MarathonMaiden's Blog

September 9, 2010

Give Me Speed. How Fast Can You Go.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 17:30

Any takers as to what song that the title’s from?! 😉

Apparently I have it in my head that I’m doing a 5k.  Of course I need to find the money for it.  This might mean staking out a streetcorner for the next week or so.  But hey, a girl’s gotta do what she’s gotta do to race.

And that includes speed work.  It’s no secret that I don’t think of myself as a particularly fast runner.  Sure I think that my half time was rocking from this weekend but I guess I really mean that I don’t think of myself as a short distance (aka fast) racer.  I was never on any cross country team and my specialties in track were 100m and 200m distances.  So 5k? I’ve only done ONE.  Not too shabby there but I really didn’t know what I was doing.

Still don’t really.  Which is why I emailed  Lacey yesterday to get her take on what I should do to prep for a 5k in a week and a half.  Here’s what she said:

warm up with a couple of miles (and try to get the biggest hills out of the way) and find a relatively flat, but rolling hills/small hills are fine stretch where you know what is 1 mile, and 2 miles. I woud run 1 mile and shoot for 6:45. If you feel good, go right into the second mile and shoot for another 6:45. that would be your goal. of course if you can run faster than that you should 🙂 push yourself, but be able to do it for 2 miles.

I liked the idea of this workout.  Granted only doing 2 fast miles? The last time I was in training I was banging out multiple miles in the form of repeats or tempos.  But I was going to trust the plan to get me through.

Just so we’re clear here is what I was planning to do:

  • 3.7 mile warm up (in order to get to my speed area with minimal hills)
  • 2 X 1 mile continuous
  • 2.5 mile warm down

And I want to apologize for any time I have scoffed at a 2 X whatever continuous run when I would be saying “why not just say X miles?” Apparently the goal is to go the second time HARDER than the first, therefore being two separate things.  Because that’s what I did today and it was HARD.

Here’s what went down:

  • 3.7 mile warm up @ 9:04
  • 2 X 1 mile fast @ 7:03, 6:44
  • 1 mile recovery @ 8:23
  • 1 mile fast @ 6:20
  • 2.8 mile warm down @ 8:23

Total: 10.5 miles @ 8:13

Although I SWEAR that my warm down was actually 3.3 miles and giving me a total of 11 for the morning.  But apparently mapmyrun disagrees. Oh well.

First I want to say that all my post-race soreness is gone.  Well maybe 97.68% of it.  I’m really not feeling banged up the way I did the first few days post-race.  I had asked Lacey when I should do this workout too and she said that I could try Thursday and then again on Sunday.  Then take it easy before the race.  So the soreness was gone and I went for it (that goes for quads AND shins.  I think some people mistakenly thought that my shin pain from Boston training was back.  It’s not.  All I was feeling was the effects of a hard effort in the race).

In case you couldn’t tell I’m not the kind of person who just sits around and waits for things.  As much as I dreaded the hardness of the workout I wasn’t going to avoid it either. So Thursday it was going to be.

And with this song in my head too.   I ❤ it.  Apropos for letting go and doing some darn fast running:

Now onto my thoughts of the first speedwork session I have done since….Boston? I can count the 5M race I did on the 4th of July but still, it’s been awhile.

Here’s what I think: I need my warm up to be progressive.  I don’t think I really increased the pace over those warm up miles. The distance didn’t really bother me as I think that ~2-3 miles is perfect for warming up.  And 3.7 happened to be the distance between my apartment and where I wanted to do the speedy stuff.

But since I think I stayed pretty slow throughout — I’d have liked to see the average for that portion be closer to 8:45-8:50 — the first part of the first mile was getting me acquainted with speed.  And with it only being a mile that’s no good.  Icould tell because it was HARD and HURT to go that fast despite it being relatively flat (maybe a slight uphill but nothing noticeable while running it). 

But my second mile clearly was decent because after seeing 7:03 for the first mile (and the goal was to keep it at 6:50 or faster) I was determined to get faster.  Come hell or high water. And I did it of course and there was a mega hill at the very end.  I felt like dying!  But I powered through it and seeing that my split was 6:44 made me smile and NOT vomit.  My legs felt like absolute jello but I turned around and started jogging so I didn’t end up collapsing.

