3 miles… progressive

The workout is set: We are running a 3 mile paced run of progressively faster mile splits.  The plan is to run 6:20, 6:10, 6:00.  The first mile should feel slow and controlled.  We should noticeably pick up the pace at the mile mark and settle in.  The last mile should feel uncomfortable but not out of control.  Obviously, adjust the times accordingly as needed.  Use the half mile marks to adjust your pace and make sure you hit the prescribed splits as planned.

Usual time, usual place.  See you on the road.

We had another large group of guys (I can say that because Tracy wasn’t there) and I’m sure the weather had much to do about it.  We spent a little extra time going over the course and figuring out what splits people wanted to hit.  We finally bit the bullet and rolled across the starting line.  Watches started and we were off.  The problem with setting early season pace goals, is that they are tough to hit.  Once we were up to speed it was a little worrisome deciphering how fast we were going.  Get out too fast and you have to adjust the entire workout around where you currently are and what you actually can run to still pick up the pace in those two later miles.  Too slow, and you end up panicking and playing catch-up because you missed the target.  We strung out a bit along the North stretch though the park.  I was next to Bill and Alex, while Dave, Terry and Jordan Patterson were a few seconds ahead.  I actually had no idea what pace we were running.  I thought at one point about asking Bill what he thought, but decided instead to see at the half mile.  2:58.  Do the math.  We were way too fast.  Bill quickly pointed out that most of that half is downhill.  We continued on past the Carillon and through the mile in 6:02.  (ouch)  OK, it was time to mentally “adjust” the workout.  I wish I could pull a Bill or a Dave and just drop 10 seconds the next mile and then finish the last in a controlled 5:40, but it wasn’t happening.  Not today.  We pressed on.  The second mile was 5:55, which surprised me.  It was good to at least hold the workout together to that point.  Then Bill left me (or rather, continued the workout) and I faded a bit.  The last mile was a 6:09.  I wasn’t totally spent.  But it would have been nice to have stuck to the plan.

It seemed everyone felt stronger than they did on the same course for the President’s Day 5 k.  10 weeks of speedwork will have that affect.

Next week should be some sort of hill workout.  Last month we did the Octopus.  Suggestions?