*****DON’T FORGET to gradually introduce speedwork into your running! We get injured when we go too fast or for too long when we aren’t ready for it yet. And remember to save your racing legs for race day… don’t go 100% all out during your speed workouts!
10 Speed Workouts To Try:
-3 x 2 miles fast. This one is my favorite to do with running friends (we did it here). Warm-up, 3 x 2 miles fast (with .5 mile recovery after each set), cool-down. The speed we hit for these is usually a little bit faster than 1/2 marathon pace and close to 10k pace. You can also try 2 x 3 miles too:)
-Did this one time with Josse and it was killer at the track—> warm-up, 1 lap recovery after each interval—> 5 laps, 4 laps, 3 laps, 2 laps, 1 lap, cool-down. Stuck to around fast mile pace for each interval.
-Fartleks (speed play) however the heck you want! Speed up during the chorus of a song, 1 minute fast with 1 minute recovery on repeat, speed up until the next stop sign and then recover and run fast to the next mailbox, go fast for one block and then recover one block… you choose but just get those legs moving!
-1 mile repeats from Hansons:
-My coach had me do this one a bunch when I was focusing on 1/2 marathons: 1 mile warm-up, 400m, 400m, 800m, 800m, 400m, 400m (with 2 minute recoveries after each one) and 1 mile cool-down. Detailed post HERE!
-My favorite 3-2-1 workout. Warm-up, 3 miles fast, .4 mile recovery jog, 2 miles faster, .4 mile recovery jog, 1 mile FASTEST, cool-down. Fast= marathon pace, faster=10k-1/2 marathon pace, fastest= 5k pace.
– Marathon Runners—> YASSO 800s!!! Warm-up, 800m intervals with a jog equal to the same amount of time it took you to run the 800 meters, cool-down. They advise to start out with 4 800s and then to increase each week by 1 until you reach 10. More info HERE!
-Try something similar to the YASSOS—> ‘8 x 400m: run the first 200m of each rep at your mile pace, and then accelerate for the final 200m. Your recovery jogs should be 400m.’ (source)
-‘At a track, warm up, then run eight laps, alternating fast and slow 200s. The fast 200s should be hard, but not a full sprint- Each week add an extra lap until you run 12 fast/slow 200s.’ (source) I’m excited to try this one!
-Hill work is speedwork in disguise so combining hills and sprints=awesome (although, make sure to SLOWLY increase your hills/speed to avoid injury and allow your body to adjust to the workload). A great one that I used to do… adjust your paces to your needs:
10 Speedwork Benefits (quotes from the Hanson’s Half Marathon Method):
-EVERY runner benefits from speedwork. It doesn’t matter what your pace is or what your goals are. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone will help you to improve your running!
-DEVELOP MUSCLE FIBER—> “Not only the slow-twitch fibers but also the intermediate fibers become maximally activated to provide aerobic energy. This forces the slow-twitch fibers to maximize their aerobic capacities, but it also trains the intermediate fibers to step in when the slow-twitch fibers become fatigued.”
– The above benefit then creates better muscle coordination which improves our running economy (aka our body becomes more efficient at running.. how much oxygen is required to run a certain pace, the less oxygen used the better).
-You invest A LOT into your Mental Running Bank Account with each speed workout that you do. Come race day you get to make that withdrawal and feel the confidence from finishing those hard speed workouts and knowledge that you can finish even if you want to quit with every fiber of your being.
-More myoglobin is produced when we do speedwork. “Myoglobin helps transport oxygen to the muscles and then to the mitochondria. With its help, the increased demand for oxygen is met to match capillary delivery and the needs of the mitochondria.”
-Speedwork teaches our muscles to be more efficient storing glycogen which is quite helpful especially during distance running. “Because speed sessions include high-intensity running near 100 percent VO2 max, glycogen stores provide upwards of 90 percent of energy, thus rapidly depleting them.”
-‘Due to the intensity of speed work, the body becomes more efficient at shuttling these byproducts out of the working muscles. Speed work therefore increases your lactate turn point, which is the point at which lactic acid build-up exceeds removal. Presumably if an athlete has a higher lactate turn-point, they can continue at a higher intensity of effort with a longer time until exhaustion.’ (source)
-It will help you to avoid boredom and keep your body/brain guessing what’s next:)
-And of course because of all of these things you will get faster:) Feel like you are plateauing in your running… I can pretty much bet you money that you will see some BIG changes in your running/times when you start to incorporate speed each week!
10 Ways to Motivate yourself to get your speed on:
-I think—> “DO THE WORK NOW so that it hurts a little bit less on race day.”
-I trick my brain—> Sometimes when I am not motivated at all I just tell myself on the way to the workout that I’m just going to do the warm-up and then go back home;) Once I do the warm-up I tell myself I’ll just do one repeat and then finish… I keep adding on and before I know it= I finished the workout.
-My highest amount of endorphins come after a hard speed workout. Think about that post-run feeling of accomplishment because doing work just makes us feel really good.
-Just start. Don’t procrastinate it. My SPEEDY friend Rachelle taught me this one because she just gets in and goes for it without thinking about it, stopping to chat, taking a longer warm-up, dreading it. I loved it. She taught me to just get in and go and then I can talk, stretch, cool-down for as long as I want afterwards.
-Sometimes the numbers of speed workouts demotivate me and so I go 100% off of effort levels and I don’t look at my watch.
-Goals. Goals. Goals. Goals. If you have some running goals that you want, they are most definitely not going to just fall into your lap. Go do the work for them.
-GO WITH A FRIEND!!! Even just having a friend there doing a completely different workout than I am doing helps. It motivates me to get out there and to go and chase after them:)
-Sign up for a race. That always gets me into the speed work groove again.
-Dig deep. You’ve got it in you. Don’t doubt your potential and get excited to see what you are made of.
-As you drive to the track listen to ’Till I Collapse by Eminem, “find that inner strength, get that motivation to not give up and not be a quitter.”
Of course I have to share some things from our night!
-PJs at 5 pm. Brooke opened up the fridge and told me she wanted a snack as tall as her toes to her fingers.
–Megan set me up with some TRX Mountain Climbers which are officially 400 times harder than the normal ones for me.
-We can’t agree with this sign. Tuesday morning when Brooke and I walked out the door Brooke started crying because she thought it was going to be summer when we went outside… I’m right there with ya Brooke.
-LOVED this card from Kaoru! Goodbye 20s…
-Brooks February socks. I’ll be wearing the beauties on the left today.
-Brooke and I got to catch up with our amazing friend Brooke. She is a huge inspiration for me, she is a cancer survivor and has had the most amazing attitude about everything during the toughest of times. She puts every person that she comes in contact with in the best mood.
-Hot chocolate in my Donut Ever Let Me Go mug while we chat.
How do you motivate yourself to do speed work?
Have a favorite speed workout?? Would love it if you would share it with us in the comments!
How’s the weather where you are? How’s it working out with your running?
If you could have any snack on the planet right now… what would it be?