Speed workout in the Provo Canyon today. 12x400 starting at the Canyon Glen Park downhill with 200 m recovery jogging back up after each interval. With a moderate tailwind I was able to average 66.6. The slowest repetion was 67.7, while the fastest was 65.5 (the last). The first two were 65.6 and 65.9. I think there is a bit more downhill on that section and the tailwind was a bit stronger. I do not think there was any tailwind on the slowest repetition - at least I felt no headwind jogging back after doing it. That is the fastest I've ever been able to do this workout, even with tailwind.
During the warmup I jogged with a runner named Gary who is also a computer programmer. I was also fortunate to find a partner for my cooldown - Sam, a UVSC student who is also participating in the ROTC program. In both cases we had a nice chat.
After the cooldown, Sarah came with the kids. I ran another mile with Benjamin in 8:41, while Sarah ran with Jennifer. Then I taught Benjamin to ride a bike while Sarah finished the rest of her run.
With the "always on the run" miles the total mileage was 13.5 for the day.
The form during the intervals felt more relaxed and coherent. I felt that my muscles were working in harmony more than they normally do. I felt I was able to run with a very wide relaxed stride like I did when I was 13.
Here is what I find interesting. Back in Russia they often tested us on a ten-fold broad jump - maximum distance in ten steps from a standing start going from one foot to the other and landing into a pit. They do have correlational chart the data that ties the jump to other metrics. Look for the second table. The Russian term for the the ten-fold jump is Десятерной прыжок. If you see Бег and then a number, it is running that distance in meters.
When I was 13, I ran 60 meters in 9.3 and jumped 21.50 meters. According to the chart, my jump corresponds to 9.0, which is a little faster, but still within the allowable range. I could run 200 in 30.7. The chart does not have a 200, but it does 300. I am fairly confident I could have run 300 in 48.0 at that time. My stride felt relaxed.
Now at the age of 17 I jumped 27.50 meters. However, my best 200 meters was 27.5. This would convert to about 13.9 in 100 meters. The chart shows that with that kind of a jump I ought to be able to sprint much faster - 11.9. My stride was not relaxed any more - it felt very tense. I have not been able to fix it since.
I noticed that there is a way to relax my stride - run with reduced resistance - eg. downhill and with a tailwind. If I train like this for a while, I start getting better results even in regular or high resistance running - flat/still air or uphill/headwind. However, training with high resistance makes me tense up, and although I get stronger, my form gets so bad that I start running slower either with high or low resistance.