Hitting the track, hard

My Life as a Runner > training > Hitting the track, hard
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After my successful Boston Marathon comeback, I rested for a couple of weeks with many non-running days and much shorter distance on running days. I don’t know exactly why or how, but I had felt remarkably well in the days immediately following the race. I would usually have sore legs and be hobbling or limping around quite a bit, but none of those mobility issues this time. So you can imagine how eager I was to get back to start my track season, officially. Last Sunday, during my workout with San Francisco Track and Field Club, I hit the track hard.

The workout went like this: At 1,000m race pace, run 600m, 400m, 200m and another 200m, resting between each run by walking or jogging 200m. Repeat this two more times. Between each set, walk 400m. This workout was going to be hard, both volume- and speed-wise. After a warm-up and mobility exercises, we laced up our track shoes (I wore Mizuno Wave Ekiden last Sunday) and stepped into the oval.

1,000m is not a track event, so I cannot say I know my pace. My PR (in the Masters races) in 800m is 2:14 from three years ago, so I thought I’d try 35 sec/200m and see how I fare. Though I hit the pace in the first 200m, I quickly realized that wasn’t going to last, especially against headwind in the back stretch. I slowed down. I finished in 1:50, figuring this workout was going to be even harder than I had thought. But having teammates doing the same workout helped. The next 400m, I ran 38 sec/200m. 200s were easier, clocking 34.8 sec and 33.6 sec. The second set is usually harder than the first or the third, physically and mentally. The second 600m clocked 1:58, quite slower than the first, but I was able to bring the pace up for 400 and 200s. In the third set, I ran 1:55 for 600m.


Set 1
Set 2
Set 3


A couple of take-aways from Sunday’s track workout. First, my 1,000m race pace may be around 37 sec/200m or 74 sec/400m. My 800m last year in August after a tentative track training was 2:23, so it feels about right. I can use this 1,000m pace in the coming track workout. Second, I should be able to run 800m in 2:20 by the end of June this year. I am still not yet to figure out my target for 1,500m this year. Last year, I ran 4:56 and would love to run in 4:50 this year.

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