My First Attempt At Speed Work

I know that since I’m not training for anything in particular right now, my motivation to keep up with a consistent exercise routine is going to falter pretty quickly. I’ve learned that lesson again and again this year, so I signed up for almost monthly races to keep the momentum going. The last race on my schedule for 2012 was the Feaster Five (race recap to come) on Thanksgiving, and in the week since then, I’ve only run once and done weights once. I guess that’s better than nothing, but it’s still nowhere near where I was was when I training for my first triathlon.

So in my attempt to stay fit and improve in my running, I’ve decided to give 5K speed work a try. I read a very enlightening article on Active.com that recommended “ladder” intervals because it addresses both the speed and the stamina factors of running, and it changes the interval, which means I won’t get bored. We all know I get bored easily, which is why long distance running is such a challenge for me. My asthma may have something to do with that too…

Anyway, here’s what I’ll be trying over the next month or two, just once a week:

  1. 0.5 mi warm up (~11:30/mi or 5.2mph)
  2. 0.5 mi fast (~10:30/mi or 5.7mph)
  3. 2 minute recovery
  4. 0.25 mi fast (~10:20/mi or 5.8mph)
  5. 2 minute recovery
  6. 0.1 mi fast (~10:00/mi or 6mph)
  7. 2 minute recovery
  8. 0.1 mi fast (~10:00/mi or 6mph)
  9. 2 minute recovery
  10. 0.25 mi fast (~10:20/mi or 5.8mph)
  11. 2 minute recovery
  12. 0.5 mi fast (~10:30/mi or 5.7mph)

Hopefully with some improvement over time, I’ll be able to increase my speed. I’m sick of being so dang slow all the time, so time to do something about it and (maybe) get faster!

Have you ever done speed work?

What do you do when you have nothing to train for?

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7 thoughts on “My First Attempt At Speed Work

  1. Pingback: Julie Isphording: Running « Rubber Tyres --> Smooth Rides

  2. Pingback: What’s Your Optimal Pace? | cutedogsandhugs

  3. I feel like you and I are on the same wavelength. I’m nervous not having a race to work toward, but remembered last year, when I was doing the Couch 2 5k, I just wanted to increase my runs by 1 minute until I made it up to 60 minutes.

    This winter, I’m working on speed, too, but in truth, you are faster than me! πŸ˜‰

    My plan is to do intervals, but always try to beat my time from the previous time. We’ll see how that goes.

    But also read this article just today, which I found kind of interesting: http://rajganpath.com/2011/06/24/time-efficient-training-reduce-your-5k-time-by-more-than-20-in-just-4-weeks/

    I don’t think I’ll give it a try just yet because with holidays and such I won’t have access to a treadmill 6 times a week. But I like the idea of running a smaller amount of time…

  4. Good luck! I don’t do as much speed work as I should – I tend to rely on other people (run club, friends etc) to train with me and force me to do it. But last year I did 1 session per week when training for a 10km and it went much easier.
    I’ll be playing around with it again now that I’ve cut marathon from my race schedule next year, maybe we can motivate eachother to do it? πŸ™‚

    • If I ever want to break 30:00 on a 5K, I should probably do speed work. Maybe “easy” runs will exist for me then! Why did you cut your marathon (besides because running one is crazy)?

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