total time for the 1000s was important as well. Typically my 1000m intervals (i.e. not the 5k pace 1k's) are done at about 3:15 w/ a 3-minute break between each. For those I'm trying to run even so I come through 800m in 2:36, and I typically do 3-reps.

For these, the first 800m target was 2:40 (so 1-second slower per 200m) and then change gears to 32-33 for the last 200m. This makes the total time about 3:12-3:13 so slightly faster, but I got 4.5 minute breaks between each. However, the fast portion took more out of me than the extra 1.5-min rest put back, so it was a losing battle!

I probably should have just done 3-reps. If I had, the 3rd one would have been really sharp.

I need the USTF card to get into some of the major Masters meets. I don't know how many of those I'll be running this year - I recently discovered that the schedule is messed up this season (I'll discuss that in a later post) I will probably be participating in at least one Open Meet this year, maybe two.