Mile Repeats

It’s Spring time where I live, which means rain. Although, I thought the saying was “April showers bring May flowers”. Regardless, I feel like I have been running in the rain a lot recently. This is a big step for me. I used to classify myself as a “fair weather” runner. After graduating college, I decided that since I had a a choice, I would avoid bad weather at all costs. I quickly realized that doing this was too difficult if I wished to run and race competitively. Although, my first year out of college I had no desire to do such a thing. I bit the bullet and in progressive years, I ran in the winter.  Rain, however, was a different story for me. I still avoided rain. Misting rain was okay. Pouring rain was not my cup of tea. As the years have gone by, this has changed too.

The past two weekends it was rainy, for almost the entirety of the weekend. As I am trying to gear up for a few Summer races, I have decided to try to get some speed from doing track workouts. What has worked best for me in the past is tempo runs – running a straight 3 or so mile run at a specific pace. I have not found as much benefit from 1200 meter repeats, or mile repeats, etc. This could also be in part due to the fact that when I stop in between repetitions, I lose some motivation. If I am able to get myself going and can drill myself to continue for “x” distance, then I’m usually okay.

This past week has been crazy. As a side job, I enjoy baking. I recently got my home kitchen certified (last Summer), so it’s been a build-up process trying to get that business built up. I have done baking as a side business for several years for friends, but these orders are not that steady. Lo and behold, everything hit at once. I was asked to make a small 8 inch circular cake for a wedding, make 40 cookies for a baby shower, then make 2, 6 inch cakes for a wedding cake tasting. It was a very busy week to say the least. This meant I had a lot of late nights and lots of standing.

All of that baking certainly wore on me. Yesterday was my chosen day for my track workout. Last weekend I had one of those runs where you have no idea where they come from. I did a 3 mile tempo run and ran the fastest mile splits I have EVER run for one of those workouts. I ran times that I honestly did not dream I would ever see in a workout. And I felt okay running it, despite the steady rain and 13 mph winds, yeah I don’t know how I did it.

Yesterday, I decided to do the same thing. I went to the track, did my 1 mile warm-up and wished for the best. Well, after 1 mile I was about dead. I tried to run a bit more, and mentally I just wasn’t having it. I decided to stop, walked across the track, contemplated my options, and decided mile repeats it was. Running 1 mile fast was something I could convince myself to do. Knowing that I had a short break after each one was enough to convince me I could do it. After that first mile, I was able to successively run 3 more mile repeats. I have no idea how much rest I took in between, I walked across the track, then would usually start again. The workout was a success. Each mile was progressively faster than the last. That does not mean the workout was not hard! My head was certainly not in the game for this workout and it made a big difference. I am also blaming my week of baking on the way I felt :).  Regardless, I completed a workout. I ran faster than I would have if I had just “run”, and now I can look forward to some slow days of running until the next one!

Sometimes, you have to modify a workout based on how you feel. I’m happy that I completed a workout, and I’m happy that I didn’t decide to stop after just one mile.

Have you ever had to modify a workout?



4 thoughts on “Mile Repeats”

  1. I like to throw strength exercises in the mix when I’m not feeling the wind beneath my feet. Maybe every quarter mile stop, catch your breath and do a set. Push ups, mountain climbers, lunges, what have you. Sometimes I do the playground tour, running from one to the next and using the equipment for pull ups and dips.

  2. I feel you on running in the rain, it’s just not pleasant. I’ve modified workouts lots of times! As you say, I think it’s better to get out there and do something productive rather than grumble and do halfway a workout you don’t want to.

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