My running partner and I committed to the 2010 YMCA Christmas Run. It's a little longer (6.1 miles) than our usual races, so I downloaded a training plan from the SMARTCoach program on runnersworld.com. It is individualized - recent race times, how hard do you want to train, what day do you want to do a long run, etc. are entered and then it spits out a plan just for you ... or so it says.
Today's workout was "Speedwork." Speedwork is similar to interval training in that the total run of 5 miles is broken into a warm up, timed portions, jogs, and a cool down. It's those timed portions that got to me! I had to run a half mile three different times in a specified length of time. I remember the days when my goal was just to run a half mile without stopping! SMARTCoach spit out a pretty fast half mile pace - fast, that is, for me! The good news is that although my first two timed portions were a bit over the target pace, my third was several seconds under. I'm sure it helped that I was finally warmed up (35 degrees outside this morning) and that the only hill was a short incline.
I'm really hoping this Speedwork will pay off because my legs are really tired now! I have to go now - I have a Cross Country race to watch. Those crazy kids! Why do they like to run 3.1 miles?