Saturday, October 22, 2011

the need for speed...kinda

As training for the half wound down, I spent some time thinking about what I wanted my runs to look like once it was all over. I already knew my weaknesses, speed and strength. If sprinters are Porsche, and long distance runners are a Camry, than I am a golf cart, with only one speed. When I think I am going "fast" I am about a ten minute mile, when I think I am slow and steady I am only about thirty seconds slower. As for strength, after two babies, my arm muscles have been beefed up from lifting the girls, my core is soft.

This week I took it slow. It felt good to go out and just run, no distance in mind, just hit the pavement. There was a dip in my mood, the crabbiness that comes when I don't get enough sweat in during the day. I started formulating a plan for the winter months (I am sure I will adjust it as I need to). Speed, hills, one long"ish"run, and cross training. The problem with the whole speed thing is that I had no idea what a "fast mile" looked like for me. 

This morning, while the girls were napping and Justin was chopping down trimming our rhododendron trees, I laced up and headed over to a neighborhood park. It has a paved path around it, with slight hills. I did a slow jog around the perimeter to establish the distance of one lap, about .4. I changed my pandora station from JB to Beastie Boys (it felt a little bit more hardcore), swallowed my pride (there was an audience of middle age men playing soccer), and set off. I ran at what felt like 80% for exactly one mile. My trusty Garmin said 8:34. That my friends, is my starting point, my pace to beat.

Here are my questions and I would love your responses...

  • What is your favorite speed workout?
  • How often do you do a speed workout?
  • Have you noticed a difference in your running with a speed workout mixed in?



  1. Amazing! So encouraged by this. I can't wait to see how things progress for you and work through this together.

  2. I love to do intervals and I think they made me way speedier! I do them on the treadmill. Sprint as fast as I can for 1 min/walk for 1 min. I do this for 20 min. I think you can do something similar on a track. I also like tempo runs where you start slow and every mile add speed and then slowly take speed away. Both of those things have really helped me. I think if you want to run faster you have to start running faster even if it is for a shorter amount of time. I think one or two days a week you should do speed work. I hope that helps a little!