For just over a year now Thursday night has become my regular night for speed intervals. Discovering the indoor track last year has allowed me to include speed intervals earlier in my training cycle.
To keep things interesting I like to try a different workout each week. So far this year I have done 800’s and a ladder workout. Tonight I did mile repeats, five of them, since I had not yet done that workout this year.
After a year of weekly speed intervals during my training cycles I am seeing the benefits. Not only am I able to complete them at a faster pace this year, I also feel more comfortable running at that pace so I am pretty sure that I have improved my running form over that time.
Finally, it remains to be seen how this will impact race day but I feel more confident after good speed interval workouts like tonight’s workout which will help me keep a positive outlook on the rest of my training cycle.
Do you include regular speed intervals in your training?
You may recall that last year I added intervals at an indoor track to my training over the winter months. The benefit was that this allowed me to add regular speed intervals to my training earlier in my training cycle than I previously had done.
After seeing the benefits last year my plan was always to start running at the dome again this year once the winter weather started. I managed to make it to the dome last night for my first series of speed intervals of the year.
Last year we kept it interesting by doing a different workout every week – 400’s, 800’s, mile repeats and ladder workouts. We even tried 2 km repeats once. The variety served to keep it more interesting. Last night’s workout was an easier since it was the first of the year. We went with a 6 x 800 workout with the average pace being 3:05.
I have still been trying to include tempo runs in my runs home from work but with the snow and ice it isn’t always easy to maintain a fast and steady pace. Last night at the dome being able to maintain a quick and steady pace made it feel like training for spring races was really getting under way.
Do you include indoor running over the winter months?
Tonight was a another strong speed workout at the dome. It involved a new workout I had not yet tried.
Looking for something longer that might be more beneficial to marathon training we decided to do 2 km (1.2 miles) repeats. Given that the track is 400 m each repeat involved 5 laps of the track.
We ended up doing 4 repeats for a total of 8 km (5 miles). With times of 8:32, 7:52, 8:16 and 8:04 our average time was around 8:10 which is right were we wanted to be when we started.
What do I think of the workout? I think kit is definitely the toughest of the speed workouts I have done at the track but it felt pretty good to get it done. Whether it will benefit my marathon training remains to be seen but I am willing to try it again.
What has been the toughest speed workout for you?
Thursday nights have now become my night for speed intervals at the indoor track. Tonight’s workout ended up being the same as last Thursday’s workout with 5 x 1 mile repeats the intended workout.
I am pleased with my times from tonight. I ended up going a little faster than last week. Tonight my times were 6:31, 6:37, 6:43, 6:32, 6:29 whereas my average was closer to 6:40 last week.
I think I am starting to notice a pattern with my speed intervals. You’ll notice that my slowest one tonight was the middle one. I am not sure why but that seems to be a regular occurrence for me. For some reason I start quick, slow down in the middle and come back strong for my last couple of intervals.
So far I am enjoying the ability to run at the indoor track. It is nice to be able to run in short sleeves and shorts in the middle or winter, especially on nights like tonight when the temperature is barely above freezing and raining.
Do you regularly incorporate speed intervals in your training? Do you run indoor over the winter months?
Tonight was my third time out for running at the indoor track at the dome. Tonight’s workout was 5 x 1600 m (1 mile).
The plan was to get in our mile repeats in around 6:40. One thing that I have noticed about the track so far is that I can tell when I am picking up the pace and I have a hard time slowing down even if I start going faster than my intended pace.
We ended up doing our mile repeats at about our intended pace with most being right around 6:40 per mile and a couple of them slipping below 6:35 per mile.
I think that was about the right pace for me tonight. It felt like we were pushing ourselves each time out but were not over-exerting ourselves as we were able to maintain a consistent pace over each of the mile repeats.
One other benefit to running at the dome is that having a group run once a week gives me a nice change from my usual solo runs. Tonight I was encouraged to try shortening my stride. With most of my runs being solo runs I have not had anyone comment on my stride before. Now it will give something to work on and monitor during my runs over the next 16 weeks.
This morning I tried speed intervals at an indoor track for the first time. As I mentioned in a previous post, I am looking to add more speed work to my training as I get ready for this year’s Ottawa Marathon. Having access to an indoor track will now make that easier to get started early in my training and having others to run with as I do them will no dot help with motivation and consistency.
Until a neighbour mentioned it to me I was not aware we had a 400m indoor track close to home. Today was certainly a good day for an indoor run with the weather sitting at -30 C, -22 Fahrenheit, with the windchill when we left home.
Here is a look at the track, apparently it is the 2nd largest dome of its kind in North America…
The plan for today was to do mile repeats with an aim at maintaining a pace of about 1:40 per lap and 5:00 per mile. We started off with our first three miles right on target. Miles 4-5 saw us slow down to about 5:10 per mile. Miles 6-8 ended up being our fastest miles with times of 4:41-4:47.
Overall it felt like a strong workout. It was certainly nice to get in a run in shorts and short sleeves despite the cold weather outside. I can see running at the dome becoming a regular part of my training during the winter months. It is nice to have others to run with to help keep me motivated and on target and since many of my runs are in the evening it was nice to not have to worry about not being able to read my pace on my Garmin.
Have you tried running on an indoor track?
Tonight was my first round of speedwork as part of my training for the Philadelphia Marathon. The start of speedwork means that I have passed the halfway point in my training. It also means that there is still a lot of work ahead as i get myself prepared for the Philadelphia Marathon.
I’ve mentioned before that I am using one of Bart Yasso’s marathon training programs. His programs recommend a variety of speedworkouts as opposed to the standard workout of just doing a set number of laps at a track.
Tonight’s workout was mile repeats at my 10 km pace x 3. After a 1.5 km warm-up I started my mile repeats with an 800 m recovery jog in between. I felt strong through each repeat and was able to maintain a pace between 4:00-4:15/km through each repeat.
Overall, I ended up with an 11.5 km run in 56 minutes tonight.
Do you regularly do speed workouts?