There are many reasons to do speed work:
– Improved fitness
– It makes your runs fly by (especially on the treadmill)
– You burn more calories
– You become a faster runner
But the #1 reason to do speed work?
IT GETS YOU IN TUNE WITH WHAT YOUR BODY IS CAPABLE OF.
If all you ever do is run at your comfortable LSD pace, you will never know if your body can handle more. Speed work makes you realize it is okay to push your speed and that a little discomfort isn’t all that bad.
If I hadn’t been doing speed work at the gym the last few weeks, I never would have push the 2.5 miles of my 7 mile run this morning. I decided at mile 4.5 I was going to pick up the pace. I challenged myself to stay below a 9:30 pace for the remainder of my run. It was tough, but it felt great.
Sometimes I think my body actually prefers a faster pace but my mind has a harder time accepting speed.
I finished the 7 miles in 1:08 which included three .05 mile walking breaks.
3 weeks and counting until half marathon number 5!