With the season starting up here in June, May is the critical month. It's now time to take all of the other training - the tempo runs, cruise intervals, and hill repeats - the lifting, the core work, the long Sunday runs, as well as the long intervals, and volume speed sessions - and draw from all of that to handle the intensity of what's coming.
At this point in the build, it's pretty much "Go Time". I got my first taste of some speedwork last Saturday w/ the three 62 quarters after the 5:14 mile. On Wednesday, after the 3x800m, I got a little taste of a short rest speed session w/ the 6 x 200m (60-seconds rest). Today it was time to bring it together for my first high intensity anaerobic session.
3 x 200m
2 x 300m
2 x 300m
3 x 200m
all at 32-second/200 pace, and the whole lot w/ 90-seconds rest between reps.
After that, it's an 8-10 minute break - then:
500m @ 62-second/400m pace.
What makes this session so much tougher than the others is that 2x300/500/2x300 section in the middle - having to go 48-48-80-48-48 getting only 90-seconds between each repeat. That's a tall order for me - the 500m is very difficult w/ what comes before it. After the 500, you're not going to be feeling all that great and you've still got half the workout to go. The lactic acid just keeps building and you're forced to run through it w/o ever slowing down. And all of this simply builds up to that last 500m which is faster than anything else in the workout - even after the break, you just don't have much left in the legs to run the thing properly.
I told coach that I thought I'd struggle w/ the 500s on this one, and that hitting this entire w/o as it's drawn up may be something I'd need to build towards during the next 2-3 months. She told me that it was OK if the first 500 was at 82-83, and for the last one she said, "just hit the pace for 400m, the last 100 we'll just consider a bonus".
The session started well enough w/ the 200s: 31-31-30. The initial 300s weren't bad either, 47-48. By now I was feeling it and I had that bear of a 500 in front of me. I was targeting 82, but w/ the short rest I started to get into trouble after 350m. I pushed to get in by 83, a little slower than I wanted, but I had no time to be disappointed. In a few seconds I had another 48-second 300 to do and for the life of me I couldn't figure out how that was going to be possible. Somehow though, it just worked - 48. Feeling quite horrible at this point I counted down my minute and a half and took off again, another 48.
After the last 300 I got lightheaded for a few seconds. I was going on fumes at this point, but the tough middle section was thankfully over. "Just 200s left", I told myself. "You can always do 200s". The first one was actually the toughest. The 90-second rest was long enough such that w/ just 200m reps, I was surprisingly recovering during this portion of the wo. The 200s went: 31-31-30, same as the opening 200s. (perhaps I did have enough in the tank to hit that 500 a little harder?)
During my break, I walked a lap and then put on my spikes. I had 500m left to go w/ whatever I could throw out there. The target I had in my head was to just break 80. JT wanted a good first 400m and we'd take whatever we got on the last 100, but still I thought sub-80 was possible.
The first 100m felt smooth and effortless. I was running very relaxed w/ almost no arm action and still I crossed the 200m mark in 29. I crossed the 300m mark in 45.x, "damn I'm on 61 quarter pace after all that!" Unfortunately this is the point where the fatigue hit me like a ton of bricks. I still managed to cross the 400m mark in 62.x, but I was dead in the water here. I got down the last straightaway as best I could, fumbled a bit stopping the watch, and when I finally turned it off it read: 80.02 Well, maybe that was a 79.8, but I'll call it an 80 and just look to do better next time.
That was tough. All totaled it was 3.4km (2.11 miles) @ 4:15 pace - for me, that's a solid day's work.
Thurs, 4/30: 5-miles @ 6:58
Fri, 5/1: 5-miles @ 7:09
AM lifting (upper-A, abs) stretching, rolling
Sat, 5/2: 3x200m, 2x300m, 500m, 2x300m, 3x200m (31-31-30-47-48-83-48-48-31-31-30) (1.5' rests) 10-minutes, 500m: 80 (62.x @ 400m)