I'm trying to develop some consistency with my current approach - structuring my three a week 10 minute workouts so that each week i do a swim, bike, run and a short interval, medium interval, and single interval workout.
Depending on the discipline, i find myself fearing most one of the particular interval schemes. In swimming the medium interval scheme is the toughest for me. In biking, it's the shortest intervals that cause the most dread. Which leaves running.
Last week was the week for my single interval (kind of an oxymoron, right?) 10 minute run. I decided that this would be a timed mile on the treadmill. I find it easier to get myself to the point where i 'need to be' to maximize my efforts when i can just desperately try to hang on to an objectively controlled pace. Since this would be the first week i was doing a single interval run, i got to pick where to start.
11 miles an hour, or just under a 5:30 per mile pace.
Yeah, i know it's not that fast for you cross country runners. But it's damn fast for most, particularly for a mile.
I waited for the treadmill to get up to speed before defining my goal by adding a mile to the distance readout - i had to make it to 1.2 miles.
By the time the readout said 0.5 miles, 3/10 into my mile, i was starting to second guess my abilities. After all, this was what i called a 'benchmark run' - i had no previous performance to keep myself honest... i had some wiggle room. I told myself that i'd do the first half at 11 mph then drop down to 10 mph. The central Governor seemed to like the compromise. The deal got me to the half way mark.
I've learned over the years that once i get half way, a new arsenal of mental tricks become available to me. I decided to stick at 11 mph and employ them all and see what happened. I told myself I had 250 more right foot strikes and further broke this down into 50 step segments.
I was redlining big time and my form was starting to get sloppy. My arms were pumping so hard that i feared i would soon lose the coordination required to rescue myself by pressing up on the side rails of the treadmill to disconnect my feet with the belt if it became necessary. "This is how people become skid marks", i thought.
Eventually, after what seemed like much longer than the 2.5 minutes that had actually elapsed, i'd put in my 250 right foot strikes. But i'd miscalculated - i still six hundredths of a mile to go - 16 more seconds. You can do anything for 16 seconds though, right? Well, right. But b a r e l y......