To be the best Wife, Mom, Daughter, Sister, Friend, and Runner I can be...God willing!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Speed Work

My current marathon training plan incorporates lots of speed work.  Speed work is not something I have done much of in the past.  Overall I think that it is daunting and it scares me.  It means pushing myself past my limits on a weekly basis and really seeing what kind of runner I can be.  If I want to be faster and stronger, I have to do it.

Other than speed work scaring me, I am even more challenged by it because I am so out of shape.  I lost ALL of my speed this summer.  It was all I could do to run on a very infrequent basis.  Truly I am starting over with everything.

The times my coach wants me to run are just flat out impossible at the moment.  I would kill myself to run one mile or one 800 and that would be it.  That would not make a great workout.  I also don't want to risk injury so I decided it would be best to build up gradually. 

Last week I ran my tempo run at an average 8:47/mile pace instead of the 8:24 pace.   My goal is to improve my tempo mile times each week.

Today I had to do track work except I did not go to the track.  I just find that very hard to do with 4 children.  I don't think the track is a very safe place in the dark so it was the treadmill for me.  Honestly, it was probably for the best.  I could keep my 800 times consistent and there was no giving up.

I ran four 800's just under 4 minutes or a 7:53/mile pace.  My goal time is 3:41.  Those 20 seconds just seem impossible at the moment, but it will come.  I know this was the correct pace because I really felt like I would vomit during the last 400 of the last two 800's.  I was giving it all I had. 

I don't think my 800 times will improve as quickly as my tempo times.  I have to improve my endurance and embrace 800's for it to work.  This is a huge challenge for me.   The embracing part that is!

But, I will admit that I loved the feeling of accomplishment when I was finished.  I had done it and I was so happy.  The workout that scared me all week was DONE.  I had conquered my fear and did it. 

Baby steps....


  1. Yes, baby steps is right! Speed work will most definitely help you meet your goal. When I did my first speed workout on the track (post babies) it was 3 years ago. I felt kind of out of place to be on the track since I wasn't in college anymore. I did 4 800's just like you. My marathon goal was a 3:35 at the time. Getting those 800's done around 3:30 minutes was tough but I did that workout once a week and usually upped it by one or two. It worked! I ran a 3:35 and I know I owe all my speed to those 800's. Whether you are on a track or treadmill I think 800's are a great speed workout. Get a good warm-up in (I like to do 2 mi) and then I jogged an 800 recovery lap in between each set. (I do that because it keeps my mileage even that way.) You are right about having a feeling of accomplishment when you're done. Speed work does that for me too. :-) Keep it up!! You will notice your times dropping like flies!

    1. Thank you! I appreciate your support!!