Up until this week I hadn't done any speed work. I would sometimes see people in the park running all out for 200m, and think, “Man, anyone can run 200 meters. Try doing that pace for 10k and see how far that gets you”. I didn't really see the point of doing speed work for longer distances. Being fast isn't my goal anyway; going all day is my goal. It didn't seem appropriate for what I was doing.
Well, one of my workouts this week was a 6x200. That means you run fast for 200 meters, rest a bit, and do it again. You do that 6 times - hence 6x200. Being the first time I had tried this, I didn't quite know what I was doing.
So I went all out. As fast as I could. All six times. I was going so hard that in the last 10 meters of each go round I was audibly saying “Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you” as my thighs turned into pure lactic acid. The next day I had a bit of trouble walking.
That's isn't how you're supposed to do them.
Afterwards Stickman gave me the low down on how to do them. He explained the proper amount of effort you're supposed to exert. It makes a bit more sense doing them the way he described. They seem like useful, every once in a while, workout sprinkled in amongst other types of running workouts.
I am glad I was doing them wrong because I wouldn't bother doing them if that's the way they were supposed to be done.
A lot of people think you have to punish yourself for fitness, good health, or to lose weight. You don't. If you are, then you're probably not going to do it for very long. At least I wouldn't. I want things in my life to be awesome, and not punishing, painful and restrictive. We're not professional athletes over here.
Not that I am afraid of hard work (as most people know me know), but I am not for doing things stupidly, with unneeded effort, or sacrificing long term health - it's inefficient over the long term.
My knee pain is gone (touch wood). I've been stretching every other day, and this week was a light workload. It was as if the plan knew I was going to do the 6x200 incorrectly and lightened the load for me.
Also, funny enough, the Galston Gutbuster race really helped my knee pain. I think trail running, with all its uneven surfaces, helps keep the repetition of running down a bit. I've added a bit of light trail running to my weekly runs.
I've been reading a few more books, and all of them have me convinced that tracking time and distance are not the right thing to do. For example, the 6x200 did a number on me, but it was only 1,200m and was only about 15 minutes of work.
I am still going to keep doing these graphs, but I need to sort out a better way to track this. I think I need to get my Training Peaks account back online.