Quarters X Six

The game plan was to do six downhill quarters in order to get used to running fast.  The idea is that the more you spend at a top end pace, the more your body learns to adapt to that pace and ultimately the more natural it feels.  It’s like trying to race the 100 meter dash for the first time with little or no practice.  It feels completely chaotic.  Your motions are random and very inefficient.  The more you do those exercises, the more your body learns to run at that pace.  Today really proved that point for most of us, because it felt completely chaotic to run that pace.  There was nothing smooth or efficient about the workout.

We started at the “5Q” mark in the Park just past the entrance on MacArthur.  The mark is from the Women’s Distance Festival 2 Miler.  We ran the course backwards (down the hill) to the “1 Mile” mark.  The group was the largest we’ve had on an early season Tuesday workout (I think we had eleven).  We knew the pace would be fast, but the first quarter seemed really fast and a little chaotic.  I finished in 73.  The group finished pretty much together (as we did most of the workout) and we headed back up towards the start.  The second seemed jut as crazy as far as the pace goes.  It just seemed like the legs couldn’t keep up with the pace that we asked of them.  I finished in 72.  Back up the hill for another.  The third started out feeling a little more relaxed and settled with an established rhythm.  Just when the hill levels out Terry comes flying by looking very smooth.  It seems he had developed that “extra” gear no one else had.  Some of us tried to respond and finished with a 67.  Back up the hill.  During the forth one, the pace had become a little more natural and the pace always reflected it.  We finished again in 67.  The fifth and sixth were run progressively faster and we finished in 66 & 65.  By the end, my legs could feel the effort and the rust that had developed over the Winter was slowly being polished off.  It was a great workout for this point in the Season, and I’m sure we’ll all feel it over the next few days.

Next week is traditionally our 3 Mile course.  In the last couple years we’ve turned it into a tempo run, a time trial, a progressive run, etc.  Any thoughts?  If you don’t make a suggestion, you can’t complain at the start line.