I have one last track session to get fast enough to PR at Monday's 5-K -- and to crush Mike's good humor. Tonight is my final tune up for the Great Funny-Viper Challenge.
I have been faithful in my weekly 800-meter repeats, but my fastest average pace was 7:35 per mile, which projects to a 23:34 5-K. That is not fast enough.
My PR is 23:28. And although Mike is recovering from an injury, I refuse to believe he can't come close to his most recent 5-K time of 23:08, especially if he is willing to cross the puke threshold as he says he is ready to do.
I know I have a mileage advantage, but I'm starting to doubt my speed training.
Heretofore, I have used Yasso 800s for speed training. However, in the June issue of Running Times, Joe Rubio writes in "Train Like a Miler, Race Like a Pro" that short, fast repeats are beneficial for runners of any distance. [Drunkard's note: It's not online yet, or I'm too cockeyed to see it.]
For one workout, Rubio suggests six to 12 400-meter repeats at 15-40 seconds faster than 5-K pace with 200 to 400-meter recover jogs. The benefit of the shorter, faster repeats is increased ability to tolerate higher levels of lactic acid; improved speed, form and efficiency; and increased cardiac output through an increase in stroke volume, which Rubio writes is the most important takeaway for a distance runner.
Coincidentally, the Grand Idiot wrote about 400s in concordance with his second "Summer of Speed." I hate to take cues from an idiot, but the fact is that idiot is a fuck of a lot faster than I am. Perhaps these 400s have merit.
Therefore, for my final speed session, I will do what the running gurus always say not to do: I'm going to change my training plan right before the race. Instead of six repeats of 800-meters, I will shoot for eight repeats of 400 meters at 6:55-7:20 pace (1:43-1:49 per interval). Suppose that will be enough?
Next time on Team BHI: Viper's training injury.