Track Attack!


Arguably the best Tom Cruise movie of all time.

In my continuing effort to try new things, last night I FINALLY joined a group of runners for my very first track workout EVER at a local track that I had no idea existed until recently. This group has been meeting all summer on Tuesdays at 6:30and unfortunately for me last night was the LAST NIGHT of the summer session. Leave it to me to be really fashionably late and miss out on all the fun.

I am for real sad that it’s over because I think I may be addicted to track running.

photo 1

I arrived early so I spent some time doing some careful warm up laps and taking stealthy pictures of the track so that no one would think I was a weirdo. I had already done some 400s on the treadmill at my new gym earlier in the day so if I ran at all I wasn’t planning on pushing myself too hard. Having never attended anything like this before, I really just wanted to see what this was all about.

After a mile and some dynamic stretching, some other runners started to arrive and I chatted with one of them while we waited for everything to start. The organizer was a super cool girl named Jen who works for my favorite running store, Charm City Run. I had talked to Jen via email a couple times in the past about getting a yoga for runners class set up for my MRTT chapter (40 strong and growing!!) at our local running store so it was fun to finally meet her in person! She informed the group that tonight we would be running partner Yasso 800s and I was hit by a wave of nervousness. I had never run speed intervals on a track before, but I had heard about these.

Jen asked us what our 5K times were and started pairing us up. Without thinking I told her mine was around 21 minutes and then instantly kicked myself for saying that because yeah…maybe on a good day pre-injury and not today when I still have issues and I already did a speed workout earlier. She assured me it was fine, but not until after I had been paired up with 19 minute 5K guy. He was the fastest one there.

We ran 2 laps to warm up and just before we began we were joined by another guy who was placed in the same group with fast guy and me. As the slower runner of the three of us, I would start first, run one lap alone, 1 lap with the two of them, and then my recovery would happen while they ran 400 meters together. We would do this 6 times.

I’ll be the first to admit…I went out WAY too fast. Total newb mistake; this was SO different than the treadmill speed work that I’m used to. I destroyed my first 400. My partners looked a little terrified as I met them for lap two, which went just as well as the first. Then I was surprised that I didn’t feel too terrible as I waited for my them to complete their lap. The downside – and possibly the upside – to being paired with the fastest fellows was that I didn’t have very long to rest.

We went on and on like this and it was SO much fun. I was feeling good and so thankful that I had taken so much time to warm up. My foot had felt pretty crappy before, but now it seemed to be functioning okay. Every time my one partner would come in to start his rest period he would high five me to go and then while we were running together he was so encouraging which I really needed during interval 5 and 6 because at that point I was sucking wind pretty hard.

And then just like that it was done. I jogged/walked around a bit to cool down, completely exhausted but elated by my results. You can clearly see where I went out too fast like a newb and then burned out, but LOOK AT THAT FIRST SPLIT!


photo 2

One day I want to see a “5” there. Maybe I should have gotten fast guy’s contact info so I could train with him again.

Part of me is really sad that I didn’t know about this group earlier, but even if I had I wouldn’t have been able to participate. I’m just glad that I was able to be well enough to get one good workout in with them before the summer ended. I think that was the hardest speed workout I’ve done in my life.

Thank goodness I joined that new gym because 6am Yoga for Athletes was exactly what my sore body needed this morning.

Do you love track workouts? What are your favorite kinds of intervals to run?

Happy Wednesday and even more importantly


We will be celebrating with a nice dinner out tonight and then the Renaissance Fair on Sunday. I can’t wait!




91 thoughts on “Track Attack!

  1. Michele @ PaleoRunningMomma says:

    Incredible splits! I could do without track workouts for the rest of my life and be fine 🙂 I always felt badass after completing one, but not a huge desire to go back! Maybe it’s because I hate thinking about pace! I would always do my first lap too fast too, so maybe practice would help.

    Have a great birthday dinner out!!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Thanks!! I definitely felt beastmode when I was finished. Just before the 5th and 6th repeat I almost wanted to quit because it was starting to hurt, but I am SO GLAD to have finished it! I definitely need to work on pacing myself though. That was a little ridiculous.

