TRAINING: A Sniff of a Mile

A sniff of a mile and a sniff of glory was the result of my last sharpening session before Snowdon. I had set an aggressive target of running sub-5 for the mile and the plan was to execute two 73-second laps followed by two 75-second laps.

Unfortunately, I decided to make it more "official" but using the official track measurements and not just rely on my Garmin. This proved silly, as I misread what lines were meant to mean what and didn't correct the distance for Lane 4 correctly (our lane 1 is generally blocked to save it) ending up with a distance of 1760m instead of 1609m.

This turned out to be a real pity as I did almost everything else right...

The First Lap - FAST!
The first lap of a mile must be run very fast, generally the first two laps are run quicker than the last two so there's not time to waste.

Luckily I got off to a blistering start recording the fastest ever momentary pace by my Garmin as I reached velocities of 2:24min/km at some stage. I was up on my toes and my feet only skipped the ground and there they practically stayed for the duration.

When I set my 5:11 PB I had covered the first lap in seventy-seconds (still my best ever 400m), today I paced it better hitting it in seventy-one seconds, the 70-second barrier will fall this autumn! Unfortunately, I looked at my watch and thought I was having a terrible day not realising I was running large laps and didn't get the "I'm on track boost" that would have been great here.

2nd Lap - New Best for the 800m
I kept on track in every sense of the word going into the second lap. During my last attempt I had run 2:29 for the first 800m (another best for me) and today I knocked another second off to get 2:28. I had slowed to 77 seconds per lap, while last time it had been 79. Unfortunately I thought the game was over and was just considering how to run home with some honour intact. Such a pity!

3rd Lap - 1000m and beyond
While I was getting more and more depressed I didn't know that half-way through the 3rd and penultimate lap I ran my fastest ever kilometre on the flat in 3:07.

I finished the lap in 78 seconds, remarkably stable now but well off my hoped target of 75 seconds. Then I was on my way into the final lap and readying my ultimate sprint for the last 100m...

4th lap - 1500 falls
I was quicker than ever to the 1500m with 4:48 against 4:52 last time, so was now four seconds up on my record (but wasn't aware sadly). I crossed the 1.61 mark in 5:10, one second inside the record but instead of jubilation I was still about to start my sprint 150m still from the finish line!

A decent sprint it was as I covered 150m in thirty seconds but not spectacular. I bend over and gasped for air in the knowledge that I had done my best but to no avail. Now, later in the evening, I can see events for what they were: A proof of great form with new PBs on the 800m, the 1000m, the 1500m and the 1 mile distance. My track times to beat now stand at:

  • 100m: 14.88 seconds
  • 200m: 31 seconds
  • 400m: 70 seconds
  • 800m: 2:28 minutes
  • 1000m: 3:07 minutes
  • 1500: 4:48 minutes
  • 1 mile: 5:10 minutes

My new 1 mile time of 5:10 puts me at a TPL 23 which is consistent with the time run for the "5k" last week and one zone faster than my current half-marathon time showing my aerobic capacity isn't yet fully exploiting my full speed, but very close to. I can go into Snowdon knowing I have a very solid aerobic profile and the anaerobic systems seem to have now come together.

Three days of rest now will ensure freshness of mind and of legs.