Friday, May 13, 2011

Baseline Testing Followup

Alternatively titled: "Springtime is a terrible season to find an open track to run on" or "Track Finding Fail"

In a previous post, I referenced the 5k baselines that are a staple of the MN way of testing one's fitness throughout the year.  I also indicated where I thought I'd be fitness-wise based on my workouts so far.  So I went to find out...only there was one problem - it seemed like every track was unavailable!  Springtime in this area is full of high school sports, which means the surplus of tracks available within a short drive are limited during typical use hours.  In this case, it took sheer determination to keep driving from one to another, only to find out that it was in use.

Let's just review each place I was denied:
  • Centreville HS (track team)
  • George Mason University (track team)
  • Fairfax HS (soccer team)
  • Oakton HS (soccer team)
But one place was available FINALLY - South Lakes HS! at least I found a place.  Little did I know that finding a track would potentially be the hardest part of my day!

So let's get to the running part, shall we?

Based on where my fitness is, I was thinking anything around 19:30 would be consistent with how I felt.  My all time high 5k last year was 19:05, so this would be a little bit off from where I had been, but still pretty solid, considering I couldn't break 20:00 for nearly 8 years of trying before joining MN last year.  With that knowledge, I set out some goal paces to shoot for and play it by ear. 

- The goal was: 6:20, 6:15, 6:10, which would work out to 19:22. 
- Here is how it played out: 6:13, 6:09, 6:11, :37, which works out to 19:10.

I think this all shows how little fitness you actually lose if you take the recovery seriously following a key race like a marathon, but keep up with the other aerobic cross training elements that keep your fitness from slipping too far.  Rebecca and I have also been hitting some really hard core strength work with an awesome 1 hr Functional Strength class that I think has really made a difference.  With this 5k time, I am only 5s off my all time PR without much training at anywhere near those paces (or even tempo paces).

To say I'm excited would be an understatement!

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