Fact: I hate speed work. Hate it.
Of course, always looking for the easy way out, I wondered if speed work was really necessary. I mean, can’t I just try to run a little bit faster gradually? Must I really kill myself with speed work in order to get faster? I decided to do some research to find out.
I found this article, that explains to me in a clear way why speed work is important. Apparently gradual improvement in times doesn’t challenge one’s body in quite the right way to effectively improve speed.
Shoot. Now I know why I should do speed work, but I still hate it! Two weeks ago my training program said that I should run 400×6. I didn’t know what that meant at first, but I found out that it means that I am supposed to do 6 sets of fast 400 meter runs. Hal Higdon says that I should do these runs at 5k pace. The only problem is, I’ve never run a 5k. I don’t like running short distances (hence why I hate speed work), so I just kind of had to guess what speed to run at. I decided to just try to run my 400 meters at a pace that I could maintain for 400 meters. I did 4 sets and couldn’t bring myself to do another set. I just couldn’t do it.
This week Hal Higdon said that I was to run 400×7. I knew I wouldn’t do that, so I decided that my goal was to run 400×6, which I would consider to be a victory because it was better than what I did during my last day of intervals.
I started out, and within the first 10 meters I was cursing Hal Higdon. Ugh. Evil, evil speed runs. I hate them! I decided that I would be able to do the 6 sets I had set out to do. I imagined how nice it would be to be able to write on my blog about how I did my 6 sets.
I did 4 sets, hating each progressive set more than the previous. After the 4th, I thought to myself, “Okay, two more sets, you can do this.” I began to run my 5th set. And after about 10 meters I slowed to a walk. I just didn’t want to do it. I didn’t care! I can’t even explain what is so hard about it. Pushing out 2 more sets really shouldn’t have been too hard. But I just don’t like it! It’s uncomfortable, unpleasant, and just icky.
But now, I feel like a failure
Intervals, I hate you, but you will not defeat me again! I will beat you next time!