I mile warm-up
1400 meters at a hard/solid pace
12 X 300s
2 mile tempo pace run
Suggested formula: Leg frequency + stride length = OPTIMAL LEG STRIDE
When we got into the bread and butter--the 300s, I thought: "Shoot, this may be a little harder than I was expecting." But then I looked around and saw all the other people who were doing the workout and realized that it really is ALL MENTAL. Our perspective of the situation at hand. I shifted to focusing on what was my original intent...working on my stride length, which is what I had come to do. I felt like I was chopping my steps, since my stride is usually much longer. It felt awkward, almost robotic....but I was going faster. The repeats just seemed to pass me by. By the time I asked how many sets we had left, we were 2 away from being done and I felt stronger than ever.
When the 300s were over, the workout wasn't. We still had a 2 mile tempo run left. I saw two guys take off and without letting my doubts creep in, I followed. Jokingly I said under my breath to a couple other girls who were taking off on the tempo: Anything they can do, we can do---or we'll die trying. I guess a part of you has to believe that in order to attempt to try and run with them. They do have more muscle strength, they do have more speed....but us girls...we can be fierce when we want to be.
Turns out I didn't die. I felt great. I even started to have thoughts about how fast I could race if I actually continued to train like this. In races, I guess we hold back because we feel like we are going to DIE...but workouts are a little different. That fear of dyeing is somewhat suppressed by the fact that the outcome of the workout doesn't matter as much since it's "just a practice".
I thought of Aristotle's' quote: "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." And therein lies the problem--maintaining that level of intensity, pushing yourself in workouts till you feel like throwing up, finding the inspiration to stick with it, not let up, and not being scared of being EXHAUSTED---those are the habits that are hard to develop!