Tuesday night I met up with a small group in Central Park for some mile repeats led by NYC-based Twitter coach Speedy Sasquatch (SS). He informs his followers via Twitter that he is in the park every Tuesday night for speedwork and invites others to join him. I've been itching to start doing speedwork again and the Nike speed session that meet at Paragon Sports every Wednesday night have not started up yet. SS told us that we'll be doing 4 mile repeats at a "comfortably hard" pace and that we should aim to run each repeat within 10 seconds of each other. I grouped up with EG, AC, ES, all of whom I had met before at previous tweet-up runs and a new to me runner-tweeter, EH. We decided that we would aim for a 7:40 pace. We were all surprised when we saw a 7:20 split for the first mile. The pace felt hard but at the same we were able to have short conversations. We stayed on pace for miles 2 (7:19) and 3 (7:13). About half way through the last mile, EG and AC started pushing the pace, I went with them and we finished in 6:59. Boy did it feel good run fast again.
After the workout, we all commented on how much fun (did I just say that mile repeats were fun?) we had doing speedwork with a small group. Many of us have done group speedwork with much larger groups in the past with mixed results. I started out with the NYRR running classes. I enjoyed the workouts but I felt that the coaches weren't that interested in how your training was going. The Wednesday night Nike Speed workouts worked for me but like I said they haven't started up yet. Tuesday night's workout was a lot fun. We all worked together and it was more interesting doing them in Central Park than doing 1600s on a track.
My 18 week training plan for the Pocono Mountain Marathon starts this Sunday with the Manhattan Half Marathon. I'm looking forward to these weekly workouts with SS, I think I'll really benefit from them as a gear up for May 16.