10 x 400s – 2:00 descend 1-10

This morning I was driving Joseph Ekuom (the Kenyan at the mile) back to the airport in St. Louis.  I kept trying to get information about his training.  He said that when he gets back to New York this evening his coach is going to have him do a speed workout.  I asked him what he was doing and he said he was doing 15 quarters.  I thought to myself, “that’s practically what we’re doing”.  I asked him what his times would be and how much rest.  He said he would start out at 65 seconds and get faster down to about 58 seconds for each quarter.  He said his rest would be 40 seconds between each one.  Ouch.

OK.  So, we’re not Kenyans.    It was a perfect day to be running on the track (at least after you climb the fence).  We had the marathoners from a couple of weeks ago show up with us (Greg, Tracy and Greg) and another High Schooler with Jeff.  The turnout was awesome.  It could have been the most we’ve ever had.  I would guess 18 runners.

The workout was simple on paper, but tough to execute properly (i.e. not lose your breakfast on the track).  The workout was 10 quarters on the 2:00 interval.  We’ve done this workout many times before, but we’ve never done 10 of them.  Terry brought the hardybreed pace chart to let everyone see their pace.  The goal time for each quarter was your 5K pace for a 400 minus 5 seconds.  When you do the math like that it actually slows you down to something manageable.  Normally during that workout we would be redlined the entire time.  Each quarter an epic torment.  But when you run controlled the first half, it allows you to focus on pace and be uncomfortable, but not at your limit.  It provides a huge psychological boost.

The first 400 was a little fast but then Bill took up the pace making and we hit the next 3 on perfect 79-80 second pace.  The pace quickened shortly after halfway and we progressively got faster.  It was a smart way to run that workout.  It left me tired, but not exhausted.  My splits were 78, 80, 79, 80, 80, 78, 77, 77, 76, 74.  It was a very solid workout.  I could see us doing 12 of those sometime in August.

Next week… ???