      Thank you! I’m thinking of calling the restaurant in advance because I want to make sure they embarrass my husband by singing happy birthday to him. 🙂

      Oh crap I hope he doesn’t see this.

  2. Harold L. Shaw says:

    Great splits and the track is very addictive. You sound like you are having fun with it and that is all that matters and you are learning valuable lessons that only the track seems to teach – at least for me. Treadmill speedwork is different than track speedwork, on the track you have to push and on the treadmill you just have to hang-on 🙂 Not a bad thing, but definitely different.

    • runsaltrun says:

      Thanks so much! It was so hard, but so much fun too. I was shocked at how different it all is! I definitely need to get out there more often and get used to running intervals that way too.

  3. Hanna says:

    Even better, look at that 4th split! 1 second has GOT to be a new world record! 😛

    Way to go! Track workouts are really fun, and running with faster people really helps you push yourself (even if it is kind of terrifying).

    I really love track workouts. I just don’t live close to a track and don’t have a car so it’s really hard for me to get out there and I usually have to fall back on the ‘mill :-/

    My running group recommended a speed workout that I just love. If you like to mix up interval distances/paces, you should give it a shot!
    4×400 at 5Kish pace, w/ 200m jog after each
    1×800 at 10Kish pace, w/400m jog
    4×400 at 5Kish pace, w/ 200m jog after each
    1×800 at 10Kish pace, w/400m jog
    4×400 at 5Kish pace, w/ 200m jog after each
    and then, if you’ve got anything left:
    6×100 at near-max effort w/ 10 seconds jog in between each

    It’s a really tough workout – I’ve never been able to do the full version – but it’s really fun and I love mixing intervals.

  4. Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine says:

    Wow nice job with those 800s.They are such a good workout out but I dread them every time. I actually did 800s this morning…but they were not as fun as yours! I also wish I had to track to run on. I think I would have been terrified running with those fast guys…way to go!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Thank you!! Running them outside was so much harder than on a treadmill (but then I was also doing them a lot faster too…that first mile was the fastest sustained pace I’ve ever run in my life). It was definitely scary running with those guys at first, but they really pushed me so in the end I’m thrilled that I got paired with them!

  5. Kristin says:

    Great job!! Track work is so much fun; although, extremely challenging!! Yaay to you having a fabulous working and kicking butt!! You’re awesome!! Congratulations on a job well done!! Yoga for runners sounds like THE BEST class!! Man, I wish I lived closer to you!! Have a great day and you rock!! So fast!! 🙂 🙂

  6. C.e. says:

    I love speed workouts. They are tough, and I feel really good thereafter. Unfortunately, I have not done any for a while, aside from some tempo work on the treadmill. But, I know it must have been a great feeling for you. And I need to get one of those Garmins!

  7. Desiree @ RunSmiling says:

    I’m so glad you liked your first track workout!! I have a running group that I LOVE through the local running store here and it makes track workouts so much better when you have a group to run with. Sorry I’m new to your site – but I’m curious what’s been wrong with your foot? Glad it’s feeling better!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Thanks, Desiree! I am going to continue doing the workouts, but I would love to find another group. I can definitely see how it will be more fun that way.

      As for my foot, my deep peroneal nerve is entrapped. It causes shooting pain and numbness in my first two toes and occasionally feels like my second toe is being pinched with a pair of pliers. I took most of July off and am just starting to get back into some kind of training regularity now. Unfortunately I’m not pain free, but I have my doctor’s blessing to run (he said that there is a possibility that I may never be and in that case there are surgery options), and I’m doing the best I can! Usually it calms down a lot if I warm up. 🙂

  8. northernambitions says:

    Have fun at dinner! Track running is so much fun. I totally feel like a rock star and a speed demon although I usually burn out by going too fast as well. Best movie ever! Ian makes me watch it as least once a year but I secretly love it and now I want some bad ass aviators

    • runsaltrun says:

