I was surprised at how "easy" it was for me. I suppose when you get to take a 3 minute break between 1.25 mile runs, it's not cardio strength you're testing, but instead, consistency. I was so incredibly mindful of pace, form, stride. It was a real eye opener, I actually felt myself speed up and slow down. When you're just trying to hit miles, you really lose this perspective. I really believe that track practice is going to improve my mile time. Oh, and I can't leave this out...having Coach T cheer me on every lap was a real booster. Man, I love having a coach.
Another big change for me was the group workout. I know I'm a fitness instructor, so working out in groups shouldn't be anything new, but it certainly was. A track is a really intimidating place if you've never been and since this was my first track workout when it was busy (all my bootcamp experiences were at like...6am), I was really glad to have a team around me, even if we didn't run together, it was fun to belong to a little cluster and chat as we were leaving the track.
Since I kinda lambasted swimmers yesterday, I'll give y'all a few tips I learned last night about track practice, least I show favoritism. Runners, especially those on a track get irritable when some basic rules are broken.
When on the track, think of yourself as a car and the track as a highway. This means:
- Use caution when entering/exiting the track. Don't cut people off with sudden movements.
- Check your blind spot. Especially since a lot of runners are mindful to run quiet, you may not hear someone coming up in the lane you're about to move into. Look over your shoulder.
- Lanes determine speed. Crazy fast? Have fun in lane 1. Moderate speed? 3-4. Walking? Lane 5. Just like driving - faster cars to the left.
- Pass with care. Lane 2 is primarily for passing. Check your blind spot and make sure you don't ride up on the runners in front of you. No one likes a bumper rider.
Runners on a track are usually there for business. Get in, run your laps, cool off, get out. So, it won't be any surprise if you suddenly find a surly bunch of runners at the track. Friendliness is saved for long runs and solo runs. I have no idea why this is, but, there you have it. But, I promise to always give you a smile.
Also - go ahead and break out the neon. I was so in love with my bright pink arm warmers last night (thanks, Mom!)