A.M. Found Jeff on the trail. 10.25 in 1:20:00. We did 4x200. The plan was 34, but I knew it would be closer to 32 as Jeff is an overachiever, but that was OK with me since I wanted to test the effectiveness of my massage and scraping.
The temperature was 27 degrees, and I was wearing pants and a jacket. The first one did not go so well as it was dark, my pants were falling down, my clogs felt loose, and I was not mentally ready to be going that fast. Jeff did around 30, I ended up with 32.3.
On the second one I was physically and mentally ready to go hard. I tucked in my jacket into the pants to keep them from falling down, I focused on staying with Jeff, and I was mentally ready to move my feet in a way that would not invite the clogs to fall off. A slight dorsi-flexion of the foot through most of the off-the-ground phase does the job. It might even be good for the form as it allows a more explosive plantar-flexion once you hit the ground. Some world-class distance runners run like this during the kick and possibly the whole way, but it becomes more apparent during the kick.
However, on the second one we missed the mark and went too far. Jeff had me gapped by about 3 meters when we realized we had been running for 35 seconds and turned off the engines. But even with jogging our 300 split was 57 seconds.
The third one went very well. The sun had come up. I was able to stay within 3 meters of Jeff and finished in 29.7. I was very excited about that. But then on the fourth I stayed within a meter and managed 29.5!
For me this is a very significant development. My 200 meter PR is 27.5 on the track in spikes at the age of 17 when I was doing weights, bounding, and form drills. The trail even in perfect conditions is probably at least a good second slower than the track. Pants, jacket, and below freezing temperatures slow you down some as well. I checked the blog and it appears that 29.5 is an all-time PR for the trail. Previous PR was 30.7.
So I am definitely seeing a top-end speed improvement. This is exciting. You can get into better shape by running more miles and run a better 5 K, but you cannot run a better 200 through any form of "cheating". By "cheating" I mean materializing the existing Quality X through some form of training into a better performance vs actually increasing Quality X. You can also "cheat" by sprint-specific training, but I have not done any of that recently except the occasional test efforts themselves, which would not be enough to have any training effect. So I would say this workout provided more evidence that my massage and scraping has been effective.
Jenny ran 2.5 with Sarah.
P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:44. Julia ran 1.5 with us in 12:40. 0.5 with Joseph in 4:36. 0.25 with Jacob in 2:47.