      I actually wear bad ass aviators all the time and feel very Top Gun when I do. 🙂
      I definitely felt like a rock star when I was done! Although during it I kind of wanted to die a little. 😛

  9. fitfoodiemama says:

    Happy Bday to your hubby! And um, wow! You’re super fast!!! I have not tried speed work on the track in a really long time- mostly because I don’t have the opportunity to go to one with the kids during the day and there really isn’t a group like yours that exists around here. I always assumed that my conditioning work (sandbag, kb stuff) made up for my lack of speed work but you’re making me think twice!!!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Thank you! I shall pass those well wishes along. 🙂
      It is definitely hard to find time to get to things like this when you have the kiddos. Mr. Salt is generally off work by 5 on Tuesdays so I could go last night. I hope in the future they will have something like this on a Tuesday or Wednesday when he’s off!

  10. Piper's Run says:

    I’m actually heading out to do my first track work 7 x 400 @ 5k Pace…I have no idea what I am doing but I’m going to give it a go! Great job on your first track workout!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Oooo have fun! I want to hear how it goes! I had no idea what I was doing either, but it was still so much fun. And I feel a little bit better prepared for next time. Thank you!

  11. Run Colby Run says:

    Get it DONE. I too fear the track workout. But I need it. I know I do. Today I’m just trying to get through goddamn hill repeats. You continue to inspire Salt. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MR.S! Cheers!!! xoxo

  12. Michele says:

    HolyspeedySalt!!!!!!!!!!! Girl, you’re smokin’ fast! You’ll have to give me the details on the store for when I’m back in October, *insert happy dance*. Happy Birthday, Mr. Salt!

    • runsaltrun says:

      I CAN’T WAIT I CAN’T WAIT I CAN’T WAIT!!!!! ❤ Thank you, lovely friend. I will pass along those wishes as well! We can all celebrate with burgers when you get here!

  13. chasingchels says:

    Ok first off how do you set up your watch to track laps? I tried once and failed miserably so now I use the stop watch on my phone, and it’s a pain in the butt haha. I just started doing track work, too, and I love 800s. Fun to push it but you don’t feel like you’re dying (which I do in 400s). I haven’t been able to do it with a partner like this though. Sounds like a lot more fun than on your own 🙂

    • runsaltrun says:

      My watch does my lap time automatically if I have it hooked in to the GPS. That’s just part of the display when I get my final results! What kind of watch do you have??

      I can’t decide where I feel like I’m dying more…with the 400s or the 800s. Granted I’ve never been to the track with the intention of doing 400s. I will need to try it to compare.

  14. txa1265 says:

    Great job Lauren – I continue to love how you have come back so strong from injury! You really rocked it!

    And happy birthday to Mr. Salt! Hope he has a great one!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Thank you! I am SO pleased with how well last night went. I just need to remember to warm up a lot and there have been some great results! 😀

      5pm can’t get here soon enough. I’m ready to start the birthday celebrations!

  15. Sun says:

    I love track work and am so happy to hear you got to try it out! There’s nothing like running fast around the oval 🙂 Sounds like a great workout and fun to be paired with speedy guys – they are the best to chase!

  16. Rachel says:

    Awesome splits. I LOVE the track. I don’t have a running group but I do run with a good friend of mine for speed work. We don’t run together but she is much faster than I am, but I love going fast on the track. So fun. Nice run, lady!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Thank you! I’m going to have to find a friend to bring along with me next time. I wish I could have spent more time with the group this summer! It was so much fun!

  17. runawaybridalplanner says:

    As I started back from injury recover I stuck to the track because of the softer surface and controlled terrain. It brought back good memories of High School:) Tracks can be a fun way to mix it up at times.
    And can I just say WOW that is an awesome mile time!! I haven’t had times like that since high school, I am seriously jealous:) Great job to you though, talent that is what you have!

    • runsaltrun says:

      I have only run on a track once before in my adult life and that was at the end of my marathon so I was exciting to feel that softer surface again! The track at the high school was not quite as nice as that track, but definitely more forgiving than the road. I’m just so glad I have another option now!

