First speed workout in a LONG time!

When I was deployed to Iraq, I began doing my speed workouts on a treadmill – we didn’t have access to a track and I found that running on a road was too dangerous for me.  There was quite a bit of vehicular traffic (and not just “regular” cars – HMMWVS, up-armored vehicles, and other large trucks were primarily what would drive by me on my runs) and I didn’t want to have to concentrate on anything except pushing myself when I was doing the speed workouts.  I got used to doing these workouts on the treadmill and had a very hard time doing them outside this summer/fall when I was training for the NYC Marathon. Truth be told, I didn’t do them religiously enough to see any sort of improvement.

Well, as some of you know, my husband and I bought a treadmill for Christmas (our gift to each other).  Today was the second day I’ve run on it and I decided to do one of my favorite speed workouts – 3x mile, 3x 1/2 mile, and 3x 1/4 mile repeats.  (*Favorite is a relative term since I definitely don’t enjoy the workout while I am doing it).  After the mile and 1/2 mile repeats, I jog a 1/4 mile recovery and stretch/drink water for 1-2 minutes.

Unfortunately, my son woke up from his nap as I was started the 3rd 1/2 mile repeat – so I wasn’t able to do the full workout.  However, I am beyond ecstatic at my times – my splits are slightly faster than when I was doing them in Iraq (training for the 2009 Boston Marathon which I ran in 3:21:32).  And this is despite doing very little speedwork since my son was born last January!  It makes me extremely hopeful of my goal for a sub-3:10 marathon this spring!!

Mile Splits:
1: 6:13
2: 6:08
3: 6:09

1/2 Mile Splits:
1: 2:57 (5:54 pace)
2: 2:55 (5:50 pace)

While my times have improved, I know I need to really work on my endurance (I used to do 8 x mile repeats in Iraq!). Now that I have the treadmill IN the house, I have no excuse to not do speedwork on a consistent basis.

How often do you do speedwork?  Do you prefer mile repeats? Shorter Intervals? Tempo training?

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    8 thoughts on “First speed workout in a LONG time!

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    4. VERY nice splits! You’ll rock Boston.

      I love mile repeats…my favorite speedwork. I detest quarters though, primarily b/c I suck at them! I swear my quarter splits are faster in the midst of mile repeats than in standalone quarters. ; )

    5. Awesome job on the treadmill! Those are some insane splits. It must be great to see such progress after so much time away from religious speedwork. Best of luck this spring; do you have a race picked yet?

      To your questions, I must admit: I don’t do speedwork as often as I like; pretty much never if I’m not on a training plan that calls for it. I usually do quarter to half mile repeats, or time based intervals, plus tempo runs, but really need to get in the habit of mile repeats. I hear they’re the magic sauce.

      • Thanks, Keath!! I was super excited to see those #s yesterday. I started doing the first mile repeat with no expectations and started at a 6:30 pace and felt like I was fine. Going to try to time one mile next week and see how fast I can do it =)
        And yes – mile repeats are the way to go (at least for the longer distances). Shorter are great to build speedwork, but mile repeats are great practice for pushing yourself at the end of a marathon!

    6. Wow speedy!!!! Amazing!

      I love speedwork – same as you though, while I’m doing it I don’t love it so much!

      I like to mix up my speed workouts – I like to do all different distances but I think my favorite is 1/4 mile repeats. They’re hard but not dreadful.

      I like tempo runs too, but usually when they’re shorter otherwise I get tired and cranky!

      • Ughh! I find the 1/4 mile are the toughest – I think b/c I know I have to basically push myself as fast as I can go!! LOL. I’m a huge fan of tempo runs!! Although like you, they need to be short!!