My fastest mile ever.

I don’t know why speed workouts terrify me so much… ok, I do know why… they are SO HARD. I had spin class last night and that made me even more nervous for my interval workout this morning because spin usually kills my legs (heaven forbid I don’t give 110% every class). I set my phone screensaver to a nice little motto that would hopefully get me up and in the zone for my intervals. It helps that the background of this quote is a track.

My legs felt surprisingly good after less than 12 hours of recovery from spin. My mom accompanied me to the gym this morning and we jumped on the treadmills to start off our workouts. I planned to start my warm-up on the treadmill and then take my intervals to the indoor track. 

SPEED WORKOUT: 6 miles. 2 X 1600 m repeats @ 6:51 min/mile.

I have never run a sub-7 minute mile. I have done 800m repeats at speeds sub-7 but never recorded a full mile at this pace. You can imagine how nervous I was to actually be able to make this time. I actually have no reason to be nervous… who am I failing? No one. Does that mean I won’t be able to finish my marathon? No. Does that mean I “failed” the workout? No. Whatever – I was scared 😉

I did 3.0 easy miles on the treadmill to warm up. I headed up to the indoor track (270m, 6 laps to a mile) and walked a lap to mentally prepare myself 😉 I did the first mile repeat and surprised myself with a 6:46.30 minute mile! My fastest mile ever. 

I walked 3 laps (800m) to recover and get my heart rate down and then did my second mile repeat. I checked the time after 2 laps and then after 4 laps to see if I was running a consistent pace for my mile repeat and the time read 2:15 and 4:32 respectively which blew me away because I thought for sure I had started out too fast and had to slow down at the end but it turns out I was running pretty much the same speed the entire 1600m. I really wanted my second repeat to be faster than my first but it was a tad slower. I didn’t really mind because for me, it was still pretty fast 🙂 The second mile repeat was 6:46.92.


I was really surprised that I could actually do (and even beat) the recommended time of 6:51 for the mile repeats! Thinking back to the summer, I could barely run 800 m repeats at this pace and now I can run 1600 m repeats. Runners crave this kind of progress 🙂 I finished off my workout with a final mile cool down for a total of 6.0 miles. I did some calf and hamstring strength training and called it a day. Isn’t it crazy how one speed work session can make you feel like you have run twice the distance that you actually did?


In case you have been wondering what I have been doing since becoming unemployed (aka Monday), I have been putting my four years of acquired barista training to work. 


My dad purchased the Starbucks Barista espresso maker almost a decade ago and we have used it quite a bit in the past. My mom pulled it out of the basement about 3.4 seconds after I quit my job at Starbucks… I think she was hinting at something. 


I haven’t been to Starbucks in 2 days. I think this is a record 😉 I wanted to test out this espresso machine’s ability to make my favourite drink  – an Americano misto. Working for Starbucks when they celebrated their 40th anniversary, the company gave each of its employees a green apron to take home with them. It seemed only appropriate that I dawn the apron to make coffee.


Benefits of making my drink at home? I can use almond milk (my FAVOURITE) instead of Starbucks soy milk. I can also add as many espresso shots as I want (you know, without being charged a bazillion dollars for each). It was delicious, especially when I added cinnamon on top! 



I think I’ve been a barista for too long when this is what I do when I finally get time off! If anyone wants a hand-crafted home-made Starbucks beverage I am looking to put my espresso skills to work. 


Perfect post-run drink! It turns out that you don’t actually die when you attempt 1600m repeats… you just sweat a lot, breathe really heavy, and then smile a lot when you are done. I have never done 1600m repeats before but they were kind of awesome (and awful at the same time). I know I have a few more of these in the training schedule so hopefully next time I won’t be as intimidated and just get ’em done! 

What is YOUR favourite interval or speed workout? Do YOU have a favourite repeat distance?

10 Comments

  1. I am so glad to hear that other people get nervous for track workouts! I have track every Thursday night and I start getting nervous on Wednesday 🙂 I guess it’s the fear of the pain and a fear of not being able to complete the workout and keep up. But I meet up with a group and it’s always so much fun. And the only one who matters how fast I run is me.

    Great workout for you! Those are speedy mile times. Congrats, Kris!

    Amanda

  2. Great run Kris – new PR!
    I really enjoy speed work. I like mile repeats but they almost feel like mini-tempo runs to me. lol.
    The one I did last week at track I think is my new favourite:
    -1km at fast tempo pace, 200m recovery jog
    -5x 200m with 100m recovery jog between the 200m repeats, pace at almost max effort
    -1km, 200m recovery jog
    -5x 200m with 100m recovery jog between the 200m repeats
    -1km

    – Shawn

  3. I’m not a runner by any means but this post totally inspired me to think about giving it a try…and also learn how to use an espresso machine LOL

  4. great job kris! i’m daunted by intervals as well, but have found (so far) my optimal interval distance to be 1000m. i find that to be my most consistent measuring stick for progress – and so what am i doing now? alternating between 800m repeats one week and 1600m repeats the next, of course!

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