Let’s Talk Training: Speed Workouts

Gimp update! I ran 9 miles on Sunday and it wasn’t horrendously painful. Ibuprofen aided my recovery and helped with the pain during the run, but hey, I’m stoked. I also have new shoes coming in the mail today, so I can’t wait to see if new support helps the knee pain, too!

The road shoe 

The long distance trail shoe… for backpacking and Half Dome and basically when my Pace Gloves won’t work… 

Today is my speed workout day. I’ve been doing my speed workouts on my bike trainer. It is HARD, but so good, you know?

My heart was pining to be toeing the line at the SD Half Marathon this weekend, so I’ve been putting  that emotion into my workouts. I used to be really bad at working out in anything but the best of moods, on the best of days. Working through this injury has really helped me get those workouts in despite stress or emotions. The big picture is showing itself to me now, and I’m able to channel my bad days, pissed off bosses, anxiety or anger into my bike better than ever. Sometimes it hurts, sometimes you’re fighting with your spouse or you’ve had a bad day, but getting a workout in always helps (me at least) feel like I accomplished something, like I don’t totally suck today. So, get out there!

I’m coming for you again Half Dome

I’m really working hard to be pain free by Ragnar (Mid April). My race calendar this year is pretty empty, but I’ll hopefully be climbing some mountains, doing some huge bike rides and achieving other goals that I would never have time for with races every other Sunday. I’m excited for it, and looking forward to hopefully doing some or all of the following later in the year: Nike Women’s, Tahoe Marathon Week, California International Marathon.

Let’s talk training: Speed Workouts

*From about.com

Definition: Speedwork is any running workout in which you run faster than your normal pace for a certain time or distance, or intervals. In between those fast intervals, you typically recover at a slower-than-normal pace.

Sample beginner speed training workouts:
How to Do Hill Repeats
Beginner Fartlek Workout
How to Do Strides


I always hated intervals in track and field. It’s the type of workout where you push until you want to puke, rest for what feels like 1 second and then push again for x amount of repetitions. Now, I look forward to my speed days. They help switch it up, I always get a really good sweat on and I have seen huge benefits from them as far as my endurance and of course my speed. Having a speed day also helps me mentally be more at peace with running slower during my other workouts. *Side note: 200meters=1/2 of a standard track lap 400meters=1 standard lap

I recommend a few things for speed workouts: music, lots of water, a set plan or number of intervals you want to do, and an easy way to gauge distance. If you have  Garmin, most can be set up to beep at you every 200 meters or whatever, or you could be old school and get yo’ ass to a track. I prefer the track method when I’m speed training on foot. There is always the stationary bike option as well, which is my favorite. Your average spin class is a great speed and interval workout.

P and I do this workout every morning as part of our hill/speed training (on bikes). 2 months later it has gotten significantly easier and we have gotten significantly stronger. 

Also, running hills is referenced in an above workout. Run hills. Do it, seriously. My strongest miles are always the uphill ones because I live in a really hilly area, and train on them daily. Resign yourself to never running flat miles again if you live in California, and enjoy it!

Just for reference…

During marathon or half marathon training my average week looks like this:


As you can tell I sometimes switch those days around, which is fine, right?

Does anyone else have a speed workout that they love or advice on why we should all subject ourselves to this torture ;-)? 


One thought on “Let’s Talk Training: Speed Workouts

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