Speed Workouts…the devil I love.

Ok, I’m just going to get it out of my system and then not talk about it again today. The weather. With the wind, it was -16C (3F) this morning when I walked the dog.  I had to wear my snow pants and put hand warmers in my mitts. That is NOT acceptable on April 16th (and really, I wish it were NEVER acceptable, but alas, I live in Canada).



I started running long distance about 11 years ago and for the first few years, I really just did it on my own and just ran. No calculated workouts, no speed work, no tempo runs. I just ran.  And I qualified for Boston doing it that way.  Then I moved here just over 7 years ago and by chance, joined a road racing team – OACRT.  It’s a women’s only team…and normally, am not really into something like that because I find that women can sometimes be quite catty with each other and put them into a competitive environment…woah.  But this team is anything but that. It’s an amazing group of women, wide range of ages (20-60+) who love running, who want to improve their own running, but always support their teammates and encourage them before themselves. It’s unreal. We’re coached by a male, Ken Parker, (when we go out for team dinners the staff at restaurants don’t know what to think and often congratulate Ken!) who dedicates his life to us.

Anyway, it was through this team that I discovered how deadly speed workouts are (when you’re being pushed by talented women around you) and how incredibly beneficial they are to your performance.  After being on the team for 1 year, I dropped my marathon time from 3:37 to 3:28 and I completely attribute that to the speed workouts Ken puts us through.

My work schedule has change quite a bit over the last 2 years so I am not as often able to make it to the speed workouts with the team (just can’t leave work early enough!) so I often do them on my own – and during the winter, I’ve figured out how to do them on my treadmill. In the warmer weather, there is an outdoor track about 3k from my house that I use.  I do 1-2 speed workouts a week and have learned to really love (and hate) them because I know how much they help (and I know now how hard I can push myself during them).  So this morning was a speed workout day:

5k warm-up
2x400m, 2x800m, 2x400m – all with 2min recovery between each interval.

When I saw that there was a 2 minute recovery between each interval I knew that that meant each was going to hurt…bad.  And it did…but in that awesome way.

Am feeling great and even though I had to turn my seat heaters on in the car this morning, the sun is GORGEOUS (oh, and I have my straight hair back today!!)!!!!



Do you do speed workouts?

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