Category Archives: speed work

week 5

My plan was to back off ever so slightly this week … but that didn’t seem to happen!  Next week is my last week before the TAPER starts!!!  My body is R E A D Y!  Actually, my mind is even more ready.  I am tired.  Hard to believe Fall 2012 was the last time I trained for a marathon. I forgot how worn out marathon training makes me.   It really is like adding in a part time job.

Another solid week of 50+ miles :)  51.4 miles

6.1 miles, 8:17 pace (I had tummy “issues” during the night, and had to swing by the house after 4.5 miles to use the bathroom but then finished the run. I think my body was MAD at me for what I splurged on aka Easter Candy / bread)

10 miles – speed on the ‘mill
2 miles w/u
5 x mile w/ .25 jogs
6:59 – 6:57 – 6:54 – 6:51 – 6:38
2 mile c/d

8.1 miles, 7:40 pace – intentionally ran hills
it’s amazing what having a Gu before a run does – that little bit of caffeine for this addict and just a big of energy to get me going
yoga – it was a sub teacher and really was more stretching than yoga.  I was bored but it was also probably really good for me :)

8 miles, progressive tempo, on the ‘mill
2 miles w/u, then dropped pace each 2 miles
18:02 – 16:00 – 15:00 – 14:11
CXworx core class (knees were achy during the squats/lunges part)

3.3 miles, super easy, 8:37 pace

16 miles, 8:41 pace
“Best of Seattle” loop
I ran slower than normal so I wouldn’t get lost! :)  It was good to have a relaxing long run though!

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Filed under core work, life, long runs, marathon training, plan / weekly recaps, running, speed work, tempo

week 9

Back at it!

43.4 miles total

Monday – 5 miles, 8:07 pace
Tuesday – speed on the treadmill – 8 miles
2 mile warm up, 6 x 1/2 mile with 2 min jogs, 2 mile cool down
3:20 – 3:15 – 3:18 – 3:17 – 3:13 – 3:07
Wednesday – 6.1 miles, 8:19 pace
planks: 1 min elbow, 1 min each side, 1 min elbow
Thursday – tempo intervals on the treadmill – 8 miles
2 mile warm up, 2 x 2 miles with 2 min jog in-between, 1.5 mile cool down
14:14 and 14:13 (2nd got HARD)
CXworx core class
Friday – yoga
Saturday – 16.3 miles, 7:48 pace
I think I over did it a bit :) 

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Filed under marathon training, plan / weekly recaps, running, speed work

listening to your body

It’s easy to feel like listening to your body = giving up on a workout.  It has been a long time since I stopped mid workout.  2 of my 3 kids were sick last week, and yesterday and today I have been able to tell my body is FIGHTING it.

Today’s speed on the treadmill was going to be 40 minutes of 4 min on, 1 min off.  I love this workout on my gym’s treadmills because you set it to auto – it slows down and speeds up to whatever you set it to. No brain activity required. Perfect.  My goal was the 4 min at 6:40 pace. 1 min as slow as needed :)

From the get go, I knew I didn’t feel right.  I always warm up 1.5 miles. Even at an easy pace, my body felt sluggish. And then HOT.  I wondered if the airflow was off in the gym. Or maybe something we wrong with me? After my warm up, I stopped and stretched and tried to muster by determination.

I fought my way through 4 reps.  Normally I do my recovs around 6.5 (9:13 pace) on the treadmill.  Yet I was needing to walk and barely jog each time today.  By the 5th rep I knew my body was DONE.  I knew I wasn’t quitting.  I was making a wise choice.  One workout is not worth making myself more sick.  I was sweating way more than normal. Like dripping off me nasty sweating after getting off the ‘mill. Gross.  I did head to the CXworx core class when I got off the treadmill.  And that was good – and the good kind of HARD. 

In reality, this is a good week for less miles.  I have been running solid weeks. I am also racing a 15K on Sunday.  I am just hoping and praying I am well by then! And my legs will be rested :)


Filed under life, marathon training, running, speed work

Intervals and heart rate comparison

Yesterday I ran 6 miles on the treadmill, doing 4 min hard 1 min recovery.

My recoveries were at 9:13 pace and zero incline.

I did 1 interval at 1.5 incline, but realized that was a bit over zealous if I was aiming for speed.  I did the rest at 1.0 incline (I’ve read – and it makes sense – that running on the treadmill you should do an incline of 0.5 or 1.0 to compensate for how easy the ‘mill is compared the roads).  My pace started at 7:30 for my 4 min on, and I progressed to 7:19, 7:03, 6:58 and my last 1 kicked my tail at 6:53.

I am just now getting back into intervals for the first time since LAST spring (as in Spring 2013).  I can definitely tell my speed is really lacking. I also want to start realistic because I am pretty sure part of how I got hurt last Fall was attempting to pick back up doing inverts at the same pace I had left off at 3 months earlier (that and the wrong shoe for my foot type).

