October 20th marks the day of my 13th marathon (well, 10th 26.2 if I do not count the 50K's but I have been lumping marathons & ultras in one category). I've been running some high mileage weeks with lots of tempo runs but have not been doing any speed work. at all.
I recruited my friend Dave to do some speed work since I am horrible at pacing on the road or track. I usually do speed work on the treadmill since I can set the paces and just change with a touch to the screen as needed. So,Tuesday morning a few running friends and I hit the road to run some Yasso 800's. My goal for the Detroit marathon is to run a 3:35 or faster. I know I can do it. All my road marathons this year have been 3:33 or faster. There is one thing that has me worried and that is how fatigued my legs will be come race day. I have run some high miles this year. Will my legs still be 3:35 quality? I probably should have focused on speed much sooner too. but hey, I haven't been one to really do things the right way when it comes to my training this year. So better late than never???
Anyway, we were shooting for at least 4 - 5 800's. I needed to run each 800 in 3 minutes & 35 seconds. Remember how I said I am horrible at pacing? Here are my splits for 5-800's:
800 #1: 3:19 - too fast...
800 #2: 3:20 - wow, maybe the first 800 wasn't too fast. let's see if I can maintain this pace for the rest of them
800 #3: 3:25 - ok, I am not in 3:20 shape
800 #4: 3:27 - at least I am getting closer to my pace I was supposed to run
800 #5: 3:27 - yep, definitely started out too fast but at least I stayed consistent with #4
Positive splits. Not how I am supposed to run this work out. Oh well. It felt good. With warm up and cool down I ran 9 miles. I will do this again next week, with a goal of 6-7 800's (you are only supposed to increase 1 each week and do the last work out at least 10 days prior to the race). I also hope to run the correct pace and not go out too fast. And if I do go out too fast, try to maintain the fast pace for each repeat.
I'll report back.... :-)