Category Archives: Running

Two Treadmill Workouts for Speed

I’m so excited to have Heather guest post for me today! As you all know, I’ve been tied to the treadmill more than I care to this winter. But then again, haven’t we all? Heather is here to share two boredom busting treadmill workouts for speed that will have you running faster than ever once Winter is over. And that’s happening soon, right?!?

Hi friends! I’m Heather from FITaspire.com and I’m so happy to share a few minutes with you today! I’m a Colorado girl who stays fit to enjoy all that life has to offer. Fitness gives me the energy for everyday life and the next adventure! As an athlete and coach, I have learned how important nutrition is as part of your overall fitness plan, so I aim to balance delicious healthy foods with the flexibility to indulge from time to time.

Since it’s the time of year that many people are avoiding the cold and snow outside, I thought I’d share a couple workouts that you use the treadmill to improve your speed!

Treadmill Speed Workouts

Why the Treadmill

Even when the weather doesn’t force you to the treadmill, I actually recommend the treadmill for many speed workouts:

  1. It’s Convenient: a running track is a great place for speedwork, but most of those are located at high schools. In my experience, high school tracks often have limited availability for the public. They are closed for early morning workouts or shifting schedules due to sports that also use the track.For me, the treadmill is something I can use on my schedule. If your track is easier to access, this might not be a concern for you!
  2. Forced Pace for Intervals (and Recovery): Speedwork is hard! It’s fun to run fast, but it can be hard to hold a very fast pace when you’re tired. The treadmill helps take some of the guesswork out of the equation and forces you to keep up with the speed you set it at. It also slows you down on the recovery intervals, so you can appropriately recover. Very good things!
  3. Controlled Environment: The weather absolutely impacts your performance. If it’s too hot, your heart rate will increase and you won’t be able to hold as fast a pace at the same effort level. On a treadmill, your environment is more controlled and you can minimize this impact.

The treadmill really is a great tool, if you can make peace with it!

Getting Started with Speedwork

If you’ve been consistently running for at least 2-3 months, you can begin to add speedwork to your training. Stick with one speed workout each week, unless you’re an advanced athlete and your coach directs you otherwise. I’m going to reference training paces for these two workouts. You can follow these steps to find your own personal training paces.

Both workouts below are best for someone new to speedwork or training for a 5K. I recommend starting with the 30/60 Repeats for 4-6 weeks, then progressing to 5K Intervals. Although I choose the treadmill on most occasions for these workouts, you can also choose the track or a flat route outside.

30/60 Repeats

This workout always starts out fun, but you are tired by that last repeat. You can progress this by dropping to 400M pace, or by increasing the number of reps. Don’t be afraid to increase the warm-up or cool-down, as needed.

Treadmill Speed Workouts - 30/60 Repeats

5K Intervals

After getting your body used to speedwork, it’s time to increase the length of the intervals and really focus on the 5K distance. When you progress to 6 intervals, you will be just under the full 5K distance at race pace. As will the previous workout, don’t be afraid to increase the length of the warm-up or cool-down, especially as you increase the number of intervals.

Treadmill Speed Workouts - 5K Intervals

I hope you enjoy adding a little speed to your run training. These are challenging, but you will see results if you put in the work! If you give these workouts a try, drop me a note and let me know what you think!! I love to see your post-run selfies on twitter or instagram!  You can also find me on Facebook and I’d love a follow, if you’re so inclined.

Till next time,

Heather (FITaspire)

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Thank you so much, Heather!

Boston Marathon Training {Week 7 & 8}

Boston Marathon Training Week 7 & 8  happyfitmama.com

Boston marathon training is moving right along. Race day is less than 2 months away. How did that happen? If you missed my previous training updates, you can find them here: Week 1 & 2, Week 3 & 4, Week 5 & 6.

Last time we chatted training, I was feeling pretty good. Things changed, running wise, Week 7 and 8. It was a rough 2 weeks. The monotony of treadmill running is getting to me. I never really dread my runs, but lately I haven’t been bounding out of bed at zero dark thirty like I usually do. And then the morning of what was supposed to be my first 20 miler of this training cycle happened. It was -8 (not even sure what the real feel was). I was all prepared for -2 degrees temps NOT -8. It threw me for a loop and I started to panic and over think things. In the end, Sarah and I decided to switch the 20 miler to the following week. That meant week 8 was a mix of cut back during the week and the long run distance of week 7.

