Saturday, June 02, 2012

Mile Practice Will Make for a Perfect Day

In a community that is all about gnarly trail runs in the summer months, track doesn't get much interest or much respect. However, June is my month for running fast and if we had another month with track races I'd do those too.

I'm doing one track workout a week, usually alternating between 5K pace work and mile training. Weather's been pretty good, if not a little on the cool side for this time of year, and due to a busy work week I had to postpone my training until late Friday afternoon. Talk about timing issues. Dark clouds built up and by the time I got to Lathrop's track the wind had kicked up to 10 - 20 mph. I shortened my warm up to 15 or 20 min including some strides that I didn't time. Just a few minutes before starting the rain came. I wanted to just call it a day, but knowing that I had a team run with the kids on Saturday morning knew this was it for this week. Also thought of Roger Bannister's stupendous 3:59.4 nearly six decades ago at Iffley Road Track. That was also on a blustery-rainy afternoon.

Felt ready to go, although I had no Chris Chataway to lead the workout. No one there but a lone jogger in lane 2.

No sub 4, or even sub 5, attempted here. I wanted to do something between 800-1000 m, followed by some shorter reps (400s and 300s) to total about 2000 m, all at race pace.

Slipped off my warm ups in the blustery now wet and 50 degree chill, jogged into the start area and just ran. 75, 76 for 2:31.6 at 800. I was tying up over the last 50, and decided to call it at the 800 rather than run tight and sloppy for another 100 or 200 m. Jogged 400 in 2:15 and hit 400 in 76. Not bad, but that also wasn't comfortable. The rain kept coming down but I noticed the wind was not as strong, no more than 5-10 mph, and only felt it on the far curve between the 220 m to about 300 m (for one lap). Another 2:15 and ran fast lap, alternating heel running and getting up on my toes--getting a longer stride, while keeping the cadence the same. 75.

Jogged 300 and ran 300 in 54.8, using the less windy section of the track. Jogged 300 and again, focused on keeping knees high and a good turnover. 54:3.

Did a quick cool down and done for the day.

The 5 minute mile used to be easy, and while I haven't done it every year through my 40s (I think I blogged this some years back) I haven't run under 5 as a 50 year old; in fact the last time was Flint Hills Mile at 48. I had a good day and ran 4:54.

So while a fast 5000 on June 14 and Midnight Sun Run are high on my priority list this month, a sub 5 minute mile may just be the biggest goal of the year, although sub 1:20 half later in the summer is definitely the equivalent. In fact those time would make some nice bookends.

Will have two chances, next week at the all comer's track meet and then again at Flint Hills. Sure would be nice to have little pacing help--I always end up in no man's land.


Blogger Geoffrey said...

Can you describe the Allcomers track meet, Roger? (Is there a track mile race and a track 5K?) I've enjoyed your blog posts these last few months and will be rooting for your sub-five-minute mile this summer. See you at the Midnight Sun Run, if not before.

Geoffrey Ames

1:58 PM  
Blogger Roger said...

Hi Geoff, good to hear from you. The all comers meets are very very low key. Usually between only 5 and 10 people show up. You pick your event and do a warm up, line up, and go. Usually the order is something like 100, mile, 400, 800, 200, 5K/3K. Trying to get a bunch of the local fast guys to run (15s?) 16s and 17s for next week's (14th) race.

5:01 PM  
Blogger Geoffrey said...

Hi, Roger--thanks for the information on the all comers meets... A track 5K sounds like more fun than the mis-measured Mosquito Meander. I'm not in your class (19:00 would be more than fine), but never mind that. I love all the races here, and your descriptions bring them to life.

5:35 PM  
Blogger Roger said...

Geoff, hope you can make it this week and next! The little meets are fun and a great workout.

10:47 AM  

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