In my marathon training, the only speed work I did was with a couple of my Nike mixes (Lance Armstrong's and Fearless: Zoom Jasari + Mixed Run) where I just pick up my speed and effort for two minutes at a time. It has been pretty unofficial, mostly just a cure for boredom.
This is Lance Armstrong's mix. The one I have from iTunes has Lance coaching me through the intervals.
Today I met Laura at the local Junior College track for some speed work. We ran around the campus to warm up (about 1.5 miles) and then went onto the track. It was actually kind of fun, but it was hard and I'm not sure if I would really want to do it alone. As it is, I skipped the last two 200 splits because my ham string was really bothering me. Laura skipped the last 800 and all the 200's because of a sore Achilles. It isn't a great sign when we are fighting injuries at the beginning of the training program. These injuries are really leftover from the marathon training. Hopefully, over the next 8 weeks, we'll get over these issues.
There are recommended split speeds for your ultimate pace for your race. I have decided to train to run the half at a 9-minute-mile pace. I don't think I will quite get there, but who knows. I would rather run faster during tempo runs than plan for 10-minute-mile splits. My goal right now is to run it in about 2:07 which is around 9:40 per mile. If I have a great day and break 2 hours- GREAT. But I learned in the marathon that what you plan on running and what you actually run on race day (when you are a rookie like me) can be two different things.
Here is what I did:
1 X 1200 (at race pace)-- 6:45 [right on the money, but I doubt if I could sustain that pace for 13.1 miles... we'll see in 8 weeks]
2 X 800 (at 10K pace)-- 4:08 and 4:21 [RW suggests that for a 9-minute-mile half marathon, this split should be 4:16]
4 X 200 (at 5K pace)-- :52 and :56, DNR #3 and #4 [although I highly doubt I could keep up that pace for 3 miles; RW recommends 1:01 for a 9-minute-mile training program]
I have a plan now for my half marathon. I based it on this training plan from Runner's World: http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-238-244--6851-3-2X5X8-4,00.html
I think I might swap the Tuesday and Wednesday workouts so I can have a recovery run after my long Sunday runs. Any thoughts on this plan??? Sorry for all the abbreviations etc. It is like learning a new language or something...
Overall, it was a decent workout. It wasn't GREAT, but it wasn't bad. I just wish my ham string would feel better.
Oh... a question for Nike+ users-- do you use your Nike+ during tempo workouts? iPod fans-- do you listen to music when you run 200 and 400 sprints? I really didn't like hearing myself breathe (or wheeze in the latter sprints), but it's not like I could really hear an entire song. I am new to this kind of thing and curious what others do.
Sorry I am rambling so much!