16 August 2011

Key Run #1- Track Repeats

Tuesdays are my track running day- my favorite spot to do this is down at the local middle school track.  I am usually the only person running and there is almost always a soccer practice going on in the middle so I can have something to watch while I run around the track over and over and over!  The purpose of this run is to improve my max VO2, running speed and running economy.  Maximal oxygen consumption (max VO2) is a measure of the ability of an athlete to produce energy aerobically- the higher your max VO2 is, the faster you can run.  Running economy is the amount of oxygen being consumed relative to the runner's body weight and the speed at which the runner is traveling.

What Niko does while I run!
Round and round I go!
Each week the track repeats are a little bit different, which is nice.  On my training plan for today was a 10-20 minute warm up, 6x800 meter repeats with 90 second rest intervals, then a 10 minute cool down.  There are multiple charts throughout the book that tell you what pace to run at, and for an 800 meter track repeat the magic number for me is 3:55.  Which is about a 7:50 per mile pace- manageable but fast.  These numbers are based off of your most recent race time (whatever distance that may be).  I used a combination of my last half marathon (2:04) and my last 5K (25:02) times and met somewhere in the middle at an even 26:00 minute pace on the charts.  It seems to be working just fine, I can always adjust one way or the other later if necessary.

Can you see me?  Waaaayyyy over on the other side? 
Usually I jog to the track for my warm up but today I had the kids with me so we drove down.  Which means I had to do my warm up and cool down around the track as well which is a bit tedious, but oh well.  Devan brought her bike and rode around with me most of the laps, which is fun.  I also had her snap a few photos for me, she took that job very serious and took close to 100 pictures.  Holy cow!  Anyways, after my warm up I began my 800 meter repeats (2 laps- or a half mile).  The first couple were fairly easy, the third one was kind of rough.  I was trying to figure out how I could steal Devan's bike from her and missed my goal time by 7 seconds.  Oops. 

My awesome pacer!
I was a tad bit thirsty!
During my last repeat I asked Devan to help pace me- I was hot and tired and needed something to focus on.  I asked her to stay 2 lanes over, just in front of me like I was chasing her, and she did a great job- I nailed it!  Whew, track repeats are tough.  I love them.  I hate them.  I love them best when they are DONE!  Here is a breakdown of my 6 repeats (supposed to be 3:55):

#1- 3:50
#2- 3:53
#3- 4:02 (oops)
#4- 3:54
#5- 3:53
#6- 3:50

A quick stretch session before heading home
Total run for the day was 5 miles in 43:25 seconds for an overall pace of 8:38.  Sweet, I feel my max VO2 improving as I type this!  One thing about track workouts- they sure make my shoes dirty!!

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