My first track workout!

First of all, thank you all for your advice about how to start doing speed work! It was really helpful as I was making my plans for this evening. I went back and reread all of the comments.

I decided that I would aim for 6-8 x 400m, with a 400m jog in between each interval (by the way- are they called intervals?). I also figured on doing a warm up and cool down somewhere between 800m to a mile each.

Barry came with me and ran with me the whole workout, and I was so glad he did! I was really intimidated by this workout, because I had never done anything like it before. It’s completely different from the sprints and suicides I did in soccer and field hockey while growing up. Added plus- Barry is an excellent pacer and he helped me run relatively even splits throughout the workout.

We did the track workout over at the high school track, which turned out to be an asphalt track. I was expecting the rubbery kind, because that’s what my high school had, but I guess it’s not a big deal. My shins bothered me a bit, but nothing a little ice and extra stretching won’t fix.

Enough talk, here are the numbers from the workout:

800m warm up

8 x 400m (with 400m jog in between): 1:55 / 1: 57 / 1:55 / 1:54 / 1:54 / 1:53 / 1:48 / 1:44

800m cool down

This totaled 5 miles for the day, with an overall time of 47:18. Huh… faster than when I just go out and run 5 miles. Interesting. The 400’s were tough, especially the last 3 or 4, but they were manageable. Barry asked for “time” halfway through each one, and that gave me something to look forward to and helped to break them up.

Got my picture with the cougar, post-workout!
Before the start of a football game the players run down the stairs and pass by the cougar before taking the field.

I’m pretty happy with how this first workout went. I went into it not really knowing what to expect or what I would be capable of. I was expecting to run them around 2 minutes each, but I worried about how fast I should run the early ones and if I’d be able to maintain it to the end of the workout. We were shooting for 1:40 on #8, but 1:44 was all I had. That’s okay with me, though.

I really liked the structure of the workout. I enjoyed doing 5 miles this way instead of just going out and running 5 miles. I plan to make the track a weekly thing. But I think it would be better to hold my track party on Tuesdays, since my legs are often fatigued by Thursday after running Tues./Wed.

Thanks again for all of your wonderful advice and guidance!!

I will leave you with some randomness from my workday. I observed this while I was sitting in a gas station parking lot:

Do you see the guy sleeping in the grass? Yea, he just backed his motorcycle in, climbed over the guardrail and laid down and went to sleep like it was the most normal thing to do. After about 30 minutes the owner of that black SUV was walking back to her car and she saw him there. She walked over and woke him, to make sure he was okay. Then he went back to sleep for about another 5 minutes before going into the store for a bit and then getting on his motorcycle and driving off. How bizarre.

Where should I go from here? Add on more 400’s, stick with 8 and try to do them faster, or something else??

If you do track workouts (or speed workouts in general) what is your favorite?

Tell me something bizarre that you saw at work/school/during life this week.

12 thoughts on “My first track workout!”

  1. Good for you! I like the track and I always end up much faster than I would have if I were out running on my own. That is why it is called speed! I am so excited to see someone’s else track since I feel like I discuss my track workouts a lot.When/if you start a marathon training program, I think the general speed start is 12 x 400 with 200 rest. Then you move up to 6 x 800, then increase those until you get to 10 x 800 which is the Yasso 800s. then you start doing miles. So I may try to work up to 12 x 400 and gradually reduce the rest (after every other interval at first) to 200. BUT don’t let the distance or the time intimidate you! Track workouts can be fun and even if you keep doing what you are doing you are doing something! Yay for speed!

    1. 800’s sound so scary to me right now! I guess I won’t be aiming to hold the same speed as I did on my 400’s? At least not initially, I hope. I will try and keep in mind they are supposed to be fun! πŸ™‚

  2. YAY!! I think 400’s are really great. I ironically I JUST wrote a post about them and included some great links I found by Googling.

    1. I liked how I could break them down in my head to half the track or even 1/4 of the track if I needed to. I will be sure to check out your post on 400’s!

  3. Wow, good for you! Those last 400s were super speedy! Very nice of Barry to help pace you! What a great guy.I agree with Amy. Start working up to more 400s and ten start gradually increasing the distance.I tend to always dread intervals, but I always feel so good afterwards. Exhausted, but in the good kind of way. 400s and 600s are probably my favorite. I also really enjoy tempo runs and that’s pretty much the only speed work I’m doing right nowI haven’t seen anything random this week yet. We did have some crazy animals in our cafeteria on Monday (A mini alpaca named Goliath, a bearded dragon, red-bellied turtle, a North American millipede and an Eurasian owl) but I took the day off so I didn’t get to see them =(I pull over and take naps in my car sometimes when I’m really sleepy…or when I’m driving cross country because I am too cheap to stay in a hotel for the night, ha. But I guess if you have a motorcycle you can’t really recline and nap…so the grass sounds like a comfy place, ha.

    1. He is a great guy πŸ™‚ I even ran fast enough on the last 2 to get him breathing hard, too. That usually doesn’t happen when he runs with me. Haha only at NatGeo would there be crazy animals in the cafeteria! Sorry you didnt get to see them, though :-/I was pretty surprised when he just laid down. The grass was tall… I would have been worried about ticks!

  4. Great job on your first track workout! I haven’t forgotten about the schedule I promised to send to you. I’ve seen a few other people asking about speed work lately so I decided that I would write a post on it either tomorrow or Sunday, so keep an eye out.My random thing happened on Monday on my drive to my parents’ house. A tractor trailer sped past me on I81 near Buchanan. It had a flat bed with three dinosaurs strapped down. One was a green brontosaurus and the green rubbery like stuff covering him blew off the top of his head right in front of me and broke into a million pieces. He then looked bald on top. It was quite bizarre!

    1. Thank you! I’m looking forward to that schedule πŸ™‚ The more guidance I have, the better!Wow that IS random! I bet it will be quite a surprise to whoever was waiting on those dinosuars that their brontosaurus is bald! I’m glad the covering blowing off didn’t cause you any trouble with it happening right in front of you! I-81 has so many trucks on it and it’s even crazier now that it’s 70 MPH.

  5. When I do speed workouts they are planned by Team Run Flagstaff or by Pinterest for use on the treadmill. I haven’t given it serious thought yet… but I will be!A couple of weeks ago we saw a crossing guard for a local school kind of chase down a huge (HUGE) SUV waving her stop sign and blowing her whistle because the SUV didn’t stop. I have to say that the SUV was going incredibly slow and was the first car in the line when the crossing guard walked out into the street (on the other side). It was obvious something – maybe a child had caught her eye on the other side of the road. Anyway, the crossing guard got so close that the car hit her and she fell to the ground!!! Good grief!

    1. I would love to have a group to run speed workouts with! Wow that crossing guard was really serious about her job! Sounds like she strongly felt the SUV was in the wrong and wanted to make them aware of it.

  6. Tack on one or two more. I’d suggest trying to zero in on a specific pace that works for you, for all the intervals (give or take ~2 seconds), and hold there for 2-3 weeks (workouts), before dropping it a bit. With one track workout a week, you can’t expect to drop your time every week – but every 3-4 weeks is reasonable. [My 2 cents.]We were out and about yesterday and saw a young girl/woman (late teens?) pulling a string attached to a small ball (like, tennis ball sized) behind her. The ball was on the ground, and just bounced/rolled along behind her, while she pulled the string. We have absolutely no idea what was going on…

    1. Thank you for the advice! I’m thinking I will aim for 10 x 400 next week πŸ™‚ I’ll probably still aim for 1:50 – 1:55.Hmmm that sounds like a really bizarre thing to see. I wonder what she was doing?

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