Because my first mile was awful  I decided to take the first mile of the speed route I just ran as recovery (and wooooot to running fast meaning good recovery paces! 8:23?!) and then bang out a HARD last mile.  Which I did. I kept telling myself to push hard because it was *only* one mile hahahah.  But it worked because I came up with a 6:20 mile!!

And then I warmed down, which felt slower than it actually was although I didn’t feel like it was a hard effort. Good feeling for a warm down.

So I’m not quite sure how I feel about it overall.  I’m pleased with miles 2 and 3 of the hard stuff but going from a 6:44 pace to a 6:20 pace after a recovery mile signals to me that I can’t pace myself right. Yes I love that everything gets faster but each mile split was 15-20 seconds faster than the previous.  To me that’s a bit too much! Or at least I’m a terrible judge of pacing. I just don’t have that internal mechanism some people have (or a garmin but that’s a different story.  And I may be walking a different street for that 😉 )

Oh no I didn't just say that 😉

According to Lacey I did rock the workout (she’s now officially my coach hah!) and that I should be really happy with how I did.  So I will be because she told me to be.  I think all the doubt I have is because 5k racing is not something I’m used to doing so I have no benchmark for what to expect.  Even when I ran that 5k (the one that I linked to above) I never trained for it.  I didn’t do any specific workouts for it.  I just had my summer training for a half under my belt.

Funny how I’m in a similar situation now.  Except I didn’t training for the half I just ran.  Oh well.  I’m hoping that good things come to me for this one too!

So the plan is for me to do this workout again on Monday.  I’m kind of scared for it.  But the good kind of scared 😀


  1. If I was going to be a coach I would wish EVERYONE of my athletes was exactly like you 🙂



    loooooooooooooooove it. and love you. keep on keepin’ on. keep on rockin’ (in the free world… lol… sing it).

    Comment by Lacey — September 9, 2010 @ 17:51

  2. Great workout! You put me to shame today 😉

    Comment by Matt — September 9, 2010 @ 18:20

  3. try 4-6 15-20 sec strides before launching into your workout. it gets your body ready to go hard.
    pretty speedy workout. 🙂 were you targeting goal 5k pace for this workout? it might hurt tomorrow… i defer to jack daniels and cap 5k-10k paced intervals at 5 min in length. 🙂

    Comment by paige — September 9, 2010 @ 18:24

    • I’m not really quite sure what I was targeting on this run. Just kind of a go-hard mentality. I am sooooo not in the know of how to train (and race) 5ks! Any words of wisdom? But solid advice about the strides. I’ll definitely try that next time 🙂

      Comment by marathonmaiden — September 10, 2010 @ 15:11

  4. Awesome workout! I’m horrible at pacing too. I did 600m repeats on Tuesday. First one was 2:18 and the last few were 2:10!

    Comment by Nick — September 9, 2010 @ 20:14

    • Solid workout for you! Sounds like we both need to learn a little about pacing ahaha 🙂

      Comment by marathonmaiden — September 10, 2010 @ 15:11

  5. Slick little workout, there! And bahhhh just have fun with the 5K. That’s the great part about doing something for the first time in awhile. You can just roll in, get a benchmark time to work from, anddddd probably surprise with a smokin’ time in the process. So excited for you!

    Comment by sweatykid — September 10, 2010 @ 00:17

  6. My first repeat of anything is always slow. Always! It doesn’t seem to matter how I warm up before hand, my body always treats my first repeat as more warm-up.

    As for race/GPS money, I wonder if you could take the sponsorship thing one step further… I’m thinking you could offer to have a company’s logo tattooed on your stomach and run in a sports bra if they promise to pay for all you race and running expenses for the rest of your life…

    Comment by Chelsea — September 10, 2010 @ 06:31

    • Hmmmm not a bad idea for the sponsorship idea hahahh. That’s exactly how I’ll pitch it too 🙂

      Comment by marathonmaiden — September 10, 2010 @ 15:13

  7. Well done on the run! getting a 6.20 mile in the middle of that is awesome!

    Comment by Laura — September 10, 2010 @ 06:55

  8. Awesome workout girl, you are crazy fast! CAn’t wait to hear how it goes this weekend!

    Comment by Stephanie — September 10, 2010 @ 08:48

    • Sadly you’ll have to wait another week. There is a 5k I could do this weekend but I need more time! (isn’t that always the case though? I’ll be saying that next week too!)

