Thursday, August 7, 2014

Speed Work - What's That?

I have seriously been slacking at speed work. My last formal, following a plan, speed work was in the beginning of April.
That's a lot months ago!

I occasionally do a little fast running here and there, but nothing structured, no exact timed intervals, certainly not even weekly do I really push myself. Progression runs, yes, I can technically say I do  progression runs, but I typically start my first mile at a fairly easy pace.  10:00, 9:40, 9:13, and the last mile I will work 9:13 up to 8:34 pace. These runs do involve some pushing, but I am slacking by not starting more challenging.

When I was 10K training I would do four mile progression runs and start at a 9:20 pace and hold the pace for a mile and keep bumping up up to an 8:34 pace.That would wear me out.
Why did I stop? A big part of that was weight training. I found it was a challenge for me to use THAT much energy and weight train. I also hit my 10K goal and since speed work was causing a lot of soreness and icing I decided it may be a recipe for injury and I am 47 (days from 48 now) so I just decided easier pace was better for my big picture goal of running till I am 90.

Every so often I feel a hankering to go out and run fast. Since I have been doing the run streak
and running at least a mile every day, I have done a few fast ones and it always feels so good to get a nine minute mile in :) My fastest mile was an 8:58 and it's funny, seeing an 8 in front of anything makes me feel so bad @#s. 

Yesterday I was feeling a little frustrated all day, it's hard getting older and accepting some of what comes along with it. I noticed some new wrinkles and my gray hair is getting very out of control. I am now almost completely gray/white all through out my head and it's hard to cover it. I called and got a hair appt. and had a pile of hair cut off and had it colored. It's nice to see NO gray today (I know it won't last) but it helped.
Relief, no gray hairs today ") 

After I got my hair done I decided to go for a run and push. It was really humid, but I kept telling myself's short, suck it up. I actually didn't feel nauseous right until the end :) It's amazing what pushing does for me, the ick just drains out of me, and I slept like a baby. That's why I love running so much.
Avg Pace

I really wasn't sure I could still pull this off. I will confess I could not have maintained one mile at that pace, shoot...I couldn't even do a slow mile. I had to walk for about 5 minutes when I was done and then jogged one more mile home. In April I was able to maintain this pace for a 10K,  so slacking at the speed work has really caused me to lose some stamina.

One thing I am curious about. How much faster above your average pace do you do speed work at?

Do you do speed work even if you aren't really training for anything? Thoughts on speed work in general?


  1. Karen, you are beautiful. Your complexion + your red hair is lovely. If you are what 48 looks like, sign me up!

    As soon as I get paid again, I am highlighting and coloring my hair. I am sick of my grey as well.

    I can empathize with you that speedwork sometimes aggravates things in me and I fear might lead me towards injury. That is why I have been avoiding it... I used to do it once a week. Whatever intervals I felt like, so long as it was run fast, then run real slow, repeat, repeat, repeat.

    1. You are so kind Megan, I am sure you will be a beauty at 48 :) I don't really feel very good when I look in the mirror anymore, aging really is getting to me this week (this year lol). I am trying to get over it. A good color job is always a nice treat! It's hard to do it as often as needed. Take care of your knee and feel good. Most days just running is fine, but the need to fly very once in awhile will never go away.

  2. I don't really enjoy speedwork either. The only way I've done it consistently is to do with a group. I guess I get motivated by having others around me!

    1. I should try to get more active with my run club. I joined and so far I have never been to a meet up with anyone :( Groups are fun for sure

  3. I've been really bad about doing speedwork lately. Right now I am focusing more on distance, so I've kind of let the speedwork slide a bit. I do do a lot of hill work right now which is speedwork in disguise, right?

    1. That is really true about hills! You should be focused on distance you have to run for a long time very soon :)

  4. Fantastic job on your run!! Your hair looks great :) When I do steady runs my pace is around 8:00 min/mile but when I'm doing 800m repeats it goes down to 6:30 ish. I call that vomit

    1. OMG, that is vomit territory LMAO!! Great job! That's a big spread in pace, I am going to work on edging mine up this Fall but maybe in smaller dosages than last year :)

  5. I have had grey hair since I was 15 years old!!! I don't mean like one strand, I mean lots of strands! I don't think you should relate grey hair to your age! Plus you look amazing!

    I do speedwork once a week. My moderate pace is about one minute faster than my easy pace, and my hard pace is about 1:30 faster than my easy pace.

    1. Really grey that long!? I have been dealing with a lot of clumps for about 10 years but mostly in the front and around my temples, it's been more recent that all the hairs at my neck line and all over the back really started turning. I can't cover them by myself :/ We are right about the same spread with speed work :)


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