Wednesday, June 30, 2010

speed training 101

Hello lovies! This week is going by super fast - I can't believe it's already Wednesday!

I mentioned this before, but I am looking to cut some time off my half marathon time for my September race - my previous time was 2:00 flat. I am following Hal Higdon's intermediate training plan because it includes some speed interval training. I have never done interval training for running before, so I wanted to do a little research on it before I did my speed training today. I looked up articles while enjoying this delicious breakfast.

repeat of yesterday - overnight oats topped with raspberries and peanut butter

look who joined me for breakfast! he's kind of blurry though - he kept moving!

Kath always talks about how much she loves her tea spoons - I also have an obsession with a couple of my spoons. This is one of them. Don't tell the parents, but these are going to be accidently going to be dropped into one of my boxes when I move.

Before I get to speed training, I HAVE to tell you a side note about spoons in my family. When we were younger, my dad was absolutely convinced that my siblings and I hid spoons, threw spoons away, lost spoons, etc. I don't know what it is with my family and spoons, but they always disappear (probably because people like me are going to steal them). We went through so many boxes of cheap spoons because they were always MIA! My mother's theory is that we would eat ice cream out of the container and then accidently throw them away with the carton. My theory is that my parents are crazy, and I never hid, threw oat (I realized after I wrote this I wrote "oat" not "out" - I'm leaving it. It just shows how much oats mean to me), or lost any spoons. It is now an ongoing joke in my family to "check the underwear drawer for the spoons - it's where they've been hiding all along!"

Anyways, onto speed intervals.....

I read a great article on Runner's World all about how to effectively speed train.

  1. Pace yourself - run slightly faster than your normal pace, so on the race day, this feels like a normal speed
  2. Pick the right distance - depending on the length of your race, your intervals should match accordingly. My schedule started me at 5x400's, but increases each week until race day.
  3. Keep it short - your speed training should only account for 10-15% of your mileage per week
  4. Gradually reduce your recoveries- When starting out, allow yourself to "recover" for HALF the time it took you to run your intervals. However, make sure to decrease that time over the course of your speed interval training so it is easier to keep this pace come race day.
  5. Taper - If you are planning on doing interval training a few days before your race, be sure to decrease the intensity of your workout.
  6. Mix it up - do different distances each week so you're not bored!
  7. Give yourself a break - schedule interval training 3-4 days AFTER your long run so your muscles have a chance to recover

The article also said you should NOT be sore the day after speed training. If you are sore, you have overdone yourself and need to slow down a little bit the next time you train.

After reading those great tips, I went to my old junior high's track - I had to do 5x400 today. It may seem like not too much, but it was HARD! My legs were like jello when I was done! Even though with breaks and stretching it only took 25 minutes, I was beat!

1st 400 - 1:46.20

2nd 400 - 1:44.33

3rd 400 - 1:42.01

4th 400 - 1:44.52

5th 400 - 1:44.86

After my running adventure, I had to go to several Targets to try and find another pair of shoes for one of my flower girls. While I was there, I did a little Operation Beautiful work!

When I came home, I knew I needed a snack before lunch! I was starving, but wanted to do some yoga to stretch out before I ate lunch.

enter in: almonds and grapes!
I love Exercise TV! They have great free full length workouts online. I only did about a 15 minute yoga video, but it felt really good to just stretch out. I am really sore from yesterday's strength training, and I have another session tomorrow!
Lunch was kind of random, but exactly what I wanted.

huge spinach salad with tons of veggies + avocado!

on the side was leftover eggplant parm and a huge apple

I am just beat today - I didn't get to bed until almost midnight and woke up at 6. I really want to take a nap, but I haven't been napping lately, so I don't know if I'll be able to. I'm definitely a power napper though - 20 minutes is all I need! I also need to clean out and wash my car today. It is disgusting!!

Question(s): Have you ever done speed intervals? Has it worked come race day? Does your family have any funny stories like my spoon anecdote? Are you a "power napper" or can you sleep for hours?


  1. I've never tried speed training... actually I've never really done any training! But I'd like to start incorporating some intervals into my workouts.

    I love your Operation Beautiful notes! I'm always hoping that one day I'll find one. :)

  2. Sometimes I can be a good "power napper," but other days it just leaves me more tired...I guess it depends how tired I really am.
    I am going to check out Exercise TV...thanks for the tip.

  3. i got a kick out of your spoon story - my family was the same way! haha. except i was the culprit..i would throw them away at lunch because i felt silly walking around with just a spoon during recess and in the hallway, baha. this was back when it was acceptable to brown-bag a lunch, and not reusable-bag a lunch, of course.
    i love your operation beautiful notes! i still need to leave one. and your eggplant parm sounds delish :)
    andddd, finally, for what it's worth - i heard yesterday that people who took 20 min naps pretty regularly are smarter than people who don't :P unfortunately, i'm screwed - i can't nap to save my soul.

  4. Raspberries in oats are the best! And I love you operation beautiful notes. That's funny about the spoons! And even better about the "oat/out" confusion =P

  5. @Megan DI agree about the raspberries - I'm glad you liked my story and the "oat/out" confusion!

  6. @Jessica (Healthy Exposures) Jess, I think you were our spoon stealer. I'm telling my mom on you.

  7. With my family it's freaking mugs. I will use the same one over and over for several days (I guess that's kind of gross but I just drink tea out of it and it's basically just boiling water...) but my mom and my sister go through like 6 a day EACH and leave them ALL OVER THE HOUSE except in the dishwasher where they actually belong arrrgh!

  8. With your recent post...I hate smoking too. It bothers me when I see people pushing baby strollers and smoking. Nice - way to go on getting fresh air!
    And I wish I could be more "go with the flow"...but I feel I am always following the clock to eat...cause I need to gain some weight (i guess...i dont even know what the problem is anymore)...anyway, it feels so unnatural - eating constantly without hunger!

    I haven't exercised in over a year (well, i walk...but my energy is nonexistent)...I used to be a competitive runner though and ran in university, etc...loved it...miss it...but thats a long story. But yeah, I did two half-marathons and I think that was my fave distance...we always used them as training though for our fall varsity races.
    Good times.
    I think that is also following that plan. I think that is the link (Julie).

  9. oops - its

  10. @Lele My family leaves cups everywhere too! And the hardest thing in the world is to put a roll of toilet paper on the roll... Seriously?