So this morning was scheduled to be a routine six mile run. However, I recieved an invite from a friend to do some speed workouts on a track instead. New tip: Anytime you get a chance to run with an experienced runner, jump on it!
Wow! What an eye opener. The workout that we did is called ‘Mile Repeats’ and it’s simply a repeating pattern of running at slow pace for a half-mile followed by a mile at fast pace. The distance around the track was the standard quarter-mile so we began with 2 slow warm up laps. Then, after a short break we went 4 laps (1 mile) at a fast pace. In the process of simply trying to keep up, I unknowingly did a mile at a pace that I never thought I was capable of. In fact, it was a full minute faster than any run I had ever done before.
We basically repeated the same pattern of 2 laps at slow pace followed by 4 laps at fast pace for four intervals although, we only did 1 lap at slow pace for the final interval. I realized after that first mile that I couldn’t keep that pace up so I opted to fall back to a more realistic speed which was still much faster than my personal best. My final average pace (even with the slow laps included) was about 20 sec./mile faster than my previous personal best and that run was only for 3 miles. Todays run was 6 miles!
After the fourth repeat, I was introduced to yet another workout for cooling down. In the middle of the track was a football field so we lined up at the goal line in bare feet. We ran toward the opposite end starting slow and accelerating gradually until we reached the opposite 80 yard line. By the time we reached the 80, we were doing a full sprint and finished the remaining 20 yards at that pace. This exercise was repeated 4 times (twice each direction).
The results of this workout were instantly noticable in more ways than one. While training your body to run at a faster pace, your also changing what you perceive to be a fast pace. I highly recommend this type of workout and I can’t wait to include this in my weekly schedule.