I mentioned in my last post about the Body Combat class that my only negative was that my heart rate averaged 120 BPM with 158 being my max.  In comparison, during my run yesterday, in 48 minutes, my average was 166 BPM with 186 my max.  I love running :)

*side note – I started wearing a heart rate monitor at the gym because my husband’s company does a wellness program where if we document exercise, we get points, and the following year you get a discount on your health insurance premium based on points accumulated in the previous year.  The 2 easiest ways to document exercise are a GPS watch (which I use running) and a heart rate monitor when at the gym.  BUT I have come to really like/appreciate the heart rate monitor because it is good accountability to keep working hard.

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Filed under gym, running, speed work


I did a speed workout this morning – first one since early June. It felt so good and definitely began rekindling the fire within!  Since we joined a gym in January, I’ve mostly done my speed on a treadmill.  I like that I run a forced, consistent speed.  In an ideal world I’d meet a group of people at a track every week.  Yet I don’t have consistent access to a track or to a group of people at a similar pace as me.  When I attempt speed on the roads by myself, it’s too hard to maintain my pace – too easy to slow down.  Thus the treadmill it is.  I typically set the incline to 1%.  Not sure if it makes much of a difference, but smart runner people say it does, so I do it!

Here’s what I did today –

1.25 mile warm up
3 sets of

400 @ 8.4 MPH  (7:10 pace)
400 @ 9.1 MPH  (6:38 pace)
400 @ 9.6 MPH  (6:15 pace)
1/2 mile recovery

1 mile cool down

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Filed under marathon training, running, speed work, that feeling

Heritage Museum 5K

Several friends and I ran a small local 5K on Saturday.  Several of our kids did the 1 mile run as well.  It was fun to share a race with friends!

This was my first 5K since June of last year, and this spring I have been training much more focused on 5Ks, so I knew a PR was possible.   My speed workout has been specifically geared towards 5K paces – I’ve been doing it at 6 min pace, which would be 18:38 5K.

Going out, we were running into a nasty wind coming in off the water.  My legs were feeling heavy and I was beginning to think it wouldn’t happen.  There were 3 guys in front of me.  I hit mile 1 in 5:53 – no wonder my legs felt heavy!  That was exactly where I wanted to be.  Just before the turnaround, I pass a guy and am closing on the next guy.  The leader is enough out in front that I know I’ll never see him.  I pull even with the guy in 2nd and we run together.  Mile 2 is 6:05 – a bit slower than I wanted but still in good shape.  I love having someone to work with!  I pull ahead probably around 2.75 miles.  I was pretty sure he’d have a good kick.  Sure enough, when we round the corner for the final stretch, he bolts past me.

I hit the line in 18:39!  Exactly the pace I’ve been training for – and a 15 second PR!!

I felt really good, and honestly felt like I had a bit left that I could have used in that last mile.   Normally I finish a 5K and think “Ugh I hated that! I hate 5Ks! Never again!”  But this time it was “Wow, when’s the next?!”  I guess the speed workouts are working!! :)

And I guess I need to start doing speed workouts at a 5:55 pace (18:22 5K).

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Filed under goals, PR, race, running, speed work

transitioning from Half Marathon to 5K

A week or so after the Seaside half, I read a great article in Runner’s World about several elite runners who ran PRs on the track soon after a great marathon.  Granted I just came off a half not a full, but it’s still very applicable.  The main point of the article was that you not only need to re-develop your foot speed, but you need to re-train your body and mind to endure the short lived intense pain of a 5K.   In a marathon, and in my half marathon, it’s more of a long dull ache with pain coming on towards the end.  A 5K often hurts from soon after the gun goes off!

In reality, I HATE 5Ks.  I hate that intense pain.  It hurts!  I’ve had more thoughts of dropping out of a race in 5Ks than in any other distance.  It’s so mental.

Thus, the article was great for me to read.  It also gave 5 workouts that help you train your body and mind for the transition.  I’ve done the first 3 and they’ve been really good.  I’ve been doing them on the treadmill at a 6 min pace (10.0 MPH) which would be a 18:38 5K.  Aiming high!

Here are the workouts …

5 x (5 x 200m @ 5K pace) with 30-second rests between repeats and 3 minutes rest between sets

5 x (400m, 400m, 200m @ 5K pace) with 45-second rests between repeats and 3 minutes rest between sets

5 x (600m, 400m @ 5K pace) with 1-minute rests between repeats and 3 minutes rest between sets

5 x 800m @ 5K pace with 3-minute rests, then 5 x 200m a little faster than 5K pace with 45-60 seconds rest

2 x (1K, 800m, 600m, 400m @ 5K pace) with 2-minute rests between repeats and 4-5 minutes rest between sets

5–6 x 1K with 3-minute rests; start slower than 5K pace and progress to running goal pace for the last 3 repeats

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Filed under elite runners, marathon training, PR, running, speed work