6 miles speed
I get nervous every time I do speed work. I worry that I won’t hit my splits and that I’ll never get faster. I tell myself that I’m built for endurance, NOT speed. I’ve said numerous times that I was on the fence as to whether speed work makes a difference. I’m giving it a real, fair try this training cycle to see what happens. In the past, speed work has been very taxing on my body. I tend to take longer to recover and often my tempo and long runs suffer because of it. I was just reading in Brad Hudson’s Run Faster that runners whose strength is speed generally recover faster from speed work and runners whose strength is endurance (me!) recover faster from longer runs. The converse is also true which explains my prolonged recovery after speed work and my speedy recovery after 20-milers.
Today’s speed work called for 6×800 at 3:33 (7:06 pace). I did 5×800 (the 6th one so wasn’t happening…I was exhausted). My spilts: 3:34, 3:34, 3:33, 3:32, 3:32! Woohoo! Why was I so happy? Let me explain:
1. I have never done 800s this fast before. I generally hover around the 3:40 range. I was surprised I was so consistent too.
2. For the past 7 weeks, I’ve been doing speed work on the treadmill because of the weather. Today I went to the track (yeah!) but I was concerned about my ability to adequately pace myself. It’s so much easier on the treadmill – just set the pace and stick to it. The track is much harder.
3. I did a 20-miler 2 days ago! Now I’m wondering what my splits would be with fresh, rested legs!
So maybe all this speed nonsense is helping?! Could it be that I’m a believer in speed work? Nine more weeks of speed work plus a little bit of confidence in myself and who knows what’ll happen?
I’ll leave you with this picture from SF (technically Stinson Beach, CA). This is how I felt after my run today…