Happy Thursday friends. Even on the weeks where I struggle to find the time to sit down and write, I usually seem to be able to throw some thoughts together for a random Thursday post. It’s funny how there can be so many fun and interesting things going on to write about yet sometimes it’s tough to just get it done. 

Anyhow, thanks to Amanda at Running With Spoons for hosting this linkup and giving bloggers like me a good reason to at least get some thoughts down in print each week!

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This week I’m thinking all about speed training…

Hot damn, it works!

I hate to state the obvious but speed training really works. I resisted it for so many years and then last year my coach finally broke me down and got me out to the track on a regular basis. In less than a year I took almost an hour off my marathon time and suddenly, I was a believer.

Anyhow, it’s now one year later and my training plans remain full of track work, tempo runs and race pace efforts and I feel like I’m still getting faster. Not by leaps and bounds anymore but I definitely notice a difference in my 800m workouts this spring vs. last year.

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800s are hard but 400s aren’t much easier

I feel like because they are half the distance, running 400m intervals should be twice as easy as 800s. Nope. I feel like I’m almost as pooped after 10×400 as I am after 10×800. It’s just maybe a slightly different kind of pooped. Let’s face it, they’re both tough workouts and it seems like your body adjusts it’s effort level to suit the distance. Just because they’re shorter doesn’t mean I run any easier.

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We have a beautiful track here in White Rock

Let me tell you, I’ve seen some pretty ugly tracks on Instagram and Twitter when other runners post pictures of their track parties. I realize I’m pretty lucky that we have a big beautiful track here in South Surrey that I get to run on. It’s situated right beside the Sunnyside Acres Urban Forest so it’s surrounded by trees and is pretty darn scenic when I’m running around it for what seems like hours on end.

Gah! I can’t find a good pic of it in the sun, so here’s one in the dark!

Gah! I can’t find a good pic of it in the sun, so here’s one in the dark!

The distance adds up!

I always think of speed workouts as ‘short’ compared to the rest of my runs but that’s totally not true. I’m always surprised when I look down at my Polar at the end of the workout to see how many km I’ve actually racked up. Especially when I get up to 10×800, it’s easily a 13-15 km workout depending on how long I warm up and cool down.

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Form makes a difference!

You’re probably thinking, “Duh, of course it does!” but I didn’t realize that so much until I got a bit stronger and was able to actually start paying attention to my form. At first, I was just happy to drag my body around the track in whichever manner I could. But over the past year I’ve gotten a bit ‘better’ at running track and have started to put some thought into how I’m moving my arms, legs and rest of my body. It’s amazing what a difference it makes when you lift your knees higher, focus on quads and glutes, pump your arms harder and tighten the core. I’m not breaking records or anything but proper form makes it a lot easier to run harder and therefore, faster.

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No matter how much I do it, I still dread it

I’m always the first person to say how much I hate speed training but secretly, I actually kind of love it. Not for the act of completing the workouts themselves but for what the outcome is of all that hard work. However, even though I’ve grown to appreciate speed training, I still dread doing the workouts. Every time. I kind of drag my heels out onto the track and stretch out my warm up so I can delay the hard stuff. But eventually I face reality, start my watch and off I go.  Thankfully as the intervals tick by I remember why I actually do like it but it’s just so hard to get started each time. Am I the only one?

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To see what everyone else is thinking out loud about today, visit the linkup here.

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Comments

  1. Tamieka@ Fitballingrunningmom    

    -an hour off your marathon time-wow!!!
    -lift your knees higher, focus on quads and glutes, pump your arms harder and tighten the core-ok got it!!

    Track workout for the spring and summer-on it!
    Thanks!

  2. Jeff    

    I’m a huge believe in speed work, even (or especially) for ultra runners. It’s a great chance to work on your form because like you said, you get instant feedback in terms of efficiency or lack thereof. That sure is a nice looking track!
    Jeff recently posted…Trekking the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal [Video]My Profile

  3. Elle    

    Arghh… speed. I know this is something I should likely work on but just cannot make myself do it! You are very lucky to have such a nice track.
    Elle recently posted…Sunday Run DayMy Profile

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