Total time of 52:00
TLDR: 5 x 400 w/200 recovery, except 400 recovery after the 4th rep. Rep times of 1:11, 1:11, 1:12, 1:12, 1:14. Recovery times of 1:11, 1:10, 1:12, 2:17.
Full Version: As I stated on Saturday, I have felt like I need to work on my speed over shorter distances (400-mile), so today I decided to run a workout aimed at doing that. I ran to the track at the middle school in order to run 400 repeats. The track is made of asphalt and was covered in leaves and branches on the back stretch, so it isn't the fastest track around here to run on, but it is the only track within a short running distance of my house so I decided it was good enough. I have also wondered if the track measurement is actually 1/4 mile instead of 400m because of the non-traditional make-up of the track, and some course tool estimates, in addition to my own estimates running on it on an easy run a while back. Basically, my point is that I don't know for sure if I was running 400's or some other distance that is very close to 400m.
My goal for the workout was to try and hit 1:15 pace per repeat. I was a little worried that this would be unsustainable so I set two goals for myself. The basic goal was to run a minimum of 4 repeats. If I started to struggle I would end the workout at whatever point after 4 repeats where I was unable to maintain pace to a reasonable degree. The optimal goal was for me to run 8 repeats. My suspicion was that I would end up running somewhere between 4-8 repeats but not actually hit either endpoint. I decided to run 200m recovery because I wanted an active recovery and I thought that 400m would be too long, while 200m was pretty convenient in terms of knowing where my start and end points were (no marks on the track itself, but there were big cracks in the pavement at the approximate 200m and 400m marks).
After I got to the park near the track I first went to the bathroom and then ran a lap on the track with a 100m surge to try and figure out what effort to run at to hit 1:15 400 pace. Once I started the workout I used a running clock so I don't have exact splits, but I started the first 400 repeat at the 15:20 mark of the run. I ended up starting out too fast at the beginning of the first 400, but it didn't seem abnormally hard and I felt relaxed so I ended up deciding to just keep that effort up. I finished the first rep in 1:11, followed by an equal recovery of 1:11. The second rep also felt good, and I finished it in 1:11 again (1:10 recovery). Starting with the third rep things started to feel hard and I finished this rep in 1:12 (1:12 recovery). The fourth rep felt much harder, but I was happy that I was able to run another 1:12.
At this point I knew that a major slow down was coming for any additional reps, so I decided to run a 400m recovery with the goal of trying to run 2 more reps afterwards. This recovery ended up lasting 2:17 (1:14, 1:03 for the 200m segments). Unfortunately my legs still felt pretty fatigued at the start of this rep, however I was pleased that I was able to keep up a solid pace for the first 200m (approx 35.5 seconds). Over the last 200m the wheels started to fall off and I struggled to maintain focus. I ended up finishing the fifth rep in 1:14 (approx. 38.5 for the last 200m). At this point I didn't feel like running any additional reps would be beneficial, so I ran my final cooldown 200m in 1:18 to get back to the start line and I ended the workout, having run approx. 2 miles total (counting recovery) in 13:08.
At this point I still had over 23.5 minutes left in my run, so I just ran easy, winding around some of the streets of Alpine until I finished the run at the house in 52:00. My legs still felt fatigued even while running close to 8:00 pace at the end of the run (I timed the last 0.5 to the house in 3:55). I am hoping that workouts like this and some continued consistency will lead to improvements over the next few months as I try and see what I am capable of.