For the week: 2:36 15.86 miles
So I experienced a real, substantive improvement, which I think can be pretty much attributed to the expectation put there by the coach.* He said I should be running the 1000s in around 3:20, which I pretty much knew would be insane if not impossible (absent threat of bodily harm or death). He asked me how long I was running 1000s. I scrambled through the Garmin, since I don’t think in terms of times usually. I rattled off the numbers. He just shook his head. “You’re wasting your time.” Ouch, but okay.
So today I ran 5 x 1000 knowing I would run hard, but probably not push myself into the suggested “state of shock,” as I’m pretty sure the remaining laps would be useless if I went into shock in the first one. I immediately “knew” I couldn’t keep the pace of the first lap. And before I had even started I had discounted the idea of running 8 x 1000, as suggested, as I’m pretty sure the pace would degenerate pretty rapidly, as it did on my final lap here.
Still, there’s just no denying the psychological component here. I did not gain massive amounts of fitness in the last week. If anything, I was a little sore from the weekend. But today’s final, slowest lap was a full 8 seconds faster than my first, fastest lap last week. And the funny thing is, I finished today’s workout slightly disappointed, knowing I could work harder. Looking at the numbers at home I was astonished. In theory, it suggests I could run a 19:30 5k — not something I’d imagined possible at this point. Sure, it’s just a time trial, but there it is.
[*Okay, it does occur that I ran this on asphalt, which I did not last week, and probably accounts for a significant part of the difference in times. Still.]
(I happen to be re-reading Run: The Mind-Body Method of Running By Feel by Matt Fitzgerald, which has a lot of good stuff about the psychology of running — in short, recommended.)
The numbers follow, with last week’s lap results in parentheses:
today: 19:37 3.11 miles 6:19 min/mile
last week: 21:31 3.11 miles 6:56 min/mile
lap 1 3:35 5:47 min/mile (4:15, 6:52 pace)
lap 2 3:54 6:17 min/mile (4:26, 7:11 pace)
lap 3 3:58 6:25 min/mile (4:37, 7:28 pace)
lap 4 4:00 6:27 min/mile (4:38, 7:29 pace)
lap 5 4:08 6:40 min/mile (4:41, 7:34 pace)