Today I headed back to the track for some speed work, and decided to do a pyramid workout instead of repeats of a specific distance. I got the idea from Deb over at Deb Runs. At the end of April I asked for your guidance on how to start doing speed training on the track. I got a lot of great responses and valuable information and used it to complete my first track workout at the start of May. A couple days later Deb had a great post called Love to Hate Speed Work that had all kinds of information and pointers about track workouts, as well as example workouts of what she had her runners do. One of those was a pyramid workout, and I filed it away for later.
Were there enough links in that paragraph for you?? 🙂
Pyramid-style workouts are not a new concept to me. I grew up as a competitive swimmer and I have done many, many pyramid sets during practices over the years. I always liked them because during the first half of the workout your main focus is getting to the peak distance and then I always felt like I could push even harder on the back half of the set (as the distance decreased). I was looking forward to finding out if the same thing applies with my running. Spoiler alert: it does.
The plan for the workout was: 200m, 400m, 800m, 1600m, 800m, 400m, and 200m with a 400m recovery in between each interval. I used the McMillan Running Calculator to figure out what paces to aim for on my 200m and 1600m intervals, since I hadn’t run those distances on the track before. Mr. McMillan told me that based on my most recent 5K time I should aim for 45 to 52 seconds for the 200m and 8:24 to 8:39 for the 1600m. I knew from past workouts my goal for the 400m and 800m should be the low 1:50’s and low 4:00’s, respectively.
Going for the record for most links in a blog post here.
So with all that being said, I headed to the track with Barry in tow. We did an 800m warm-up, stretched, and then got to work.
How about that for even splits? I actually did the first half of the workout on my own, while Barry did his own thing. He ran with me from the 1600 on and really helped me hit those times during the last intervals.
I was terrified of the 1600m interval. The last time I did a timed mile was in high school and “Mile Monday” has never been a fond memory of mine. It went well, though. We ran the first 2 laps at a steady pace and then dropped it down a bit from there.
Overall I’m happy with how this workout went. I feel like I ran strong and I’m happy that I came in at or under all of my goal paces. My marathon training has me doing one run a week where the middle miles are “marathon pace” miles. I’m guessing this is kind of like a tempo run, so I’m not sure yet how I will make the track workouts fit. Going to the track will probably be an every other week thing, since it does have a tendency to beat up my calves and shins.
High five for another track workout in the books!
If you played high school sports, did you have “Mile Monday” or an equivalent?
Who else is hitting the track or doing some speed work this week?
What sports did you play as a kid growing up? If you didn’t play any, what activities did you do?
Swimming and soccer as a kid. Field hockey, swimming, lacrosse (only for 2 years), and soccer in high school.