Wednesday 4/11, will be the first organized speed workout for the 2018 calendar year. We plan on meeting at 5:45 for dynamic stretching and discussion and start running at 6 p.m. We will meet in Washington Park at the shelter/bathrooms on the south side of the park closest to South Grand Ave.
The workout will be a total of 4 miles in length with a 1 mile warm-up, 2 miles of speed, and a 1 mile cool down. The workout is called the "Light Pole Run". The warm-up will start at the shelter and proceed thru the park to MacArthur Blvd. The "Speed" portion of the run begins there. Runners will complete the 2-mile loop alternating between very fast and very slow. At each light pole on the two mile loop, runners alternate pace switching between very fast and very slow. After completing the 2-mile loop runners will do the cool-down portion of the run heading back from MacArthur to the gathering location at the part shelter/bathrooms.
So what is "very fast"? Its a different speed for everyone and your own thresholds, your current fitness level, and your current goals. This is a pace quicker than normal paced runs. When running very fast it should be uncomfortable to talk. Light poles are only 50-100 meters apart so runners are only running "very fast" for 15-20 seconds at a time.
What is "very slow"? This is also different based on each person's needs. I generally tell athletes to Slow jog, "SLOG", or Walk. If you can prevent completely stopping, breathing and heart rate stay up. Often, the "very slow" is where most of the gain is realized. Lungs expand as you prepare and recover from the mini bursts that you've run. Continuing to move helps prepare the body to start up again more easily.
What do you need to join in?
- Show up! The biggest challenge is the step out the door. Once you are there you will be part of a group and it's easy to join in. Anyone can run with us whether you are part of the SRRC or not. If you can't make it this time, plan and "show up" the next...
- Shoes/Apparel - Come dressed properly. Too many clothes cause overheating, while not enough may not allow you to properly warm up before the speed portion of the run begins. Improper warm up leads to injury and prohibits successful workouts. The most important item of clothing is your shoes. Shoes should be worn for no more than 3-400 miles. They may not look worn out on the tops but by this point the mid-sole has often broken down causing less impact cushioning. New shoes are much cheaper than doctor appointments, especially when you shop local places like The Springfield Running Center.
- A Watch - With light pole segments being so varied in length it's hard to compare one time to the next for each interval, however, as we move to more accurate distances it is nice to have a simple chronograph watch to time segments. GPS watches are great for measuring pace and total distance of runs but a simple Timex is good enough for use on most of our speed workouts.
- Hydration - you may not need GUs or gels, etc., but it is helpful to bring along fluid for after or during the run. Many people use handheld bottles while others may choose to re-hydrate after their run. Either way, plan to bring along your own. We may occasionally provide a large cooler for you to refill your container, but don't depend on it.