Thursday, January 10, 2013

Boston Marathon Track Workout #4 - Faster

On Tuesday, I ran six miles at marathon pace (6:52) or better. A week ago, I only ran five at marathon pace. I consider these "tempo" runs to be the hardest workouts of the week. So with only 48 hours to recover from my tempo run, I headed over to the track this morning for my fourth speed workout.

Is this the last bit of snow for this winter?

Track was crowed, three whole people...

and a dog!

In the middle of my intervals
Graffiti Wall near the Track

As mentioned in previous entries, in the Hansons Brooks marathon training plan the speed training calls for me to run interval distances at 10k pace for a total of three miles. But, no single interval can be greater than one mile (i.e 1600m). Instead of running the minimum number of intervals as I had done in the past few weeks, I decided to change things up a bit. Here are my results:

Last Week:
1.75 mile warm-up
1600m @ 6:18/mile pace (400m recovery)
1600m @ 6:17/mile pace (400m recovery)
1600m @ 6:07/mile pace
1.75 mile cool-down

Average Pace: 6:14/mile

2 mile warm-up
1200m @ 6:09/mile pace (400m recovery)
1600m @ 6:01/mile pace (400m recovery)
1600m @ 5:59/mile pace (400m recovery)
400m @ 5:49/mile pace 
1.75 mile cool-down

Average Pace: 6:02/mile  
Ducks in the morning

My version of "Seen on a Run

Ducks on the move!

North Branch sunrise

Rockwell "L" Stop
Analysis: For the last few weeks I was stuck on an average pace of 6:14/mile at the track, and today my average plummeted to 6:02/mile. I simply added an extra, short interval at the end of my workout and more importantly, I cut back the first interval from one mile to .75 miles and presto! I am magically faster. I have always struggled with my first interval at the track, as it takes a while for me to hit my stride. So, I theorized, why not make the first interval a little shorter? I guess it worked. A few thoughts:
  1. The McMillan Running Calculator, says the 10k pace is for a 2:59:59 marathon is 6:10/mile. So my 6:02/mile pace this morning would indicate I have arrived. Realistically, I am not 6:02/mile 10k runner, but I would say I am on my way!
  2. The weather was not very cold nor windy today. Track was 99% clear of snow and ice, so the conditions were more favorable than last week.
  3. I ran 50 miles last week and am on pace for 60 miles this week, so I am adding distance along with this speed. This may have helped me hold the faster pace.
These signs have sprung up around town
 and make crossing the street on my runs a lot easier, as
some cars actually stop now!

One More Thing: .Could not find my heart rate monitor strap to measure my effort at the track. Still looking...


  1. Yay for the visible progress that you are making with your speedwork! There is nothing more motivating for me than to see the hard work paying off. =)

    Those ducks look so happy paddling along in the water!

    1. Thanks. Yes, I hope I can maintain this trajectory for the next 3 months! The ducks were movin' fast!

  2. This is fantastic to see the improvements!
    I have a track nearby (that I've never taken advantage of), you've reminded me to try it out!

    1. Thanks. If you have a track nearby, you should take advantage of it. If nothing else, it is a soft, even surface to run on! :-)

  3. you are doing awesome! So happy for you!

  4. Nice speedwork! It does help not to have too much snow on the track. But if that is the last bit of snow for the year... that would just be crazy! ;)

    1. It would be crazy if we don't get any more snow, but at this rate I'm starting to think it might happen!

  5. How awesome to see progress in the making. I feel like sometimes it is so slow and arduous that we don't even notice, but you seem to be taking names this training cycle!

    1. Thanks. A lot can happen between now and race day, but for right now, I am glad to be making noticeable progress.

  6. Thats great that you are seeing progress in your speed workouts. I think for my next half marathon I am going to incorporate a training plan that has at least one day of speed workouts.