Apologies to Robert Heinlein. The training schedule yesterday said Speed Workout: 7×800. Since I slackered the first speed workout on the schedule two weeks ago with the dual excuses of cold and darkness, I decided to find a more worthy substitute than the elliptical. Again confronted with cold and darkness, my usual outdoor “track” locations weren’t going to cut it. Even if I could see my splits in the dark, temps in the low 20s and 10+mph wind aren’t that conducive to speed. So I decided to hit the ‘mill. First, I set the incline to 1% and got a fan going. After a mile of warming up, slowly cranking up the speed towards 8:00 miles, I was ready. Target pace was a 5K 6:07. This being my first speed workout in a while, I backed it off of 6:07 a touch for the first lap. One brain cramp and 400m later, I was “done” with the first interval. I decided to do 3/10 mile cool downs in between, and then pulled off 5 800m intervals starting at 6:07 and stepping down one increment slower (6s or 7s or so) for each successive lap. My last interval was another shortened 400m due to (1) a developing hot spot on my left sole – thanks, ‘mill! and (2) had to pick up Cole from bb practice. Observations: it is mentally easier to not slack off once you have dialed in a pace for an interval on the ‘mill. When you’re out there on the track, it’s harder to keep a steady fast pace by yourself, even with a Garmin. On the ‘mill, you’d have to really admit defeat by shamefully pressing the “decrease pace” button. It’s like there’s someone cracking a whip behind you as you mentally shout “come on 5.7!” The downside of the ‘mill of course is that it’s really not the same as running on solid ground. Not a bad substitute for every once in a while, but I wouldn’t want it to be the usual. Also, too much friction as evidenced by the almost-blister I was working on. Total mileage: 6.