The Need for Speed



Today I added speed workouts to my half marathon training. I have successfully built my base back up so I feel good about adding speed work in now. I am a huge fan of speed work and feel it was the main factor in reaching my ha;f marathon PR of 1:57:35 in January. Since I was training throughout the holidays, I actually ran fewer miles due to busy schedules, trips and parties. The cold weather and dark morning forced many of my workout to be done on the treadmill.


I hate doing long runs on the treadmill, so I made my treadmill workouts short and fast. This makes my treadmill workouts go by faster and also more efficient so I can spend less time on the belt. Without knowing it, I was doing speed work and preparing myself for a PR. I actually realized the benefit of speed work in the middle of my half when I was able to push hard in the torturous miles 8-12. Speed work prepares your body for being uncomfortable. While a steady, slower pace feels doable, speed work help you mentally prepare and realize that you can run at a faster pace and you will survive!


This morning’s workout was short because I didn’t want to over do it in my first speed session and I also have a long run of 8-9 miles on the calendar for tomorrow. Here was what my 2.5 mile workout looked like:


1 mile warmup @ 9:30 pace
1 minute @ 5k pace – 7:41/mile
1 minute walking
2 minutes @ 10k pace – 8:13/mile
1 minute walking
1 minute @ 5k pace – 7:41/mile
1 minute walking
2 minutes @ 10k pace – 8:13/mile
5 minute cool down
NOTE: Repeat the 5k pace/walking/10k pace/walking intervals 2-5 times. I did two today and will add one each week.


5 minutes on bike at low resistance – I find flushing my legs out on the bike after a fast run or lower body strength routine is the best way to prevent soreness.
10 minutes toning – triceps, biceps, abs


Do you include speed work in your training? If so, what is your favorite speed workout?


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One thought on “The Need for Speed

  1. Bridgette says:

    I love mile repeats and doing a ladder workout:
    –3 800’s
    –3 400’s
    –2 200’s
    –2 100’s
    jog in between

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