Off on the right foot

Greetings from Minnesota! Overcast, windy, and about 28 degrees describes the weather here today in the gopher state. Or the land of 10,000 lakes. Or the northstar state – whichever you prefer.

So apparently my woeful diatribe last night about being unable to get up early to run was just the jolt I needed to get going this morning.

Whether that jolt lasts remains to be seen.

But this morning I was up and stirring sufficiently early. I wanted to do some speedwork and cover roughly 5 miles.

Treadmill was the plan, and I’d done some Internet research plus looked at McMillan to try and figure out what I should be running.

For those familiar with McMillan, would you say I’m on the right track to use the middle distance speedwork paces? I’m mostly ignoring the sprint paces, and I think I’ll try to stay within the range of mid distance paces as long as I can pull them off.

I had arrived at a plan of 6 x 400 meters @ 7:19. I really wasn’t sure how much recovery, but once I got going on the moving belt I decided on .2 miles at a pace of 9:40 – 10:00.

My thoughts about treadmill speedwork are two-fold. On one hand, I feel like it’s 1/2 cheating because the pace stays steady for you. All you have to do is crank it up and hang on.

On the other hand, treadmills keep you honest. You can’t slack on the pace, and you know exactly if you’ve hit your target.

Good or bad, winter speedwork in Minnesota is most feasible on a treadmill. At least compared to an icy outdoor track. I digress.

After a 1 mile warm-up I started the 400s. Amazingly enough, I kept clicking them off at 7:19. One after the other.

After number 6 I did another quick recovery before doing an 800 at goal 1/2 marathon pace, about 9:05. Then I had almost a mile left to cool down and arrive at 5 miles for the morning.

I felt invigorated and vindicated. Tired, but not exhausted. I can do this training thing. I just know it.

I have to give a quick shout out to Jena over at Life is Beachy Keen

Her post tonight about speedwork was Deja Vu for me, as she’s busy running 400s and trying to figure out McMillan and pacing too. I hope I didn’t scare her with my mammoth comment on her post!

Thanks everyone for all your comments yesterday.

Any thoughts tonight? Am I deciphering McMillan correctly and using the right paces? Am I recovering too long? Or short? Do you think I’m nuts and over thinking all this ?

About Lisa

Hi, I'm Lisa. Dairy farmer's wife and Minnesotan to the core, I write about rural farm life, running down country roads, and the food, faith, and family that bind everything together. Follow along on my journey.
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2 Responses to Off on the right foot

  1. Jena says:

    Great workout!

    It’s funny that we did the same workout – except your intervals were faster. I have an e-mail out to the running group leader to get his thoughts on what the heck I should be doing.

    I must say that I’m thankful that I don’t have to deal with ice & snow ..however, it was pretty hot on my run today! I think the high today was in the 80s, and i’m guessing it was in the 70’s during my run. yuck.

  2. Heidi Nicole says:

    I just discovered the McMillan site and honestly, its a life saver! I had no idea where I stood with my long runs for marathon training and after your reply about this site I got to looking at it…it gave me the confidence boost I needed to convince myself a sub 4:30 isn’t completely unattainable if I get my act together!

    When we do speed work with my running group on Wednesday we do an out and back loop for 100 or 200 meters so our hard run and recovery run are the same distance – although that just might be out of convenience?!. As I mentioned on Jena’s post I think I’m doing my recovery runs too fast but once I get the momentum and blood rushing it was hard to slow down without stopping…a treadmill would definitely be helpful that way!

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