      Comment by marathonmaiden — September 10, 2010 @ 15:13

  9. yes! speedwork – something I need to incorporate more of. Way to go on your freakishly fast 6:20 mile. I know you’ll find dolla dolla bills to race and hopefully not from the street corner. : )

    BTW, thanks for the nice note about my friend’s mom. : )

    Comment by Megan @ Daily Sweat — September 10, 2010 @ 10:16

  10. You are going to do great in the 5k. I think if you make sure to warm up and do some strides at 5k pace you will be good to go. Usually for 5k races, I try to start out at a decent pace and then increase which usually doesn’t happen. Lacey’s plan is really the best which is start fast and hold on! lol Good luck!

    Comment by J — September 10, 2010 @ 12:37

  11. Yay I’m so excited you’re thinking about doing the 5k! My training is no where near as intense as yours.. at this point I’m just hoping I make it through with a relatively decent time. I definitely have to remember to warm up though! I think this is key for 5ks.

    Comment by BostonRunner — September 10, 2010 @ 13:05

  12. Tell us about your application process…do you compose essays on your runs?

    Comment by specialkphd — September 10, 2010 @ 15:06

    • Actually I compose a lot of writing stuff on runs! I’m in the middle of writing a LONG post about the application process. Hopefully it’s finished soon.

      Comment by marathonmaiden — September 10, 2010 @ 15:15

  13. I’m glad I’m not the only one who hasn’t been doing speedwork. You did a nice job! Maybe I should try that workout–2 x something sounds like a good place to start.

    Comment by Jess — September 10, 2010 @ 15:21

  14. hey speeeeedy run run sis!!
    holy moly you are a speedster, heck yes!! seeeee running less but faster is so much more fun! 🙂
    love your 10.5-miler, i might have to give that one a go 😉
    yes yes yes come visit!!! which means a few more weeks of street corners! hhehehe!
    i heart you!

    Comment by lizzyj1305 — September 10, 2010 @ 15:24

    • There are plenty of street corners here so I’m sure that trip will happen in no time 😉

      And I think you’d ROCK this workout. So don’t do it so I can look good — or come HERE and run it with me to push me hard 😉

      Comment by marathonmaiden — September 11, 2010 @ 15:51

  15. You are crazy fast! If you can do all of this with no speed workouts, imagine what you could do if you added speed once a week! Watch out, 5K!

    Comment by Jaime — September 10, 2010 @ 17:37

  16. Niccce workout! Ps. pacing is overrated! 😛

    I’m totally digging your theory on twitchy legs = muscles being built! If that is the case, my muscles will be huge in no time!

    Can’t wait to see you rock that workout again next week, then rock the 5K!

    PS. Do you map everything out because you don’t have a Garmin? I think you should have one since you run so much and are so amazing in all! It would make life easier!

    Comment by tmart — September 10, 2010 @ 19:02

    • Yes I do map everything out. Annoying but it works. I’d love a garmin but they are a bit out of my price range at the moment!

      Comment by marathonmaiden — September 11, 2010 @ 15:51

  17. I’m not great at speedwork either. Most people have a 5k speed and a half marathon speed. i do think i tend to get slower as time goes on in a half, but in all my training, i wasn’t running significantly slower than my 5k speed. Maybe I’m just a slow runner then? Or maybe I just need to learn to run faster!

    I think you did a great job on your first speed workout!

    Comment by emily — September 11, 2010 @ 09:23

    • I don’t think your slow! I think that in order to be fast you have to run faster than normal on a somewhat regular basis. You could try to build up to a decent number of mile repeats with less rest or longer tempos (or even what I did: 2 miles, recovery, 1 mile). Or, what I like to do, is progression runs where by the end you’ve built up your speed to fastness.

      Comment by marathonmaiden — September 11, 2010 @ 15:54

  18. […] on Thursday I had a, apparently kick ass, speed workout according to you guys.  Thanks for saying that.  It really does boost my mentality and confidence […]

    Pingback by ‘Cause We’ll Put A Boot… « MarathonMaiden's Blog — September 11, 2010 @ 14:46

  19. […] a very hilly recovery-yet-so-not-recovery run on Sunday I awoke bright and early to do a repeat of last Thursday’s speed work courtesy of my new coach. Aka […]

    Pingback by “Drunk Chick Passed Out On Pavement” « MarathonMaiden's Blog — September 13, 2010 @ 08:12

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