JAMAICA UPDATE!! The first wave of funds has gone to the coach and should arrive in time to purchase some much needed shoes and uniforms for the kids in advance of their regional championships! 14 students have already qualified for the National Championships, so we still have work to do. The female track and field athletes at Rhodes Hall High School have their regional championship meet on February 2nd, and they are in desperate need of uniforms for the event. I’m continuing to send contributions in hopes of getting them uniforms by regionals, so if you can contribute even $5 to the GoFundMe campaign, it would be SO appreciated! Please, please, please! Don’t make me beg. You can read more about the kids and their incredible stories here.

When I finished the Resolution Run Half Marathon this past Saturday, I immediately knew I wanted to start adding in some speed work and get faster. Since I’m not running marathons anymore, I think I can safely add some speed work in on at least an occasional basis without risking injury to my back. My mileage has dropped, after all. The problem? I don’t really know where to start.

Does running with wine count as speed work or nah?

It’s not like I don’t know what speed work is or how to do it. I mean, I like a good mile repeat – wait, no I don’t. Ok, but I know what a mile repeat  is, and I have done them before. But I’ve always done speed work in preparations for marathons rather than half marathons, and I know those are very different events.  Shorter race distances typically  require shorter, faster speed work, but what is appropriate? 400s? 800s? God help me – mile repeats? The nightmare.

I’m a little confused about where to begin, which has been the case with a lot of training plans since I had my surgery and had to cut back to running 3 days a week. The “Run Less, Run Faster” plan is too much hard running, even though it is only 3 days a week. I’m also training with AJ for his first half marathon and trying to run with him at least twice per week. He is running about 9:30-10:00 minute miles, which is great for an easy run and long run pace. But in order to get faster, I need to run faster. What’s a girl to do?

You know you ran hard when you collapse onto your driveway when you’re done.

Since it’s been a hot minute (more like a hot…2 years?) since I’ve done speed work, I’m planning on easing into it. Maybe a few fartleks to start, some 400s, who knows? I’m loving how running is feeling for me lately: it’s fun, not a chore, and something I (mostly) look forward to. I don’t want the addition of speed work to change that, so I’m going to do what seems like fun. Is that the best strategy to get consistently faster? No, probably not. But I’m ok with that and ready to move forward with racing half marathons in the manner that works best for me mentally and physically.

I’m not sure what exactly I’m back to, but go with it.

I haven’t picked a “goal” race for the spring yet, but I do have a few upcoming half marathons and I will likely try to test myself in each. Who knows which will be the lucky race? I’m a long way from a PR (remember when I ran a 1:50? Good Lord) but I know I can get closer. Let’s see what happens?

LEAVE A COMMENT: What kind of speed work do you do for half marathons? What is your favorite speed workout?

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