I had time at lunch to get a good speedwork day in. My workout was a 3 mile warmup, 4 miles of alternating 30 seconds hard/30 seconds medium, 1.25 mile cooldown. I was feeling much better than Wednesday evening and I had a strong workout. The temperature was in the low 60's and it was sunny out. I did the 3 mile warmup in 20:26 and set a time on my watch to beep every 30 seconds and keep repeating. My mile splits for the 4 miles of 30/30 were 5:52, 5:44, 5:47, 5:42. Including a 1 minute walk after I finished the hard part of the workout, I did the 8.25 miles in 53:56. The mile times varied a little bit depending on whether I had more of the hard or more of the medium efforts during each mile. The first 2 miles were relatively easy. I was able to keep a quick pace and recover fairly well on the medium effort. The 3rd and 4th mile were definitely a lot tougher. I made a conscious effort to not slow down the pace on the "medium" recovery compared to what I was doing the first 2 miles so it felt more like Hard/Hard-lite. In the past when I've done some of these workouts, my recovery effort pace has dropped by up to a minute/mile as I get worn out. I didn't have my Garmin to check my paces, but since my mile times were pretty consistent I think I was doing a pretty good job. I definitely think that I was going just as fast on the hard parts during the last mile as during the first one.
I think this is a great workout for building strength and mental toughness. I find it is easy in a race to ease off just a little bit to a pace that is more comfortable when I start getting tired and this is a great workout to practice running fast and tough when you are tired. I think the workout also helps getting used to throwing a surge in the middle of a race to either catch somebody ahead of you or drop somebody with you.
On a different note, I am going to be running in the Texas Independence Relay on March 7 -8 with a team from my work. It's a 200 mile relay race with 40 different legs. Each person will run about 4 legs and average a total of 20 miles over those 4 legs. We have 9 people on our team and are looking to try to get one or two more people. Last year the winning time for the race was right around 24 hours and the team we have put together looks like it should be very competitive. If any of you ringers who might be reading this blog are interested or know somebody that might be interested (Bill, Sam, Andrew, anybody else?). The cost will be $80 and I think that you will get 3 nice running shirts out of it including one for running in the dark. Here's a link to the website for more information on the race http://www.texasindependencerelay.com/