This week I took my speed work off the track. This is something I used to do a lot when I worked by Hains Point, which was mostly flat, straight and long enough to get my various workouts in.
This week’s speed workout however, took place on the Mt. Vernon Trail, which has a lot more ups and downs and twists and turns. I incorporated half mile repeats into my run after a one-mile warm-up. I’m not sure what it is about doing these off the track, but they seemed SO MUCH harder.
I took advantage of the interval setting on my Garmin so that it would beep down the last few steps of each half mile, and then beep the last 5 seconds of my one-minute rest between repeats letting me know it was time to get moving again. It’s a really great feature and keeps me focused on running hard rather than staring at pace or distance on my watch to see if I’ve gone far enough and fast enough.
I ran hard for all eight repeats and looking at my times after I was a bit all over the place. I think that had a lot more to do with the changing terrain though, not necessarily different levels of effort. Despite the seemingly much longer than normal half miles, I felt really great after finishing this workout and proud that I upped my mental game to push through.
Do you like taking your speed workouts off the track? Does it make it easier or harder for you?