Speedwork makes me nervous. Especially one on a track with other people and a coach.
The one that I attended yesterday with Coach Cawood of No Boundaries Multisport was no different. A whole bunch of fast fit people, a track, and a coach with a clipboard!
We started out with a mile warmup (the others went 1.5 miles) and a whole lot of drills. High knees, Butt kicks, lunges with high knees, tin soldiers, touch your feet cross-toed, high knees with torso twist, side step minus the music, and more! In fact, the warmup + drills itself took us about 45-50min. Some of the drills were with the caveat that we do not pass coach, else he’d make us do it all over again. And he did!
Then it was off to the track for a timed mile. Everyone lined up in a “waterfall” (something new I learnt – where everyone lines up as close to the start line along the track width and converge to lane 1/2 as soon as possible. Just like the Olympics/World Championships.) and we were off. Correction. The rest of the field were off. I was moving, but not really going anywhere! Within 100 m, I realized that I had gone out too quickly and tried to regulate myself. By lap 2, I had regulated but was holding on to dear life. I was lapped by everyone on lap 3, and gave lap 4 all I had; especially the final 100m.
9:57 was my timed mile.
“Are you ok with it?”, was the question coach asked.
Yes. I am. I know that going out a little too hard cost me a few seconds. But that is pacing as much as racing. And the time gives me a good indication of where I am right now to start training. Which in itself is very heartening, to see that I’m not as bad as I thought I was faring.
And it gives me cause to decide on a target race and time!
In spite of my nervousness, I’m no stranger to the track. Of my 4 marathon seasons, I’ve done track workouts for 3. My first season, I was terribly intimidated and embarrassed. I was convinced that I was doing everything wrong and was ready to sink to the ground if Coach David ever spoke to me. But that first season was a giant leap out of my comfort zone and one of best decisions that I’ve made. I got more comfortable as a runner, and I got to know some wonderful people.
Do you do speed work with a group and a coach or by yourself? What do you prefer?
How has speedwork helped improve you as a runner?
Have you done a time trial of a mile or any similar distance to give yourself a starting point?