Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My Problem With Sprint Workouts

Adding sprints into the weekly run mix is one of the most commonly recommended workouts for runners looking to improve speed.  Ergo, it would make sense that I, someone who writes about wanting to become a faster runner, would heed that advice and attempt to run some sprint workouts.  But you may have noticed that I don't do this very often, and you may have wondered why.

Because I'm lazy.  Actually, no - that's not entirely true, despite what you may have guessed.  Yes, it's true that these are no piece-of-cake-easy-jog-through-the-park, but that's not the only factoring working against them in my book.  The truth is that for me, very few workouts are piece-of-cake-easy-jog-through-the-parks, especially when work doesn't allow me to consistently hit the pavement and/or treadmill.  Often, I have a creeping self doubt lurking in the back of my brain somewhere, taunting me that I might not be able to even make it to the 3 or 4 mile mark at an "easy" pace.  So imagine how strong that taunting becomes when I start telling my brain that some extra exertions are going to arise before getting to the end of the desired mileage.

With said concern in mind, I usually wind up either (a) psyching myself out of actually completing the mileage because of the Big Bad Sprint Intervals or (b) convincing myself that maybe it's better to run at an even pace for 3 or 4 miles than it is to try to do sprints and quit after 1.5 or 2 mi.

Well, not tonight, baby!  I headed to the gym at 10PM [an early night as of recent work schedule!] with a co-worker and told her, "I'm about to do 4 half mile sprints.  I'm not getting off this treadmill until I do it.  I'm telling you this so that I'll be embarrassed if I don't do them."  And what do you know.  My workout looked like this:

0.0 - 0.5 mi - 6.0 (10 min / mi)
0.5 - 1.0 mi - 6.6 (9:05 min / mi)

1.0 - 1.5 mi - 6.0 (10 min / mi)
1.5 - 2.0 mi - 6.6 (9:05 min / mi)

2.0 - 2.5 mi - 6.0 (10 min / mi)
2.5 - 3.0 mi - 6.6 (9:05 min / mi)

3.0 - 3.5 mi - 6.0 (10 min / mi)
3.5 - 4.0 mi - 6.6 (9:05 min / mi)

Total miles: 4.00
Total time: 38:15 [those pesky treadmills and their slow start up times!]

I'm not sure what type of training plan [if any] I'll try to follow for the Naples Half yet, but for now I'm toying with an idea from the August Half-Marathon Special of Runners World, which basically said to run 1/2 mile repeats at your goal [dream?] race pace [ha - wouldn't a 9:05 half marathon be nice?] and then eventually turn those puppies into mile repeats and then eventually into couple/several mile repeats and then supposedly, voila, running that pace for 13.1 miles will be no big deal.  I'm skeptical....

1 comment:

  1. i think sprint workouts or track workouts would be mentally harder than physically harder for me. i would always freak out before even before i did it.