Intervals Begin With I
In this case, it really is all about me. A lot of you out there in blogworld are in the same boat. We know that speed workouts and hill repeats and intervals are important, but it's just so damn hard to keep up the intensity when you're all by yourself. A lot of the runners on my team train together once or twice a week at the NYRRC organized speed classes, but something about paying to work out rubs me the wrong way. Besides that, I just don't get out of work early enough to participate in those classes. I'm at the end up my rope when it comes to my current job though, so perhaps I'll reconsider once I've finally up and quit.
Meanwhile, it's just me against the world, engaging in some sort of internal child-birthing pep talk (push, push, push!) as I hit the last rise of my 400 meter approximating straight-away. Or in the case of this morning, struggling mightily to stay focused on the task at hand during the third minute of my 3 on/2 off interval session. It was a great workout though. I did a four minute warm up and cool down and then ran the rest of my seven miles using that on and off pattern, with my on's being about at 5K pace or thereabouts.
Pace is another thing that's hard to judge when you're on your own too though. It's been so long since I've run regularly on a track, most of the time it's really an exercise in guesswork. I miss the ability I had in high school to just go out and run a mile in exactly what I was told to. You could have given me a target of 7:14 and I wouldn't have been more than a second off of that, even without quarter splits. This was a great thing the summer I went to running camp and "hit your splits" was one of the competition. I had some sort of internal clock in my head that apparently no longer works so well. But who knows if having running partners on my speed workouts would help with that or not. For the moment, I'm just trying to guage my effort and base my definition of "on" or "off" on that.