I’m in the first “official week” of marathon training and today (Aug. 4) the Gilbert’s Gazelles team I run with had speed work: A 1.5 mile “test” to check our fitness, and then 6 quarter-mile intervals.
I hate this drill, specifically the 1.5-mile portion, where we were to basically run at our 5k or faster pace. I like shorter intervals, like Yasso 800s or 1k intervals. But to run your 5k pace for more than a mile? In 80-degree temps with 80 percent humidity?
I wound up running the 1.5-mile interval in 9:13, which is right at a 6:12 min/mile pace. I was hurting at the end. A few dry heaves reminded me that I’m so out of shape. (Geez. It’s just Week 1 for marathon training and shit hurts already. Gah!)
Still, given everything that my legs have been through this year with my pelvis stress fracture, the 6:12 pace is just a few ticks per mile slower than my 5K personal record.
The quarter-mile intervals were much easier. I ran each of the first four under 1:30. I decided to make the fifth interval my last and ran it as hard as I could, finishing it in 1:17.
Of course, speed work on top of high mileage does the body all kinds of good if you are training for a marathon. Your lactic acid clearing systems get fine tuned. Your lungs and legs get stronger. Your V02max gets all V02maxy.
If I can throw in this type of speed work once a week and keep my weekly mileage in the 45 to 55 range, I should be in fine shape come marathon race day.