September 16, 2021
September 16, 2021
Two of my favorite things became one in Project Find Your Fast; challenge and community. Hosted by the Nike Windrunners, this training program aimed to help 25 athletes reach their mile PR by the end of 6 weeks. Here’s my experience.
Mile Time Trial
After a name game, and an introduction to so many awesome women, we got into the workout. I couldn’t tell you the last time I ran a timed mile- middle school most likely (and it was never something I looked forward to). Now, I’ve voluntarily signed up to do it again, while once again being surrounded by a lot of people much faster than me. However, unlike then, I actually enjoy running now and was excited to find out where I was even starting from.
So as we toed the starting line, jittery with nerves, my only thought was to not go out too fast. Those first few strides I did just that, falling in line with others who were either much faster than me or also going out too fast. Soon enough I settled in (if settling in means feeling sick, but you know, at a consistent pace). I was hoping I could come in under 8:00 and the nifty chart we were given in our training plan said that based on my 5k pace I should be able to hit 7:41. Sure enough, I came in at 7:42. So 7:42 is the time to beat and I can’t wait to try. A sub-7 goal is probably pushing it…but how cool would that be?
Strength + Activation with Kelita Hollins
6 x 400M at goal mile pace
I was so excited going into this week’s group speed workout. After establishing a base mile time last week, I was looking forward to seeing how I could push the pace, 400m at a time. The times completely exceeded my expectations. After some strength and activation work, we were put into pace groups. I immediately questioned my group placement as I was pretty sure everyone there was faster than me, but it was apparently just the push I needed. I finished each 400m at 1:38-1:40, which equates to a 6:30-6:45 mile pace. I wasn’t sure a sub-7 mile would be possible at the end of the program, but now I’m aiming for it.
By the end of practice not only did I feel proud of our speed, but so fulfilled by the camaraderie we were already establishing by pushing and supporting each other through some tough work.
200M at 10k pace (57s)
200M at 5k pace (55s)
200M at goal mile pace (53s)
This week was a fun challenge in pacing! It’s never been my strong suit so the concept of varying each lap by just a couple seconds for each 200 was tough. And frankly, we weren’t awesome at it. You’d never guess the pattern we were going for by looking at the splits on my watch. But with more repetition (and a speedy first 200) we started to figure out what each pace really felt like, which felt like a win in itself.
1200M at 10k pace (8:30/mi)
800M at 5k pace (7:27/mi)
2 x 400M at 5k pace (7:23/mi, 7:13/mi)
2 x 200M at goal mile pace (6:41/mi, 5:59/mi)
I don’t know if I hadn’t eaten/drank enough throughout the day for this evening’s practice or if the heat, humidity, and lack of breeze were weighing on me, but my energy levels were low. Having a group to run with became that much more helpful and I still managed to push past my goals for each interval.
At the beginning of our session we also chatted Nutrition with Coach Jannette Rho. I have a lot to improve on in that arena, but I’m excited to make changes that improve my workout in any way I can.
400M at goal mile pace (1:40/lap)
800M at 5k pace (1:52/lap)
400M at goal mile pace (1:41/lap)
600M at 5k pace (1:51/lap)
400M at goal mile pace (1:41/lap)
400M at 5k pace (1:52/lap)
400M at goal mile pace (1:39/lap)
It was peak week in our training plan and I felt it. This workout was hard, but once again it was so helpful to be in a pace group to push us through. The fact that it wasn’t 90 degrees for the first time in forever helped a bit as well. With my wedding and honeymoon the next couple weeks, this was the last workout I was able to do in person with the group, which was such a bummer. It’s been so fun getting together every Thursday night for the past five weeks.
4 x 400M at goal mile pace
6 x 200M at goal mile pace
Last week of training for Find Your Fast before the final mile! Since tonight is my rehearsal dinner, I had to miss practice with the group, but I went out and did the workout on my own this morning. This really made it noticeable how impactful the group has been on this journey!
1 mile: 6:58
44 seconds faster than my mile time trial 6 weeks ago. After a 7’42” time trial, I really wanted to go for a sub-7 mile, even though that felt like a big leap in a short amount of time. In every practice, our goal mile pace was set to that so I knew what it felt like, but I wasn’t sure I could actually do it for 4 full laps. Even today, I still wasn’t sure after 1 lap in, but once I got to that 4th lap there was no stopping and I gave it all I had, coming in just barely under 7 minutes.
I feel so proud of this progress and I know there’s no way I could’ve done it or enjoyed the experience nearly as much without the Windrunners coaches and the rest of the Find Your Fast crew. Now, how about we just don’t stop?
Thanks to Windrunners and Nike Chicago for this experience.
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