Thursday, March 20, 2014

Back to the Grind

Tuesday evening marked my return to the track for the first time since the NYC Marathon and being injured. I was nervous about doing my first real speed session in so long but also felt ready. I didn't want to do anything too hard, more just getting the legs to turn over quicker. During each of my hill workouts this season I felt held back by my leg turnover. I just couldn't get them to move faster!

Since I didn't want to overdo it my first time back, I planned an easier workout with no expectations. I did this workout around the same time last year so I can look back and compare too. My main goal for these repeats was to run strong and pay attention to any signs that my body wasn't ready yet.

15 min warm up
4 x 100 w/ 100 jog recovery
4 x 400 w/ 200 jog recovery
4 x 100 w/ 100 jog recovery
15 min cool down

After I finished this workout I felt on cloud 9. It felt SO good to move fast again. I didn't look at last year's workout before I went so I had no idea how they compared. All I knew was that I felt great- strong, powerful, graceful.

400's are probably my favorite distance to run on the track, although mile repeats are also up there. 400's are not short enough to be an all-out sprint but they don't really let you settle into the pace at all. I've been told they are the hardest distance for repeats, and I can believe that. The 400's were the main part of this workout and were also my favorite part of this workout. I feel awkward trying to sprint for a 100 but during a 400 I feel unstoppable.

March 2013- 1:39, 1:35, 1:37, 1:34
March 2014- 2:00, 1:55, 1:54, 1:43

Looking at the comparison between this workout last year and this year I feel rather ambivalent. In one sense I feel defeated once again. I thought I had such a great workout until I look at how much fitness I've lost. On the other hand, I felt like I had such a great workout and that's what matters. Last year I was training for a half marathon PR, not a triathlon. I was running considerably more and considerably faster.

What's most important to me is making progress from where I am today. I may never see those paces again or I may be running faster by the end of the summer. My focus is different this year and I am okay with that. Sometimes a little perspective is all you need.


  1. Yay for getting back to the track! I agree, I LOVE 400 intervals, maybe it's because that was one of my specialties in college (I'll never get back to those times). I love that you are staying so focused and positive on what your goals are for the year. You will get faster and you will get stronger- don't doubt that. I see an awesome year for you!

  2. I think it's great that you are comparing but not letting the comparisons get you down. It was still a good workout regardless!