Friday, April 22, 2011

speed work success ...

When I unveiled my new training plan last week, I mentioned that it included an aspect of training that I have failed to include until this point - SPEED WORK.

In the past, speed work has taken a backseat to endurance building. I run a lot of miles at a comfortable pace and a few miles faster than that (depending on who I am running with), but I've never really executed intervals or tempo runs or fartleks. At least not intentionally.

That was until this week.

On Wednesday night, I finally executed. The schedule called for 3 x 1 mile at 10K pace (7:51). So, I hopped on my best friend, the treadmill. I started out with a quarter-mile warm-up at 9:40 pace. Easy peasy. Then, I kicked it up to 7:47. Not bad. I could handle that. And that quarter-mile recovery was HEAVEN. It felt like I was walking. Repeat the cycle two more times and the first speed work session was complete.

Was it easy? No. Was it as hard as I thought it would be? No. Did I pray for it to be over? Yes.

Fast forward to this morning. KC joined me for an early morning tempo run. The goal: 5 miles, tempo miles @ 8:18 (HMP). I was kind of freaked out before we started. KC completed a hard strength workout last night and I finished my 10 miler less than 12 hours earlier. We didn't know if we could hold the pace. And it was so dark that we couldn't read our watches.

Mile 1: 8:41 - Not bad. Still warming up.
Mile 2: 7:58 - WHAT?!?! Where the heck did that come from?
Mile 3: 8:07 - Almost on point.
Mile 4: 8:04 - Please someone end this now!
Mile 5: 9:03 - Cool-down

I read those splits and I was super happy. And sweaty.

Maybe speed work isn't evil after all ...

32 comments:

MCM Mama said...

Nicely done! I can't wait to see the improvements you are going to make!

Marlene said...

You are going to get SO FAST! Tempo runs at HMP *will* bring you to your HM goals! (among other goals)

Well done!!!

Jessica (The Pace of Me) said...

wooohooo! that is sheer awesomeness. way to go!

Rene' said...

I did a little speed today. I am scared of it, but know that i need it. Nice work!!!

amy said...

Nice! Those times will be even faster before you know it, especially if you can get out to the track and do the intervals with people so that you can work together and push each other. There's nothing better than seeing that improvement!

Jogging with Fiction said...

awesome job speedster!

Jen said...

Okay coach.... how do you determine your pace? for 10K? HMP? MP?

Allison said...

Great job! I started doing speedwork for my last half and also found that it wasn't quite as bad as I was expecting! And I definitely think it helped me. I'm sure you'll be seeing improvements soon.

Beth said...

Awesome! You are going to be SO speedy once this becomes a regular part of your routine!

Kristi said...

I just added speed work 3 weeks ago. I'm anxious to see improvements in my race times! Good luck to you!!!

Rachel McPhillips said...

Whoo! I am starting some speed work. I have a question. Do you ever walk or just slow your run down? Wait a minute.. of course you never run.

Rachel McPhillips said...

Or WALK. You never walk. Geez. I need more coffee.

BigHappyFamily said...

Nice speed work!

Mommy on the Run said...

You Go GIRL! I too am terrible about doing speed work. Hills not a probably b/c I live on a hugh hill but speed has never been my strong point. Great Job and I'll be taking inspiration from you ;)

Mommy on the Run said...

Well the part about "hills not a probably, should say "hills not a problem" LOL

akhoosier said...

I love speedwork! Partially because we do it with a group from our local Fleet Feet Sports as a high school track in the summer. I also love that we have date night afterwards! :)

Katie said...

I LOVE SPEEDWORK. and i am burning with jealousy right now.

(Just) Trying is for Little Girls said...

Wow, sure doesn't look like you are "new" to speedwork.

8:18 is HMP? You ARE ready to bring it for your next half. Nice!

Julia said...

way to go!!! I am always hating speed work when I am doing it but then after I am PUMPED that I finished and amazed that I was able to run faster than I thought I could! excited for you :)

Runners Fuel said...

I need to do that is in my next training session.

Becka said...

Man. I hate speedwork. Good job!

SupermomE12 said...

Great job! I really got to love speedwork and you are going to be so excited about how much your speed improves. It is hard work but SO worth it!

And you are running vegas??? Man it would be SO fun to hang out there. VERY tempting! :)

Penny said...

Great job on the speed work and Just the mention of speed work makes me tired. I really need to do some.

Silly Girl Running said...

Speed work feels kind of good, doesn't it? :)

Char said...

Speed work is what gives me my biggest endorphin buzz. It's so satisfying to walk away after a really tough session knowing you've given your all.

Carly said...

Awesome. I really need to push myself on speedwork. I think the whole point it to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Beachgirlrunning said...

Way to go!!! Those are some awesome numbers!

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

i agree the mental hurdle of speedwork has been harder for me than some of the workouts!

Jesser said...

This gives me hope! I just created a FIRST training plan for my half in August and I am so intimidated by the speeds it wants me to go. But the payoff looks like it's worth it. Congrats!

Leah @ Chasing Atalanta said...

It's hard to get in the habit of speedwork, especially if you have to do the workouts alone, but it makes a HUGE difference!

Good luck!!

a runners' life said...

Good work! Speed work is fantastic once you get into it. It hurts while you do it but the results are so worth it. :)

Kurt @ Becoming An Ironman said...

Speed work is definitely not evil! It might have a bad rap, but it has good intentions.