Or Gilding the Lilly
There are a few things I wanted to say before I espouse upon a musing left by my neighborhood hero. First, I failed to notice that this weekend’s 22M run must occur on Sunday, as I am running the 10M CRIM on Saturday. Well, race hard and enjoy a slow long run is what I say.
Also, I got up to do a 6M temp run this morning and it was 50deg. Beep yeah!!! I’m so ready to make out with Fall (as it wraps its cool- temperature arms around me) I might make the Redhead jealous.
But to the topic at hand; Nitmos’ post about just going out and running without a running plan. His post has been floating around in my heard for a few days now—and when you have a 4 hour car drive, that is a lot of time spent thinking about thing Nitmos has thought about. Additionally, I was recently inspired by Adam to review the graphs from my track workouts. Reviewing my track workouts I noticed how consistent my speed was for every interval. Regardless of distance, each graphed interval was flat line. Good if running, no so good if it is your EKG printout.
Nitmos’ post made me wonder: how does my body automatically know what pace to exert per any given distance? Doing 400m intervals, I hit about 80s. Doing 800m intervals, I hit 2:50min. But what I’m not doing is hitting the first 400m at 80s and then slowing to a 90s lap. I go 85s then 85s.
For some reason, I got an idea into my head this past Tuesday that I would add an extra 400m to my track session (I didn’t have a 400m interval scheduled that day). So, at the end of the workout I tried to burn out a 72s-75s 400m. I hit 80s flat. And, honestly, I was a little surprised. I felt like I was really pushing this one.* Yet, all I did was hit my normal 400m pace.
Now, I’m all for consistency, and running marathon miles at a consistent pace is a good thing (various course elevations may slightly alter this approach). Yet, am I doing the same thing as Nitmos and just running on feel and not fighting it? Shouldn’t I be trying to hit my 800m interval at 80s for the first lap and then trying to keep it close for the second lap? Is a 80s + 92s (1:52min) better than a 86s + 86s (1:52min) interval. Is there really more room to improve if I hit uneven spits?
*I know I was tired from doing an entire track workout, but it really wouldn’t be any different than the last 400m interval of a 2 x (6 x 400m) workout.