Mary Baum

Back To The Track

I feel like people either love the track, or they hate it – there seems to be no middle ground. I have spend a lot of time on the track over the years that I ran in high school and college, and luckily, I thrive off of track workouts! With my hamstring issues over the past few months, I have steered clear from speed. I really didn’t want to exacerbate my injury even more. After some time off after the Chicago Marathon, I am feeling a lot stronger and healthier, so I am incorporating speed work in my training once again. Goodbye boredom!

Wednesday I met up with my friend Chris to tackle a nice ladder workout. The rest of my triathlon team all had commitments that night, so it was just the two of us. We run at different paces, so I knew I was going to have to do this workout solo – no big deal, but I knew I needed to be mentally tough from the get go. Our ladder was pretty simple:

Ladders are great because your body never gets used to the same pace, and you really have to listen to your body. The key is to hit the first and last set at the same pace. AKA, don’t kill yourself on the first 2 400m & 800m repeats, so that the last 2 are super slow.

Since this was my first true workout back in quite sometime, I didn’t have high expectations. Good thing! Here were my splits:

400m 1:34

800m: 3:19

1200m: 5:01

800m: 3:20

400m: 1:33

My splits were pretty solid, but they were pretty darn slow. That is not a complaint – I didn’t expect to be speedy by any means. I know I have a long way to go when it comes to get my speed back. My concentration for this workout was to keep my splits as even as possible, which I did. Overall, I think it was a success. Now I have a good benchmark of what to compare myself to as I progress in the next few months.

Do you love or hate running on track? Are you a fan of ladders, or do you keep your repeats pretty similar?

10 Responses

  1. Carrie @ Fitness and Frozen Grapes
    Carrie @ Fitness and Frozen Grapes November 30, 2012 at 7:13 am |

    Thanks for sharing your workout, Mary! When I’m home, I do speedwork on the track semi-regularly, but now, I stick to fartleks and tempo runs because there isn’t a track nearby. One workout my high school track team did a lot was sprint the curves, jog the straightaways. It definitely keeps your body guessing!

  2. meghan @ little girl in the big world
    meghan @ little girl in the big world November 30, 2012 at 8:29 am |

    I need to do some track work; I’ve done more tempo and non-track speed work, but I guess getting to the track is the real speed workout. This seems like a great place to start. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Rob Runs
    Rob Runs November 30, 2012 at 9:54 am |

    (Obligatory “just found your blog last week, totally love it, first comment” disclaimer!)

    I have a love-hate relationship with the track. I love it for about an hour after I step off it, the rest of my week leading up to and doing it I curse it. We have track workouts once a week as part of our marathon training plan and I dread it. Some workouts I like more than others (I love 200s, but I really don’t care for the ladder especially if it involves 1600s) and I tend to get lost counting how many times I’ve gone in a circle, even with my Garmin. But for the rest of the night, after it’s over, I feel like awesome and that’s why I keep doing it!

  4. Meg
    Meg November 30, 2012 at 10:20 am |

    I LOVE the track and I LOVE ladders. I just despise doing it by myself.

    I want to move to South Tampa and then force you to be my track buddy! Finding the motivation to do speed work on your own is tough. I am really struggling with that lately!

  5. Kat
    Kat November 30, 2012 at 11:48 am |

    I have only done 400s and then 800s for my half training, when I get back to speedwork I need to try something like this!

  6. Ari @ Ari's Menu
    Ari @ Ari's Menu November 30, 2012 at 11:48 am |

    I love love love the track!! I used to be so intimidated by it, but it quickly became my favorite. Your splits look AWESOME!

  7. Running Speed Workouts: Defined!
    Running Speed Workouts: Defined! January 25, 2013 at 7:22 am |

    […] of though, since you would be stopping at different parts of the track each time. Check out this ladder workout if you are looking to get to the […]

Leave a Reply