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Something old is new again

September 14, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Feb. 14 was the last time I added the tag “speed workout” to a post. It’s not that I haven’t done any speed workouts; I just haven’t written about the few I’ve done since then. Following my foot ordeal in the spring, summer (as I have well documented) was pretty much on cruise control — one speed. So tonight I changed that.

Moving forward behind the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half, I pretty much want the last three-plus months of the year to be about setting myself up for the next training session at the beginning of 2010. That means getting back to speed workouts at least once a week, one “long” run a week of 5-6 miles and more cross training. It’s been almost a year since I’ve joined the gym and I have fallen way off the goals I set for cross training, so I’d like to focus on that a bit more. And, don’t forget, I want to complete the 100 push-up challenge. In simple terms, I want to get in good overall shape while improving my running. You know, the whole quality vs. quantity debate.

So wait, wasn’t this post going to be about speed work? You see, I’ll do whatever I can to avoid it. YES, I did do a speed workout tonight. It wasn’t much, but I have to start somewhere. I kept this one short and simple — four quarter-mile intervals on the treadmill with a quarter-mile recovery between each one. I started with what’s generally been comfortable for me in the past — 7.5 mph, an 8-minute mile pace. To assure that I got faster as I went along, I increased the mph by 0.1 for each interval. That means the last once was in a 7:41 pace.

It felt good to move beyond that same-old pace I’ve been used to for a few months. I did a couple of speed workouts this summer on gym visits, but it felt forced. Tonight felt more routine, even if there was nothing routine about it. Tonight, I hope, is the bare minimum of what my speed workouts will be. I want to do more intervals, longer intervals, tempo runs, fartleks, etc. Much of what I’ll do will be on the treadmill, but I hope to get a few speed sessions outside. The treadmill is great for control and since it’s been so long since I’ve done this, I need all the help I can get right now.

Lastly, I know I don’t post too much about my individual workouts, but I feel pretty good about tonight. It all started with a walk in my neighborhood with my wife, son and dog, which included a half-mile run with my nutty dog (and 0.1 with my wife). When I got home I did my week 2, day 1 push-ups with sets of 10, 12, 9, 9 and 16. Then I headed to the gym for 2.5 more miles of running and 5 miles on the exercise bike. Now I’m ready for a good night’s sleep …

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