As I mentioned yesterday, I wanted to run 400s today. I did complete 4x400, but I had wanted to do 6x400. I went too fast on the first one and had to stop at four. My split times in seconds were 77, 85, 83, and 85. My current fitness dictates that I should be doing these 400s in 85 seconds, give or take a few seconds. Since I want to try to build speed, I should have also fully rested between each interval. However, I only gave myself a minute walk rest. Not enough rest and too much speed on the first interval meant that my session ended early.
Soreness as a result of my strength training yesterday only added to today's less than excellent workout. Kettle bell swings led to soreness in the top of my hamstrings and my quads, as well as my glutes. I need to figure out how better to incorporate my strength training into my schedule so that it doesn't negatively affect my interval work. I like to do intervals on Tuesday and strength train on Mondays and Thursdays. Feel free to leave any suggestions in the comments section below. Since this was my first serious strength work in at least two, maybe three, months, then I might just need to give my body some time to adapt to my more strenuous routine.
On Friday I discussed research concerning Rhodiola rosea and today before my workout I took some. I would say that I felt no effects from the supplement, but I did feel that I was running slower than 77 speed during my first interval. Maybe, then, the Rhodiola rosea did diminish my perception of effort. Interestingly, 77 is the fastest 400 I've run since I was 27. Part of me wonders if I have the ability to go sub-60 anymore. I'll keep experimenting with the Rhodiola rosea and report back if I find it beneficial. In general, I do find supplements unnecessary, but maybe there is a difference between a nutritional supplement and a performance enhancer.
Recent research demonstrates that those who compete in longer endurance events--events covering the marathon distance or greater--and who exercise vigorously for more than an hour a day or run more than 20 miles per week, risk dying earlier than those who exercise moderately. Both Amby Burfoot (here) and Alex Hutchinson (here) have interesting takes on this research. The full text of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings article can be found here.
I haven't read the full text of the Mayo article yet, but my take on all this: The risk isn't great enough for me to go without the benefits that endurance sports bring to my life. My life is much richer when it includes long runs and bike rides with friends, and races that last three plus hours.
For all of you who grew up like I did and watched Bob Kennedy become the first non-African to run under 13 minutes for 5000m, click here for a nice interview with Kennedy.