Last night was my first ever track workout (which looked nothing like the picture to the left), unless you count those three weeks my Junior year of high school where I decided I wanted to run track (not a successful venture). There is a track about half a mile from our place, so I decided I would run there to warm up, do some sort of track workout (I still needed to look for one on the internet), then run home for my cool-down. But the weather had been quite temperamental all day (rain for 5 minutes, blazing hot, storm w/ lightening, lather, rinse, repeat), so I decided I would drive the 45 seconds to the track instead.
I scoured the internet for a good track workout for someone who has no idea what they are doing. I found several, but I would have had to actually write down the workout and take that with me - I needed something I could remember quite easily. I found Yasso's 800's. Here is a description, ganked from an article on Runner's World:
The goal is to be able to run 10 800s, each in a minute-and-second time that matches your expected hour-and-minute marathon time. So, if you want to run a marathon in 4 hours and 30 minutes, you start with four or five 800-meter repeats and gradually work up to 10, running each in 4 minutes and 30 seconds.
Upon more research, I discovered that there are lots of folks who think this workout is overrated, a crock, etc...But it was a simple workout, so it is what I went with.
I did an warm-up mile in about 10:15. It was around 6:45 in the evening when I went, and not quite as cool as I had hoped it would be. But I discovered that if I was running, it seemed cooler for some reason. If I stopped moving, the blanket of humidity would envelope me.
I have this dream that I want to finish a marathon somewhere in the 4:30 range (hahahaha). Based on my half-marathon time, I would finish a full in the 5:00 area. But I hope to be a better and smarter runner for the full than I was for the half. I actually was on pace to finish the half in about 2:10ish, but I slowed down significantly for the last two miles of the half (my time was 2:24:49). SO, I was going to try to do the 800's in the 4:30-4:45 range. I was pleasantly surprised to finish my first 800 in 4:32! I did sprint (in the loosest sense of the word) the last 15 seconds of it, but I did it. And I felt like a freakin' superstar when I was done! I jogged a lap to recover, and then attempted another 800. 4:39. I jogged another lap to recover. For my last 800 I could tell that I lost steam, and it turned into a 400 (with a time of 2:10). I jogged a few more laps to cool down and then headed home.
About an hour later I could feel that workout. I really haven't been sore from running since the half, so it was almost a good feeling. All in all, I enjoyed Yasso's 800's. I don't know that it is a marathon finish time indicator, but it was actually fun, and I felt like a total stud/"real" runner when I was done. I also slept like a champ last night, which was a nice change of pace from my usual sleep habits.