Thursday, August 23, 2012

Speed Workout: A Road/Track Combo

One of my greatest running thrills is seeing how hard I can push myself. Nothing beats the adrenaline rush that comes with surviving a difficult workout. Whether it's a long tempo run, 400m repeats, a ladder workout or Yasso 800s, there's often a moment - sometimes several - when I wonder if I can finish the workout and that makes getting it done even more satisfying.

Running here is always a challenge I enjoy

I spend a lot of time reading up on different types of workouts in my favorite running magazines and on websites and running blogs. A workout that recently caught my eye was one that my running hero Kara Goucher did while training for the London Olympics Marathon. Her workout (marathon race pace and faster) included: 

  • Five mile tempo on the road
  • 5 x 1 mile on the track
  • Five mile tempo on the road

A 15 mile+ speed workout is a bit aggressive for me, but I really like the idea of combining road and track running. Here's how I modified the workout:

  • 1 mile warm up
  • Two mile tempo on the road (half marathon race pace)
  • 3 x 1 mile on the track (about 5k race pace)
  • Two mile tempo on the road (half marathon race pace)
  • 1 mile cool down

Originally I was going to run the track miles closer to 7:30 min/mile pace, but the handy McMillan calculator told me that I need to run my mile repeats faster. 

A little reminder to get out of the comfort zone!

Overall, a great workout that left my legs feeling like rubber. I definitely recommend this one for anyone in search of a challenge. Try my modified version or if you're tough like Kara, do the full workout! 

Remember, it's workouts like these that prepare you for race day both physically and mentally. During the inevitable rough patches during a race, remind yourself of how hard you pushed yourself during your workouts - and how you made it out alive. And just like you survived training, you'll make it through the race and finish strong!

What's the most challenging workout you've done recently? Or, can anyone recommend a new workout for me to try? 

Let's make a pact to get out of our comfort zones this week :)

- ST

6 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Agreed! If you haven't already, check out her book. It's one of my favorites!

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  2. Wow, Kara's workout is really intense!

    I'm currently taking a little bit of time off from running, but I plan to pick it back up soon with gentle long runs at an easy pace. Speedwork wears me out!

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    1. Long runs at an easy pace are some of the most enjoyable. Best of luck getting back into running!

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  3. I really like this idea! I love speed workouts, so I think I'm going to try this (but modified a little because yours still seems quite intense :) )

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    Replies
    1. I love speedwork as well! Let me know how it goes and how you end up modifying :)

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