      Thank you so much for your very kind words! 🙂 It was definitely a confidence booster. Haha my time in high school would have had a 1 in front of that 6. I was the furthest thing from athletic back then.

  18. Tina Muir says:

    Awww this is so wonderful! I am glad you enjoyed it, and the group will help a lot. I am afraid I did 10 years of continuous track workouts, so I am truly burned out….especially when you do lots of 25×400 or 14×800….ugh! Till then, I can live through you 🙂

    • runsaltrun says:

      Thanks, Tina!! I can’t even wrap my brain around 25×400. I feel like my legs would fall off. I don’t blame you for being a little burnt out. 😉 I will run some laps for you! ❤

  19. Hailey @ Striding Strong says:

    I saw this on Instagram! Great job, speedy! That is a fantastic first lap, as are the other ones! You are making so much progress for not having been running for that long, that I bet your first lap will be the same pace as your other ones soon enough! I love mixing track intervals like a couple 1000s, a few 800s, and some fast 200s tacked onto the end. Happy Birthday to Mr. Salt!!!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Thank you so much! 😀 I am excited to get better at stuff like this. I was obviously just a little overzealous at the beginning haha. I mix it up like that when I do treadmill speed work sometimes to keep it interesting. Because the treadmill needs all the help it can get. I will definitely be trying that outside also though! Wonderful suggestion!

  20. Sweaty Mess says:

    Little Miss Speedy GonSaltas. That was awesome. Last night our track work consisted of alternating fast and recovery at the sound of the coaches whistle and on her whim. I actually loved it.

    • runsaltrun says:

      Haha I see what you did there. 🙂
      That sounds like a fun workout too! I’m glad it was more awesome than last week. Who was coaching last night? Was Sandra there?? I really want to meet Sandra in person!

      • Sweaty Mess says:

        Sandra was there. I think she coaches the marathoners. Danielle will know. I haven’t really interacted with her much because I’m over with the halfies.

  21. sarahdudek80 says:

    Heck yeah for the track workout. They can be so hard but you will notice some great results. Plus it is a really great way to mix things up a bit. Happy birthday Mr. Salt. I love the Renaissance Faire. Man you see a bit of everything there! Have a great time.

  22. themilereport says:

    Speedy splits!! Group workouts always push me harder than solo intervals, but now that you know what you can do, you can totally hit those times on your own! ladder workouts are my favorite because they’re easier to mentally digest…fewer same-distance repeats!

    • runsaltrun says:

      It definitely gave me a good idea of what I’m capable of! I will run them on my own, but I think in this case I will always prefer to have a buddy to run with. I’m excited to try ladders on the track!

  23. Sam @ The Running Graduate says:

    That sounds like a lot of fun, and awesome job on that first split! (Well, all three miles but that first split rocked!)
    It’s so awesome your’e going to the Renaissance Fair! I went a couple of years ago and had so much fun 🙂

    • runsaltrun says:

      Thank you so much! It was really fun and I’m REALLY looking forward to the Fair this weekend! We go a lot (and are those weird people that you see dress up…I need to get a new costume). It’s going to be so much more fun this year I think because my daughter is a little older and can really enjoy the things going on around her.

  24. Sue @ This Mama Runs For Cupcakes says:

    I still can’t believe this was your first track workout. You killed it!! I’m totally inspired by you and how freaking fast you are!! You are totally going to qualify for Boston! Great job!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Thanks, friend! I had SO much fun! And obviously I really hope that happens one day, but it will be awhile before I run a marathon with any kind of intention of qualifying. 🙂

  25. Shawna says:

    GIRL! your splits are amazeeeee and i cannot even comprehend my legs moving that quickly. good on you! i never do track workouts — my running is always just for me and i don’t follow any sort of plans or try to improve my speed or anything — but this is def making me want to work out with other people and add some sort of structure. maybe one day!

  26. piratebobcat says:

    Awwwwwww yeaaaaah! Glad you found a new group! And glad you got to do a track workout! I secretly love them too! Yes, they hurt, they hurt bad, but they are over quick, and they make you faster! Nice job L! 800’s kick my arse!

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