Friday, May 4, 2012

Slow Jimmy's - Round 1

Hello Runners!
Today was Slow Jimmy's day.  What, you may ask, are Slow Jimmy's?  Slow Jimmy's are an interval workout, very similar to quarters.  The difference between the two?  Quarters are typically run with a rest period of 60-90 sec between each interval while Slow Jimmy's are quarters with continuous running between intervals, a "recovery" lap (i.e. 400m fast, 400m slow, 400m fast, 400m slow, etc.)  I love Slow Jimmy's because they force your body to recover whilst still running, albeit a slow jog between intervals.  Today I ran one set of 4 Slow Jimmy's throwing in a 5th at the very end, just for kicks!  

Today's weather was quite different from Wednesday.  It was overcast, only about 55 degrees and 15-18mph winds.  As I said earlier, fighting through a strong wind during a timed, speed workout sucks.  Today was no different.  Pushing through the wind was brutal.  The silver lining of fighting through the wind on a tough workout: when you run well, you finish the workout knowing that a day like today will only make you a faster, stronger runner. 

Workout run-down:
~2 mile warm-up (8 min/mile).
4x400m @ 80sec/lap with 400m recovery jog (about 2min/lap) between each interval.  
Final splits: 82, 79, 78, 77
800m recovery with a final 400m interval - this time all out.  I ended up running my last quarter in 72 sec. 
~1.5 mile cool-down.
Total: 6 miles

My legs felt pretty strong today.  I really had to put my head down and grind it out on the backstretch of the track, running into the wind.  When I turned onto the homestretch I just tried to maintain pace and let myself "glide" into the finish.  Ok, the last three sentences may make it seem as though intervals are easy, but I assure you, they're NOT.  My the end of each interval my legs are burning and cardiovascularly speaking, I was sucking wind after each interval too.  Intervals are hard.  period.  

Interval workouts aren't just about speed, but about recovery too.  How quickly does your body recover after each interval?  Today I recovered quickly after the 1st quarter but by the end of the 3rd quarter it took me nearly an entire lap to recover, just in time to run my final quarter.  Throughout my interval workouts, I will monitor how quickly I recover between each interval.  After my 4th quarter I did two slow, easy laps around the track before giving it my all for one last 400.  I really wanted to do this just to see where my max speed is.  Turns out, my max speed is 4:48 mile pace, or a 72 sec. quarter.  It was refreshing to know that I can at least do 400m under 5 minute pace!

Finally, I should mention two more things before I sign off tonight.  
#1:  Even though this blog will track my progress towards breaking a 5 minute mile, my primary focus right now is the Green Bay half marathon in 2 weeks.  Therefore, my workouts will still focus on half marathons and not the mile.  Have patience, my friends.  
#2:  I think I'm going to buy a new pair of shoes for the half marathon.  Actually, I AM going to buy a new pair of shoes for the race.  Here they are, the Asics Gel Hyperspeed.  I have to buy them online because no local store carry them.  I generally like to try on shoes before I purchase them, but in this case I'm just going to have to hope they fit well.  Keepin' my fingers crossed!

That's all for tonight, tomorrow is a planned long run (13-14 miles) with my friend Jay.  Good night and good luck... running, that is!


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