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Monday, March 10, 2014

Thanks for the track advice!

Thanks for the feedback on my track post. I think the consensus in the comments was that workouts can't be individualized in a group, and drop out if you can't do it...which sounds good to me. I do wonder if I'm getting the most out of my track time (usually my only speedwork) given that it isn't tailored to me or my upcoming races.
Someone suggested just showing up to the group and doing my own thing, rather than follow the prescribed group workout. Now, I wouldn't normally do that, since I like the support of workout buddies. But right now it's an option, because no one in my group is close enough to my pace to run with. We have a solid group of guys who are faster than me, and a group slower than me (plus large groups significantly slower, part of our beginners group).

I could go faster, and join the fast group...except there is no way I could complete the workouts that way. They're significantly faster.

I could slow down and join the slower group, but that negates the impact of speedwork. This group isn't "slow" by any means, but about 7 min pace for between 5k and 10k. It's a large enough difference that I wouldn't be doing the prescribed workout.

There is one runner who is very close to my pace, and I like partnering with him for workouts. But it almost never happens, because he invariably starts with the fastest group, then drops back! Sometimes we do the second half of the workout together, but usually we're all off by that point (I'm doing 400 jog, he's doing a mile at 2 mile pace, etc).

Anyway. We'll see. It would be nice to actually complete a training plan for a race the way it is written one of these days, and substituting my speedwork is not the way to do it! So maybe I do need some changes!


  1. This brought back memories for me! Years ago I used to do a really big track workout every Tues. We had 3 different groups running the same workout. I was right on the edge between the first group being too fast and the second being too slow. In the end I decided to stick with the second group and get that nice extra bit of recovery between intervals rather than struggle with the first group and get very little rest!

  2. You'll be able to celebrate big time the day you get through the set as it's written. I always feel awesome the days that I complete my speed sessions and have kept a fast consistent pace all the way through.

  3. I have the same problem! I'm between the second and third groups at track; feel like I'm dying by the middle of the set if I try to hang with the second group, and the third group feels like it gives me too much rest or I'm not pushing the pace enough. My goal is to one day be able to hang with the second group...

    What set did you end up doing?

  4. Based on your last post about your track workout - the fact that you were dying during the last 1/3 of it means you were running the first 2/3 of it too fast. Maybe try running with the slower group and seeing how much of a workout you get? Maybe then your split times would be even throughout? That is the goal of speed work generally after all - to have all your split times of the same distance be the same (unless there is some other specified plan). And the last thing you want to do is to get injured, so maybe it would be a good idea to slow the track work pace down a bit...

    1. I was running my real-life, right-now mile pace for the workout in question as directed, not going too fast. It was just too much of a workout. I don't think 3 miles at mile pace with itty bitty rests is a safe or doable workout. None of us finished it!

    2. lol okay then it must have been the work out! That coach needs to slow his roll haha

  5. One thing I do (well, did before I was preggo) is join the faster group, BUT modify. For example...

    Fast group workout is 4 x mile at XYZ pace. The pace is a bit too fast for me, but IS something I can hold for 800. I join in for the first half of each of their repeats. Then when they are finished, I do a few more on my own. Therefore, I am not blowing myself out by doing too fast of a workout, AND I still get a quality workout by adding on. You could do a tempo-ish workout the same way with the slower group. Just a thought...

    And if you don't like that, just do your own workout. You will still feel a sense of team/friendship just by being out there together and maybe doing recovery jogs together.

  6. I remember in high school, on the rare occasion when our track coach couldn't make practice (usually because of some state rule, I think?), he would give one of the girls a workout. One time, he just gave paces and the whole (varsity) team was to follow it. As one of, if not the, slowest members on the team, it was impossible! I think we were supposed to run 70-75's for 400's, which I'd never done once in my life let along repeatedly. Luckily it was really fast for even our state-qualified sprinter, so we bagged the whole workout and did our own thing.