Stop Pre

Today was one of those monumental moments in running, especially for this newbie. This was….drumroll….my first track workout. Actually it was Rob’s too. We have NEVER done a track workout. Heck I commit another running faux pas, I don’t do hill training either. I know it…that’s not good. I plan to fix that soon.

So back to the track workout. Our friend and fastie Ryan was willing to meet us two newbies at our college track for a good beating. First a warm up, 2 Miles around the outside of campus and through the neighborhoods and past literally the meanest two Jack Russel Terriers ever. I think the gates of hell aren’t being guarded with these little guys protecting someone’s back yard.

Then it was to the track. For me this was like learning to tie shoes, everything was new and I needed to hear in great detail what to do. First the workout

16 x 200M (4 @ 65% effort, 4 @ 90% effort , 8 @95% effort) with jogs in between.

Ryan explained the markers to use to know where 200Ms would be (the track all the way around is 400M). In case you are interested, I did a quick google and found some track etiquette if you are a newbie like me.

We would run each interval hit lap and then jog back to the starting line of where we were. Rob is much faster than me so he went on ahead to do his alone. Ryan stuck with me to help me get the hang of the pacing.

So how do I know what 65% effort is on this tiny stretch of track AND how do I make sure to not overdo it to early so that I can make it through all 16 of these suckers. Plus Ryan said the last four were to be progressively better.

First, Ryan had already looked up based on my VDOT as used by Jack Daniel’s formula and this put me at a 43 – 46 sec range for 200M.

This was going to be interesting. I knew that all my bad habits would be there for critiquing. I want the feedback and I want to do things better, but I knew it had to look like an awful mess, too many things to comment on I’m sure. My worry to perform and about my form were apparent and I was tense at first. Good thing there are warm up intervals! During the warm up intervals I did say “is this my Prefontaine moment?”. It was intoxicating (in a running sense) to be on the track for the first time, the material of the track the environment just makes me want to try to run as fast as possible at least in my mind. 🙂

1 – 52 secs

2 – 55 secs

3 – 50 secs

4 – 49 secs

Ryan is very good at knowing the pace we were at even on that short of a distance and would say things like “good”, “no too much”, “relax your arms”, “more turnover”. The instant feedback was so helpful. He wouldn’t let me go to quickly on the warm ups, thank goodness because the stressful intervals were next.

As we moved to the higher effort intervals I would say the 90%s were the hardest for me this time. It’s physically hard and then mentally you know you have a lot more left to do. After each one I wanted to gasp and chat about how it felt, what I could do differently and Ryan would say “no talking, breathe and jog!” Not talking is SO hard! I would like to recount every second on that 200M! 🙂

5 – 44 secs

6 – 47 secs

7 – 47 secs

8 – 47 secs

95%s was different that it was get it there…3 more, 2 more, 1 more, thank God that’s over! 95%s the only pressure was Ryan saying that each of the last four had to be progressively better. Yeah, no pressure, lol! 🙂

10 – 47 secs

11 – 44 secs

12 – 45 secs

13 – 43 secs

14 – 44 secs

15 – 43 secs

16 – 42 secs

17 – 41 secs

18 – 40 secs

19 – 38 secs

That last one, I thought my brain melted in my skull. I think I completely forgot the English language for a second. I was reduced to grunting for water. That was a good beating!

Ahem…you notice something? 19 not 16. So when we started out and we got into the 90% efforts I was so delirious I couldn’t figure out what lap we were on, let alone how to use my watch to figure it out. Ryan asked me what number we were on and I said, “I can’t think. I thought you were here to do the thinking.” Looks like I got a few extra warm up intervals in the beginning OR I don’t know how to hit lap or something. I looked at the data over and over and it’s there in alternating run, jog, run, jog with 19 of them being intervals. Hmm…whatever. The important thing is that I was able to do the last four progressively faster AND I finished with a 38, which I have no idea what that really means other than Ryan saying that was a good effort. 🙂 He says he can see potential in me and Rob and that’s all I needed to hear! We finished up with a 1.5 Mile cool down and I shuffled my sorry butt the whole way. My Garmin shows 7.74 Miles total, but the time isn’t really accurate as I didn’t hit stop after the last interval as my brain had melted and fallen out.

Ryan has offered to continue to help us train with suggested quality speed training and also hook up with Rob for some good long runs when we get into marathon training to get his pacing down. Thanks Ryan for all the support! Your patience and instruction was so helpful, we really appreciate it!

It’s funny how much I could learn from one run! That was a huge adventure for me and I can’t wait to try that again! And I can’t wait to see what I learn about hill training! Woo hoo!!

17 thoughts on “Stop Pre

  1. Really!? You’ve never done a track set?? You’re a speedster already and you’re going to be absolutely smokin’ if you start doing track workouts on a regular basis! Awesome!!


  2. Great job on the track workout! I have often gotten confused on the track as to what lap I am on or how many intervals I have done!! I am sure running on the track will help you to get even faster! The VDOT link was pretty cool – thanks for sharing it!


  3. Way to go out there on the track. I did track workouts when I was training at the intermediate level to PR at the Columbus 1/2 Marathon last year (which I did!!) and I always lost count of my laps!!


    1. Good to know I’m not the only one! Maybe I can start saying the lap # out loud to help remember. After that many my brain couldn’t process a thing.


  4. You’ve done such intense training (in a relatively short amount of time) to get where you are with your marathons. It’s weird to see you’ve never done track workouts. Great effort!

    Lap counting is tricky. You wouldn’t believe how often it gets screwed up at track meets, even when they have people dedicated to counting the laps. Better too much than too little right 🙂


  5. I think you have picked the perfect time to intro track work into your running. You have spent a few cycles increasing mileage and I agree with runblondie you have gotten fast as heck without track (in my opinion one reason is the number of races you did early on).

    Keep your knees in good shape and have a blast on the track. 🙂


  6. Nice track workouts!! i used to do them ALL the time in HS… not sense though. the track and i are still fighting from that last attempt 5 years ago! LOL


  7. So glad to hear that you had such a great experience for your first track workout! I was going to start doing some interval work this week, and after looking at the VDOT link you posted, I have a better idea of the pace I should be running. Thanks for sharing the link, and I hope that you have many more enjoyable days at the track!


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