Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Speed Work...without a Garmin

On Mondays I do speed work. I am using Ryan Hall's 1/2 training hoping to set a new 1/2 marathon PR (14 minute PR to be exact). So yesterday morning I headed to the track for 7 x 800m. I actually parked about a mile away, ran there to warm up and then started.

Based on my current pace and my desired 1/2 goal time, my speed work miles need to be around 8:30 (no slower than a 9:00 min/mile). Which means my intervals should be between 4:15 and 4:30. From the title you'll know that I do not have a Garmin. My friend gave me a polar watch/heart rate band which allows me to lap myself, but at no time while I'm running do I have any idea what my pace is. I am getting better at feeling it, but it's still a guessing game.

Once I finish the 800m, I'm supposed to recover for half the interval time. So here's what I do....

I run the 800m, lap it on my watch then divide by 2 and add that to the time when I finished the 800 m. Once recovery time is over I start running again and add 4:15 to whatever the time was when I finished the recovery. Which means for the first 100m or so of every lap I'm doing math. I'm not very good at math. I wasn't when I was young and had a fresh brain. And now that I have mommy brain, adding those simple numbers is much harder than it should be. Yesterday I was also trying to keep track of how many laps I actually did (because the intervals aren't based on distance, but time) so I was counting that too. So at any given moment of my speed work I have at least 4 numbers running through my head. I'm counting minutes and seconds.

Needless to say, when speed work is done, not only are my legs and body tired but my brain is tired. I guess it's a good thing to try to keep my mind working and it does help to focus on something else.

HOWEVER, I want a Garmin. It's on my wish list. We're not exactly in a position where I can go out and buy one, but I do have a birthday coming up (11-11-11 - pretty cool huh?!) and I'm hoping for a Garmin. If it doesn't happen on my birthday, then I just have to wait six weeks for Christmas.

Until then my little brain is getting as strong as my quads as I do this speed work. I guess it's a win/win situation, right?


  1. I swear I've gotten so dependent on my Garmin I couldn't do pace math in my head if my life depended on it! Nice job on your speedwork!!

  2. Okay so this post is old now, but I just had to comment and tell you that I think it's cool that you're married to an Italian too! I like that we have that in common (as well as our names!). :)

    Hope running is going well for you now! :)