Well, the first two weeks of speed work have been great! I think it really helps to mix things up and add in something different. I do have to drive approx. 45 minutes (to go with my friends) but it is worth it! Fleet Feet, a running group in St. Louis, hosts it and approx. 30 people are there. The first time I was a little nervous, because I could tell that these folks meant business!!! But after we started, it didn't really seem to matter. It was nice to be able to run for a little bit, and then take a break. Plus, you had someone "coaching" you through it, plus all of the other runners were so supportive!
This past Tuesday I met up with my friend Kris for speed work. It started at 7pm, and I got there a little early, so we were able to get in 2 laps around the track before the warm up with the group. We did another warm up lap with the group, and then it was time to start.
This week we were to do 12x400's under 4 minutes. The first 7 were at our own pace. On the 8th-12th, we were suppose to meet or beat our previous time, and if we didn't we were out! (I was a little nervous about this)
It was a gorgeous night...temps in the low 80's! The first 7 laps we were consistently coming in around 2:10. The 8th lap we ran a little slower, especially since we were going to have to beat this time the next time around. We ran it at 2:12. The 9th lap was at 2:10, 10th lap 2:08, 11th lap 2:05 and the 12th lap was at 1:55! Crazy!!!
It was such a fun combo to do, and it was nice to have to only do one lap and then have a break. We ended the day with 2 cool down laps, which put our total mileage at 4.25.
I really think I am going to continue to do the speed work. It is a great way to get a run in, and mix it up a little so you don't feel like you are doing the same thing EVERY run.
Here is my running schedule, and it seems to really work:
Monday morning (4:00am)- 4 mile treadmill run
Tuesday evening (7:00pm)- 4 mile speed work done on the track with friends
Thursday morning (4:00am)- 5 mile treadmill run
Saturday or Sunday morning (6:00am)- Long run done outside with friends
This combo has kept things interesting so far, plus provides me with both outside and inside runs, runs with and without friends, and are at different times of the day! The morning runs, as much as they suck when the alarm goes off, they are awesome once you are done!!! Check your run off for the day, and now you can spend time with family etc in the evening!
I know when I trained for my half, my only real true "good" run was the long run on the weekends, when I would meet up with my friends. Otherwise, "life" always seemed to get in the way during the week when I waited until the evening to run. For anyone starting out with a training program, I really think mixing up what you do and trying to get your runs done early or with friends really helps!
Also, don't forget about my GIVEAWAY HERE its a "wild" one!!!