Today was the toughest workout I have done all year. I had decided ahead of time that I was going to run intervals on the track today. There are several training philosophies on intervals, I am sure they all have a positive effect on a persons overall speed, but the one I chose to use is the Yasso 800's.
If you are not familiar with this term, this workout was named after Bart Yasso, the Race Services Manager at Runner's World. The Yasso 800's involve an easy warmup before the intervals, and then you run 800 meters on the track at your target marathon time. For instance, my target time is 3 hours 20 minutes, so I needed to run my 800's at 3 minutes and 20 seconds, then jog the track for the same amount of time in between each interval. You should be able to start with 4 of these and add one per week until you can do ten. Sounds simple right?
The first couple of 800's weren't too bad, and because I did not read directions very well, I just jogged for 400 meters before the next interval instead of by time, thereby shorting myself a good minute of recovery time. The third interval was pretty tough, but I knew I could gut it out and finish. I jogged my 400, stopped my watch and took a break, I wasn't sure I would be able to finish another one. After some procrastination, I got back out onto the track and took off for my last interval. I really didn't try to push it too hard on this one, I just didn't care at this point. All the way around the first lap, I kept thinking that I should just stop after one lap and call it good, my body was trying to convince me that it would be ok because I had ran pretty hard the last three intervals. The body can be very convincing in these situations when your legs feel like lead, your heart is pounding and you are gasping for air. But I refused to give up and mindlessly pushed myself through the second lap finishing the interval in 3:23. I was ok with that time, I was done! I jogged a couple of easy laps around the track and sat down for a couple of minutes before I had an easy cool down run home of about 3/4 mile. But, after running intervals, nothing seemed "easy" about the run home, I was beat!
The funny thing is that I ran by some apartments on my way home and a little boy was standing out front of the building, he had his shorts down to his knees and was trying to see how far and how high he could pee on the sidewalk! It was hilarious and made me forget about my pain and suffering the rest of the way home.
So, to make a long story short, I finished my 4 intervals with times of 3:13, 3:23, 3:20, and 3:23. Pretty darn accurate for the first time out on the track this year. It's amazing how your body just seems to know how fast to run!