This, my dear reader, is how I look after a nice little speedwork session of mile repeats. Niiiiiiiice, right?
I’m more of an endurance junkie than a speedster. I’m happy to romp around on the trails (and roads when left no choice) for hours and hours…not particularly fast, but – like the Energizer Bunny – I can keep going and going and going. In fact, the longer the distance, the better I do. I will be the first to tell you that the thought of running a 5k makes me want to throw up a little. I always laugh when a client or friend tells me they “should” run a further distance as they feel a 5k or 10k isn’t far enough…when I think those distances can be BRUTAL! All out for 3 miles? On roads? I’d rather beast it out for 25 hours on the trails, thank you very much! (I am NOT kidding when I say this!) My point is, the distance you run (or your speed) do not define you as a runner. Doesn’t matter if you are a 5k beast or ultra running monster. So go after the distances that bring YOU joy!
With that being said, this past cycle has had me focusing on getting outside my comfort zone a bit, and adding more speed and threshold work to my weekly runs. And for the very first time, I really like it! Since my goals involve races that are mainly in the 50k and up range, we’re talking longer bouts of speedwork, but it’s been fun. Especially since a lot of my runs have been on the treadmill lately due to time of day (early) or weather (icy/cold), so it gives those miles a purpose rather than making me feel like a hamster on a wheel. The time goes by so much quicker this way!
No matter your goal, adding some varied training protocols (i.e. speedwork, hills, LT and tempo work) can really make you a stronger runner overall. It’s also a great way to see progress; do structured speedwork and I can practically guarantee you that you’ll see yourself getting faster and feeling more powerful. And THAT is very empowering and encouraging to see and feel! Talk about a confidence booster!
Of course, you don’t want to come right out the gate and go from 0 to speedwork without building up to it and having a solid base to prevent injury, but once you’re ready, it is a great way to add a little spice to your training.
Speaking of adding some spice…new gear always does it for me! And this week I got a new pair of my beloved Pearl Izumi M3 road shoes
And yes, I may have picked this colorway to match my Orange Mud singlet. Judge me all you want! Nothing like breaking in a new pair of kicks with a tough speed session!!
I had a fun meet up with my friend Danielle the other day, and she gave me some of these amazing homemade GF, dairy free cookies. Ummm…I WILL be stalking her until I get this recipe. I swear, this lady is a domestic goddess in the kitchen. SO. GOOD!
Do you incorporate structured speedwork into your training? Do you find it helps beat some of the training doldrums, especially when on a treadmill?