No need for speed

When I saw that flash of lightning crack through the sky on my way to the track tonight, I got all giddy inside thinking my dreams of the day were about to come true: Speed training would surely have to be canceled if it were lightening out, wouldn’t it? 😀

Some of you may have noticed that I put a Gloomy Gus emoticon next to a sentence, last week, that declared the end of hill training. And if you’re new to my blog, you may have thought I was being sarcastic, and rightfully so, given that there really aren’t too many runners out there who jump for joy when it comes to hill training. I, however, am one of those runners. I haven’t really been overly secretive when it comes to my love of hills. I love speeding up them, I love passing people on them, I love feeling like I’m on top of the world, and I love what they do for my butt. But that’s not all I love about hills, there’s still one more component that I haven’t yet widely discussed: When I’m running up hills, I love that I’m not having to do speed intervals around the track. I HATE THE TRACK!

But unfortunately for me, the end of hill training meant the beginning of speed work, my nemesis!

My hate for speed work goes back a few years when I was training for my very first half marathon. I’m not sure exactly what the method was of the speed repeats that was being employed on me at the time, but basically it was a give-her-everything-you’ve-got-for-400-metre-repeats-and-puke method. And me being the competitive person I am, I did give her everything I had and then some. I was practically puking every lap, my face was in a permanent state of purple, my head was ringing and I could barely stand up, let alone do a recovery lap. And the debilitating pain (Hello IT band!) that the constant circling of the track left on my body was just too much. Three weeks before race day, my legs had had enough.

So yeah, I’m still a little bitter. I tend to hold grudges if you haven’t noticed; I still haven’t set foot on Big White, or locked my feet into a snowboard after breaking my wrist on the mountain seven years ago … maybe I need help 😉

TONIGHT’S RUN (The lightening didn’t stick around)

  • 6 p.m. BG before: 7.3
  • Temp basal: -60 per cent
  • Warm up: 2.5 km + 4 laps around the track
  • Four 800 metre repeats with a recovery lap in between each
  • Cool down: 4 laps around the track
  • 8 p.m. BG after: 10.1

Seeing as how we were all meeting at my old high school’s track, which is only a couple of kilometres out from my brother’s house, I got it in my brilliant little head that I would run out to the track instead of drive and get my warm up out of the way right away, and then run back to my brother’s afterwards for my cool down. Well, it didn’t quite work out that way. I think I was about 1 km into the warm up when I realized there was no way in hell I was gonna want to run home after doing speed repeats. (Thank you Carol for driving to the rescue!) And then when I got to the track, it took awhile for us all to get going, and by that time I figured my warm up had worn off, so I ended up doing the warm up laps anyway.

The speed intervals that we’re doing is the Yasso 800s method, which was created by Bart Yasso, and which apparently isn’t so taxing on your body and it’s less likely to cause injury. Unlike the previous methods I’ve endured, where I’ve practically killed myself trying to round that track, with Yasso you still have to go fast, but as Garmin Guru Pete informed me, you’re just supposed to go “comfortably” fast.

“Comfortably,” however, didn’t really register with me the first go around. I clocked 1:45 for my first of two 400 metres laps, which would have been great and impressive had I not been sucking air for half of it and thinking holy crap am I gonna be able to even finish this lap, let alone a second one at this speed? Yeah no, I had to back it off a bit:


  1. 1:45 and 2:02
  2. 2:02 and 2:05
  3. 1:58 and 2:04
  4. 2:01 and 2:06

So the goal with Yasso is to stay consistent with your laps, and if you can do that, apparently, you can figure out your marathon time. So given tonight’s laps, I would have either made it to the finish line in 3 hours and 47 minutes or 4 hours and 7 minutes or 4 hours and 2 minutes.

They keep telling me it will get easier; I’m dubious.

Do you like speed intervals? Why?

Megan does!

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