Wednesday, June 8, 2011

20x300 Fail (Sort Of)

2.5 mile w/u + strides
Target: 4x(5x300m); first set in 60s, then 59s, 58s, 57s
100m jog @30-35 b/t reps; 500m jog b/t sets
Actual set avgs: 59.5, 58.5, 57.5, 57-flat
2 mile c/d
Total: 10 miles

Every time I attempt a version of this workout, the same thing happens. I look at it on paper and think it's going to be a complete breeze. I mean, come on, starting at 80-second quarter pace? That should be cake. Never mind the fact that I'm in Austin and it's a million degrees and I only have 30 seconds between intervals. Pish posh.

In reality, inevitably, this workout kicks my butt. Every time. I'm still not entirely sure exactly what it is that does me in, but by halfway through the second set--that is, only a third of the way through the entire workout--I was already bargaining with myself for legitimate excuses to stop. Each set went something like this:

First 300: I feel great! Nice and relaxed. This is so easy.
Second 300: Not bad, not bad. A little short of breath but my legs feel strong.
Third 300: Hmm...this is getting a big harder...wait a minute, am I wheezing??
Fourth 300: This sucks. I hate running. I can't believe I have to finish two more before I get a break.
Fifth 300: (Cannot be printed here.)

So, how can I put a positive spin on this? The reality is that this workout directly exposes my weaknesses; namely, well, running fast. I can maintain 6-minute pace virtually all day long, but ask me to break 5:10 for a mile and things will get ugly in a hurry. So as much as I have to drag myself kicking and screaming through this kind of speed work, it's probably one of the absolute best things I can do to increase fitness. With the 8k coming up in 10 days, I'll take any boost I can get.

Also, I choose to look at it this way: When I finished the final interval, my watch read exactly 39:00. If you subtract out the three one-lap jogs and Nuun breaks in between sets, each of which lasted almost exactly 3:10, that would bring the total to 29:30 for 20x400m, or five miles. This means that, including each of the 100m jogs after each interval, I averaged 5:55 pace almost continuously. Not great, but not too bad. (Actually this could be completely wrong. I calculated it all out during my cooldown when my brain was certainly devoid of oxygen. But I'd appreciate it if you don't burst my bubble.)

Overall, though I'm still inclined to label this workout a fail--I honestly thought I could average 55-56 pretty comfortably--I'm just happy to have completed it. And yes, that's the second time in less than a week I've said that about a running performance. Deal with it.


caitchris said...

my favorite part is how you admit that your calculations could be totally off because you calculated it all on your cool down. i wish we could haev just worked out together.

Mark Hadley said...

Very nice workout. I love reading your blog and your honest and entertaining analysis of your thoughts and how the workouts/races went.

Keep up the great work!

Anonymous said...

300s are always tough! And Meagan, you definitely do have speed. It is impressive how much thought and effort you put into every workout and race. Inspiring!