I know I just talked about how much I’m loving my new group track workouts with DCRunningCoach yesterday, but after another great one last night, I can’t say it enough. I’ve been doing track workouts on my own for quite some time now, but now I’m learning the right way to do them.
Lets start with the warm-up. I know it’s good to do active stretching, but my 2-minute breeze through of a Runner’s World active warm-up routine (they obviously recommend spending more time on it) clearly wasn’t cutting it. Our group warms up together under Coach Mike’s lead. We do marching, skips, high knees, butt kicks, backwards walking (I’m so bad at this one!), side shuffles and more.
The repeats. I had general pace times in mind before when I went to the track, but once I got there I usually just ran as fast and as hard as I could leaving my split times all over the place. Now I’m learning how to pace myself and hit a split dead on every time. I’ve got a ways to go on this. Coach Mike has already told me more times than I’d like to admit that anyone can beat the coach’s time, but a good runner will hit the goal time every time.
Last night I had 8X800 meter repeats at 3:42 on the docket. As usual I went out too fast doing the first four reps in 3:37, 3:35, 3:37, 3:36 at which point I was told my breathing showed I was going too hard. I’m supposed to aim to hit these repeats at my tempo pace right now, which Coach defines as comfortably hard – not a sprint or a 5k pace! Sent on a mission to hit the last four all on pace I came pretty close knocking each one of them out in 3:41!
Finally, the rest period. I used to do an active rest, which I don’t think is a bad thing, but I’m quickly realizing I gave myself way too much time to catch my breath and relax before starting again. My recent workouts have all had only one minute rest between repeats, and I can tell that that is making me a stronger runner.
Do you integrate track workouts into your program? What’s the verdict – do you love or hate the track?!
On another note, I saw this contest today for a free tee on MilePosts – a running blog I love to read. I’ll be honest, I selfishly don’t normally share contests that I’d like to win, but since I actually already own one of these tees I figured why not. It’s one of my favorite t-shirts – super soft and comfy. I just wear it as a regular tee, but you could run in it as well. I LOVE the saying Dorothy from MilePosts put on them – I Run this Body – so motivating! It also says Dream Big, Run Long in smaller letters. There looks to be a ton of entries already, but hey, it’s worth a shot!