As I’ve said in a previous post, Jerry is challenging me this cycle to step my times down quicker than I ever have before – to repeat and goal race times that I NEVER thought might be possible (or at least so quickly). Today’s workout was the first fast workout at the next step down in times.

Goal: 6x1000m in 3:15-3:17. WOW. Then 4x400, as fast as possible.
Actual: 3:24, 3:21, 3:19, 3:21, 3:19, 3:32 (completely fell apart!) = average of 3:22 for all 6, averaged 3:20 through first 5
The 400s were ugly. I don’t know if there was much of a pace change between the 400s and 1000s. Oops.

So, I wasn’t quite able to hit the new times. BUT, I’m proud of myself. With each repeat, I imagined 3:17. I drove forward with EVERYTHING I had, asking myself how badly I wanted this. I also reflected for a little while how lucky I was to be out, pounding my body – just a week ago, I was pretty concerned about a quad (that legitimately could have taken me out for a while if it weren’t for fast, smart treatment!).

I also noticed that I felt bigger (and with that inefficient, not able to move as fluidly). I let myself go a little bit while I was injured (waaay too easy to do…I should be better than that!). Funny how I notice a 2-3 lb weight gain now. But, now I’m back on track & know I need to work to get back to where I need to be! [Aside: I bought over $20 worth of veggies and fruit today :) Biggest cart of good-for-you-food yet!!]

After I finished I went back to my log to compare today to where I’ve been at in previous workouts. I was pretty impressed to find how much I’ve improved.

This cycle:
11/1 (today) 3:24, 3:21, 3:19, 3:21, 3:19, 3:32 = average of 3:22 for 6, averaged 3:20 through first 5
9/20 3:24, 3:21, 3:21, 3:22, 3:27. Average of 3:23 for the 5.
9/13 3:34, 3:23, 3:19 (downhill), 3:20, 3:15, 3:26 = average of average of 3:22 for 6, average of 3:20 without first repeat
9/2 averaged 3:23 average (5 reps) (~110 days before the Trials)
8/10 averaged 3:33 or so (6 reps)

Before Grandma’s:
3/5: 3:23.3 average. 5x1000 (3:27, 3:23 for next 4) (~110 days before Grandma's)

AND just 1 short year ago!
11/7/2010: 3:36.3 average. 6x1000s. 3:37, 3:37, 3:34, 3:38, 3:37, 3:35. Log entry: “Hard! Great workout!”

So, as you can see, the time drops this cycle have been much more subtle. I think I’ve hit a slight plateau with the VO2 max times lately, but I'm not worried about it. Usually that follows with a small break through in MP and tempo paces, and then a VO2 max break through shortly follows. Fun to have been doing this for over a year to be able to recognize patterns – and also to see the progress I’ve made!

3:17 next time, I KNOW it :) (Although... I have to wait until December 13th to try!!!)

Nichole Porath

Nichole is a blogger, elite level runner, and coach. She ran professionally for Brooks for two years after qualifying for the 2012 US Olympic Marathon Trials. During that time she founded TNC endurance, where she coaches and motivationally speaks to organizations large and small. This blog details her rise to national-level racing, and continues to follow her as she gets back into racing after starting a family. Read on, friends!

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