Well, I finally figured out how to get me to follow a training plan:
Make someone I run with follow one.
And this is the story of how my friend Jen tricked me in to doing speed work.
In order to be at her best, Jen started following a training program a few months ago, and as Jen and I run together pretty often, her training runs became my training runs. And on Thursdays, we do speed.
*Side Note: Jen claims it's only every other Thursday, but it feels like it's every single week, I swear to you. Maybe the memory of speed work just lingers though.
So we've been doing intervals on our Thursday nights. It started out harmless enough, with the pretense of doing eight sets of alternating quarter mile speed and recovery. I will readily admit, we pushed too hard that first week. Our half mile warm up was too fast and in a move that can only be blamed on pride (as a group of much faster runners had joined our run club that evening), we sprinted like Usain Bolt for the first couple quarter miles.
Did I mention the route that night was the hilly route? How is it that we manage to time every quarter mile exactly so that it was uphill the entire way?!?! It felt like that old joke about a guy who walked to school, uphill, in the snow, both ways.
Sure, I've set arbitrary goals related to time for myself (Like a sub 60 min 10k or a sub 25 min 5k) but I've never finished a race and been upset if I didn't reach that goal, because I've never specifically trained for speed.
I've been told on numerous occassions that hills are simply "speed work in disguise" and have mostly relied on that, along with the theory that if I can maintain a certain pace for a long distance, my body can handle being pushed faster over shorter distances. Plus, with Rory dragging me around, she's forced me to run faster than I would comfortably run on my own. Speed was always something that just "happened."
ANYWAYS - The great debate last night, as Jen and I completed TEN (Yes, ten of them, in the rain) sets of quarter mile intervals, was this:
Is it better to run faster sprints and walk during recovery or to run slower sprints with a jog in between?
Not too shabby for someone who has never claimed to be fast!
Thankfully, Jen's marathon is coming up soon, so speed work every (I SWEAR!) Thursday will be coming to an end, although Jen and I did decide that we would perhaps still continue to throw it in every now and then just to mix things up.
So what are your thoughts?
Faster and slower?
Moderate for both?
Speed work is stupid and just don't do it at all?
Lemme know by tweeting at me or commenting below!