Speed Work

I have been slacking a little bit in terms of doing speed work as part of my (first) marathon training plan and I figured today was the day to rectify that problem! Speed work makes you fitter and faster, so what marathoner doesn’t want to take advantage of that?

I have known from my last few long runs that I needed to start doing a little more during the week to work on my speed and last night I remembered a little ace up my sleeve that I have used in the past. 

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When I trained for my first 10k which was the Nike Human Race 10k , I used this training method on my iPod every day for a month!  I have downloaded various speed work sets on my ipod. The original one I started using was the My First 10k Training workout.

It is 45 minutes of Jay Blahnik talking to you in year earphones, walking you through a training session.

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The workout starts with a warm up run, followed by spring intervals, which are 1 minute of sprinting/pushing yourself to the max and 1 minute of catching your breath/jogging. Then you do another run session for endurance for about 10 minutes and then another round of sprints followed by cool down.

I love this method of speed work because I am not one to be looking down at my watch every minute or 30 seconds or whatever to sprint for a certain amount of time. I enjoy some one pushing me, with super fast paced music to accompany the speed!

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I really think this method of training is why I have done well in the past in races. I can’t believe it has taken me this long in my Chicago training to remember to use it! I still have 46 days to train, so hopefully I can pick up my pace a bit by incorporating these speed sessions once or twice a week.

My splits turned out pretty good and I completed a 6 mile run in 53 minutes. During my sprint intervals I tried to keep my pace between 6 – 7:30 min/mile and then in the in between minutes I tried to stay in the 9:30-10:30 min/mile.

I ran a mile past when the training session stopped and managed to push myself to a 7:49 min/mile for the last mile of my run this morning, so I was very pleased with that! Hopefully I can keep it up!

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It’s funny how I didn’t really even know how important speed work was when I was using it 2 years ago to train for my first 10k, and now I feel like I really understand the benefits of it and how necessary it is to any training plan and I haven’t been taking advantage of it as much as I should have for the past 2 months!

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But fear not! I am officially back on the speed work band wagon so stay tuned for upcoming posts on some of my other favorite training downloads for iTunes!

How do you train for speed? Share your secrets!

Side Note – I came home from my run and Jackson was sleeping on the end table next to the comfy chair. He’s a silly pup! I guess the heart wants what it wants and he wanted a cold, hard faux wood surface instead of a soft leather recliner.

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I wish Jackson could talk. I wonder what he would say! 

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8 Comments

  • Reply d.a.r. August 24, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    I have to do speedwork on the treadmill, otherwise I get distracted or find myself falling all over the sidewalk because I am too busy looking at my watch. It is just much easier for me to program it into the treadmill and go!

  • Reply Nichole August 24, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    GOOD spilts, wow, proud of you. And glad you are focused.

    I am trying speedwork as I prep for my next 1/2. I love it, but find it's much easier on the treadmill to be precise.

  • Reply Becky August 24, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    Nice work! I can only manage speedwork on the treadmill at this point, so I try to do some sort of interval workout at least once a week. I usually make it up as a I go along, but maybe I'll check out some pre-designed workouts. They'd probably be a little more effective.

  • Reply Charm City Kim August 24, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    Even though I'm not really running at the moment – when I was running, speedwork always intimidated me. I'm a slow poke but after my IT Band injury – the physical therapist actually recommended that I incorporate more sprint drills in my training because it would help to lengthen my stride.

  • Reply Lacey Nicole August 24, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    i'm actually posting all about building up speed tomorrow on my blog!!! and my perspective is after a running hiatus due to surgery so it would apply to anyone starting at any level. i really think it's all about starting small and building – consistently. not even just once a week, but pushing yourself as often as you can. and not just running, but in XT, too, so incorporating sprints in the elliptical or bike. over time it REALLY works- the consistency and building your tolerance.

  • Reply ~Mrs. Guru~ August 24, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    I need to do speed workouts as well but I hate speed workouts!

  • Reply ladypurpl August 24, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    It's never too late to use your speed workouts, remember the Sparklers and your sprint workouts?
    Mr. Krieger would be proud! As for Jackson, he is a silly pup and I do wish he could talk, but he already does, we both know that!

  • Reply Lizzy August 25, 2010 at 2:15 am

    I get my speed workouts from a local running club but I haven't showed up to practices yet! I end up doing my speed workouts on the treadmill and I love it!

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