It’s been a couple of weeks since I declared that I’m attempting to run a sub-6 minute mile and it’s time for an update. Here’s the link to the first post: Chasing a Sub-6 Minute Mile
The summer here in the midwest has been typical – hot and humid – and my efforts have been influenced by that. It’s no surprise that the hot weather will produce slower times and my running has fallen in line with that. But I have been training fairly consistently and I’m seeing a few positives come my way. And the weather this week turned much cooler and less humid, so I decided to give it another go.
First, I’ve dropped about 10 pounds from what I weighed over the winter months. This winter weight gain is something I struggle with every year, but I generally lose the extra weight by mid-summer. I currently weigh about 167 pounds, so another five or so pounds less might make me a little quicker. I’ll keep that in mind.
The second positive is I ran to the local junior high school track last week and did a speedwork session of 4×400 repeats with a 400 recovery between each one. It was a warm day and somewhat windy. I wasn’t trying to do it for any other purpose other than to put in some work at a faster pace. But I was very happy to see that I turned in those 400-meter laps in 1:30, exactly the time I need to be at a 6-minute mile. Now, each 400 was followed by a recovery 400 in which allowed my heart rate and breathing to recover. If I could string those four laps together though I would meet my goal. I’m not counting that workout as an official attempt because it was broken into four segments, but I did get a huge confidence boost from it.
I learned a little about pacing those 400’s as well. The first one seemed to be the hardest. I went hard from the start and felt like I was fading at the end. The second 400 was run similarly. When I did my third and fourth 400 I decided to hold back at the beginning and little and push hard at the end. That seemed to be the best way to approach it as I didn’t feel like I was dying by the end of 200 meters and staggering at the end. That will probably be my approach to any further efforts and time trial runs. Also, I am aware that I only ran 1600 meters and a mile is 1609 meters, so I will have to keep that in mind if I do further time trials on the track instead of the trail/road.
AUGUST 4, 2020 – Attempt Number 2
- TIME: 6:25.2
- WHERE: MOKENA JR. HIGH SCHOOL TRACK
- WEATHER: 72 degrees, cool wind from the north, low humidity – a perfect day
- LEAD-UP: A rest day prior and an easy-paced 3-mile warm-up
- COMMENTS: This wasn’t going to be an official attempt as I was planning on just doing 8×200 and some 100 repeats, but it was such a nice day I decided to give it a go. I’m glad I did. My previous attempt came in at 6:32, so to shave off 7 seconds seems to be meaningful. I’m still 26 seconds away from going sub-6, but at least I am moving in the right direction, time-wise. The weather was definitely a factor, and I did also hold myself back a little at the beginning of the mile. I wish I had hit my splits, but forgot on the first lap and then just went with it. Here’s to progress!