Sunday, May 16, 2010

Speedwork

A number of my favorite bloggers are running races this weekend, including marathons. I am perched at the edge of my seat, waiting for race results and reports!

DH has never been interested in distance running. He humors me once in a while, but for the most part, he finds it an intensely boring activity. Well, this morning, he took Frankie Forerunner out for a run in the neighborhood. When he got back, I was amused to see that he glanced at Frankie on his wrist, then promptly turned around and ran some more...to round up the mileage to a nice even number, no doubt. Ah-ha! Signs of the quirky, neurotic runner...is he turning into one?

After the sweat that went into marathon prep and the stress of improper prep, I am now thinking about shorter races. 5Ks and 10Ks can be cathartic, a change from the tedium of training for a marathon. My favorite race distance is the half marathon and the marathon distance challenges me, but I have been bitten by the speed bug lately. More mentally than physically so far...I have yet to figure out the best way to speed train without getting injured. While I have done a few tempo and progression runs during marathon training, I need to find some type of interval training that will help improve my 5K pace. I was never a good sprinter, so those fast-twitch muscle fibers will need a lot of work.

400, 800 or mile repeats? Jog, walk or rest between intervals? What has gotten best results for you in the past?

Instead of the usual towpath run on Saturday, a group of us met at Far Hills and did the 7.50 - 7.75 mile Midland Run (depending on whose Forerunner data you looked at). It is a tough, hilly and wonderfully scenic loop. I started out at a steady pace, then consciously dropped the pace...I still consider myself "in recovery" from the marathon. My quads have not been too happy with me since the marathon 2 weeks ago and leg strengthening exercises this past week.

Two miles into the run, I began to wish I had brought a camera. Though it was a tough climb, you couldn't help noticing the beautiful meadow-y landscape. And then, into the 3rd mile, we came across this...the picturesque Ravine Lake.

(Don't you just love that you can steal pretty pics from the internet for your blog?)
To be fair, here is where I stole it from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/christopherskillman/2514510817/in/photostream/
It was a beyootiful run. And we had a lovely brunch afterward. Burp! Perfect way to start the weekend.
Have an awesome week, all!

19 comments:

Irene said...

Is your husband turning into a runner? Gadgets make it fun!

Thanks for sharing the pics. I've done that before, too, uh, steal/borrow pics. ;)

Heather said...

Gorgeous run! For speed work I love 800's. I also like to do ladder workouts (400, 800, 1200, 1600, 1200, 800, 400).

Sarah said...

I am still trying to figure out what type of speed work works best for me.
Great pics...looks like a gorgeous place to run!

Beccarigg said...

Wow! I was definitely not running hilly 7+ miler's 2 weeks after my marathon! You are awesome! I tried doing some speedwork for my last race. I'm still kind of a rookie so I just tried to do mile repeats and tempo runs. Nothing too technical but they did help me set a new PR. : )

ajh said...

I hate speed work. I jog between repeats. I do better with intervals than tempo. I REALLY hate tempo runs. Tuesday is my last speed workout before my half. I also like halves best. I will do one fall marathon but don't know what one yet.

Abby said...

Ha! Brent now sneaks off with my garmin every so often, and is always excited to share his stats when he gets back :)

I'm of absolutely no help when it comes to short races or speed work (I've never done a race fewer than 10 miles, and don't think i'd be very good at 5ks and 10ks). But I'm excited to read about where your need for speed takes you!

J said...

Great run! For intervals I would say running any of those distances are good. I love 400s but also do some 800s and mile repeats to help. I usually try to do the repeats at 5k pace and then sometimes I run for recovery or just stop and rest. All are ok, I just like to mix it up. Depends on how you feel.

Erica said...

Thats so funny- my husband is the same way. Hes like how can you run for that long? What a bore. I just love it. Once you get out there (and are having a good run day) its hard to stop. GORGEOUS pictures and you know I love me a good brunch ;)

The Happy Runner said...

I love 400s. They are short enough so I can run them at a pace that lets me believe I actually have some speed in my legs. But, in truth, I think the longer repeats build more speed. I've had good luck with 1000s. One workout that is hard as anything is 5 x 1000 at 5k pace.

Marlene said...

Looks like a gorgeous place to run!

With speed work, the key for me in remaining (a) motivated and (b) injury free is to mix it up. I'll do 400s, 800s, 1600s, even 2000s.

Ali said...

If you want to improve your 5k race time I think shorter distance intervals, 1k and under repeats with a consistent rest (half the time of your interval) that you jog. Mix it up, 400s, 600s, 800s, 1000s, then a pyramid.

The other thing I would suggest to get faster, is run with someone faster than you, not a lot, but a bit, run with them at there pace once a week, and hang on as long as you can.

Jamie said...

Looks like a beautiful run!

I hate speed work but there is no denying it works. I think it's best to change it up constantly to stay healthy and ensure your body doesn't get used to it.

Scott Keeps Running said...

That's a beautiful lake to run around. :)

Beth said...

Beautiful pics! I like to do a ladder. I do 1 mile warm up, the400,600,800,1200,1600 with 400 slow running in between. Then a 1 mile cool down. It's great to have the Garmin so you don't have to go to a track.

EZEthan said...

I used to run extra to even out my mileage... but then I got even more neurotic and discovered the joy of uneven mileage... see it works like this: If you have a planned 5 miler then you make sure you really wind up running 5.20 or 5.34 or even 5.07... then at the end of the week all those fractional miles add up to an extra mile or two of training!

Jill said...

Gorgeous pictures for sure!!! Totally envious of the views. I like to mix up my speedwork each week, sometimes longer intervals of mile repeats or sorter of 800's, but the best are ladders of varying distances (400, 800, 1200, 1600 x 2); the idea is quick leg turnover. Drills at the end of easy runs are equally important and make you speedier. A Speed and agility ladder is excellent work for 5K. Happy Weekend!!!! :)

I Run for Fun said...

Thanks a lot for the awesome ideas for speed workouts! I have a variety of different workouts to try out. Now, I just have to get started!

EZEthan, that is a brilliant idea! I never thought of it that way. I will have to start tagging on fractions of a mile at the end of each run...very effective for mileage maniacs!

X-Country2 said...

How cool that the hubs is getting into it!

Teamarcia said...

What beautiful scenery!
As for speedwork, I do all of the above. Just keep changing it up.