Ted joined me for my speed workout this morning. This workout was meant to be unpleasant. I do not understand the physiology behind it, but I know from experience that it brings great results. Something happens to the mind and body, and I start running better on every distance from 5 K to the marathon. I think running fast enough to make it properly unpleasant is the key.
Due to the lack of time we did not go to the Provo Canyon today, and did it near my house on the Provo River Trail instead. So it was all flat compared to the Provo Canyon, only occasional mild grade. Warm-up, then 5x400 with 200 rest, very nice slow jog, alternating directions. 71.5 - 71.8 - 70.5 - 71.5 - 69.8. HR hit 160 at the end of the interval and was back down to 100 at the end of the recovery at first, then it became 110 on the later intervals. I thought this stretch was a slight downhill the other way, but apparently not - steady 0.5 - 1.0 difference both for me and for Ted as we changed the direction. There was no noticeable wind going either way.
Then a jog to the start of the tempo run. We did not have an official 3 mile mark, and did not feel like doing a 180 at 2.5, so we just went by the GPS for the last 0.5. First mile in 5:25, next 0.5 in 2:42. HR got up to 160. Then started losing it a bit - 2:45, 5:27 for the mile. Next 0.5 in 2:46, 13:38 at 2.5. I would have been slower, but I noticed HR dropped to 158, and pressed harder to bring it back up to 160. I was happy that I could run 5:32 pace keeping HR under 160, but not happy about struggling to hold it. However, there was a positive development. As I put in more effort, the quads tensed up. This usually means I am about to start running slower than 5:40. But this time I was able to just keep running with tense quads and hold the pace. I even sped up on the last 0.5 hitting it in 2:42. 16:20 for the 3 miles.
Some more jogging, and now the final part of the workout. Another 5x400 session. We were running out of time, so we just did it coming back to Geneva Road, which is a subtle uphill most of the way, and there is one quarter where it is not so subtle. 72.3 - 73.8 (through the parking lot) - 72.1 - 73.4 (non-subtle uphill) - 69.0. It felt good to be done.
Did a long cool-down. Total of 14.15 miles for the workout. Ran with the kids in the evening.