I know that many of you will begin to consider me a very cruel man. A time trial this early in the program? The reason? So that we can get a handle on where your current fitness is RIGHT NOW. Why? So we can make sure that the times that you run for the workouts are appropriate for your current fitness. I am sure that some of you were unhappy with your finish time; others of you were probably surprised at how fast you ran. Regardless of your feelings, I promise that this will be a very useful baraometer for you throughout this training program.
So what does my time for this 3200 meter run tell me? Well, first off, it is important to understand that the 2 mile distance is the optimal distance to test your fitness. This is because your body begins to go through some significant changes when you are running on the edge of your capacity for 1.5 miles. If you ran the time trial at a hard effort, then in the final half mile you probably felt that you very close to your limits. This feeling is your body working at it's maximum level of oxygen consumption when it begins to accumlate lactic acid. How well your body clears this by-product of the exercising muscles is a clear determination of your current fitness. All this is science speak for saying the 2 mile time trial takes you closest to your limits while still allowing you to run hard. I will be discussing more about the what happens in your body during running in my methodology & energy systems essays. For now, just follow these steps:
Please keep these times available in your training log to reference in the future. As the training & your fitness progresses these times may become less relevant but they will help us in the first workouts to have a time to keep in mind.