Speedwork For Everyone! (seriously even you)

Last week I had a fun/good/hard/however-you-measure-success speed workout that I meant to share, but got all wrapped up talking about the dictatorship my evil brain’s got on taper, so I forgot. So! I’ll share it with you now! Before the big meanie returns and I sulk back to my corner trembling at the thought of running 26.2 miles at low-8 pace and dreaming of beer and sugar.

This was kind of an accidental creation stemming from waking up late and missing my track date with Kristina, my still MIA Garmin charger, and super way-out-of-control ADD that makes running at a steady pace for more than 90 seconds torturous. Enter : intervals! On the road, treadmill, or track, they’re great because each little segment seems so attainable; you don’t get wrapped up in “omg 20 minutes/4 miles/700 light poles longer?!!” Once it starts hurting you’re counting down seconds to the next heavenly recovery, and before you know it you’ve caught your breath and forgotten how bad the last one hurt! Brilliance. And effective.

So as I was warming up, all lonely on the road cursing myself for missing the Track Party, I planned what I was going to do. I figured 40 minutes of 3min on/2min off would simulate the 800s I would’ve done on the track, running the “on” a little easier to account for the active recovery (easy jog vs just standing at the track). Sound logic, right? Gave myself a little pat on the back for being so “roll with the punches” and got to work.

BUUUUUT (there’s always a but) I quickly found myself getting a restless and antsy to turn the legs over quicker, so I decided at the halfway point to mix it up a bit. Here’s how it all played out :


Great mix of longer tempo-ish and jack-up-the-heart-rate effort, with just enough recovery in between to nearly fully catch your breath. And without Garmin beeping numbers at you, that’s a fine way to measure.

If you’re itching for a new workout to mix up your routine, find yourself without a track or GPS on Speed Day, or are new to speed work and want a simplified workout to get started with, give this one a shot. And if you’re a weirdo and love the treadmill, this is perfect for you, too.


Sarah OUaL


5 thoughts on “Speedwork For Everyone! (seriously even you)

  1. I’m still pretty new to speed workouts. I did some during my last training program earlier this year and I tried doing them outside, but either would take off too fast or couldn’t keep my pace constant. I ended up doing them on the treadmill. I have a speed workout this week 6 x 400 m, I was planning to stick to the treadmill to keep my pace constant but I really HATE the dreadmill so I don’t know what I am going to do.


    • The treadmill’s great and does take a lot of the guess work out of it – but the pacing will get easier with time (like all things in life, right? ;) ) I say give outdoor speedwork another shot, maybe with time instead of distance? Might be easier the ol’ brain to relay to your legs how fast they should go. Good luck!



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