Needless to say, I was quite nervous for our 20 miler yesterday. Neither one of us has really been logging many miles outside. The forecast said it was going to be 10 at the start but it really was 1. Yay. We were frozen for the first 4 miles and then the temps finally did start to warm up. Thankfully, our 20 miler was marvelous with great conversation and finding a fire hydrant just at the right time. (I’ll let your imagination wonder what that was all about!)

Here’s the run down:

Week 7 (February 16 – 22) – 43 miles

Monday: 50 minutes bike trainer, 10 minutes sun salutations, glute/core work, strength training whole body

Tuesday:  9 miles – 2 mile w/u @9:00, 3 miles @ 8:00, 2 miles @ 7:53, 2 mile c/d @ 8:34. P.M. Yoga  @ studio

Wednesday: Easy 5 miles. Glute/core/PT work. 10 minutes sun salutations for warm up. Strength training whole body.

Thursday: 10 miles – Went into this workout feeling tired, tight and sore. 2 mi w/u, 6 x 4:00 @ 10k pace w/ 2:00 recovery, 2 mile easy pace. Yoga @ studio.

Yoga at home | happyfitmama.com

Friday: Rest! Easy yoga, core/glute work

Saturday: 2 miles w/u, 3 miles @ 8:20 on treadmill. 8.5 miles outside once it warmed up a bit. Yoga @ studio

Sunday: Easy 5 miles. Yoga @ studio. Snowshoeing w/ the fam.

Week 8 (February 23 – March 1) – 41 miles

Monday: 60 minutes bike trainer. Strength training, glute/core/PT

Tuesday: 6 miles – 2 mile w/u, 6 x 0.4 miles @ 7:20 pace, 0.2 recovery in between, 1 mile c/d. Yoga @ studio

Wednesday: Easy 5 miles. Strength training, glute/core/PT

Road running | happyfitmama.com

Thursday: 7 miles total – 2 miles w/u on treadmill and then I took it outside. I’m taking back winter! Yoga @ studio

Friday: Rest!

Saturday: Easy 3.25 mile run outside. Yoga @ studio. Glute/core work.

Sunday: 20 miles! Average 8:50 pace with rolling hills and tip toeing across lots of icy roads.

While I didn’t feel my best for the past 2 weeks, I’m feeling a little bit like myself again after the 20 miler. However, this week is going to be difficult in training. Not because of the workouts but of my options of getting it done. Fingers crossed it works out.

How’s your life in running right now?

You Know You’re in Marathon Training When…

You Know You're in Marathon Training When...  happyfitmama.com

Over the weekend, it occurred to me that I have developed marathon training brain. It’s all about running. All the time. Every day. Every minute. I know even when I’m not training for anything, I talk a lot about running. Running pops into my thoughts often. But on Saturday, it got a little out of hand. I was obsessed with the hour by hour forecast for my planned 20 miler. It’s a long story but the 20 miles didn’t happen because I got too wrapped up in the forecast. Gah! Anyway…I know I’m not alone. There are plenty of us who are “suffering” from this marvelous condition.

You know you’re in marathon training when…

You obsess over the weather forecast. Particularly your long run days. At any given time, you know the projected forecast for the next 5 days, including sunrise and sunset, chance of precipitation, windchill factor, and whether there’s even a remote possibility that a winter storm can blow through, dumping extra snow before your run.

You are really, really upset when the weather is going to be better the day AFTER your long run and you can’t rearrange your schedule.

You arrange your long run around the warmest part of the day in the winter/coolest in the summer. You delay getting started because even a slight degree in temperature change really does make a difference.

Sleeping in on the weekend is still 5 a.m.

All you can think about besides running is eating and sleeping.

You want to eat all the food.

Your skinny jeans are just a little bit skinnier around the quads and calves.

Marathon Training Run | happyfitmama.com

You arrange your schedule based on how many miles you have to run that day.

You wonder a lot…will this make me too sore for my run tomorrow?

You think 9 p.m. is staying up late.

You ponder your long run outfit more than your daily “real clothes.”

You want to know the details of the race course from every person who has run the race before.

You spend lots of quality time with a foam roller, The Stick, Lacrosse balls and other sports equipment for relief even though it hurts like hell.

You wear compression socks for recovery no matter if it’s 90 degrees and clashes with your cute skirt.

You wear compression socks under your “real” clothes.

You talk about your training in any and all conversations without even trying. People talking about the weather? You comment on how awful/wonderful it is to run in this. Plans for the weekend? Running, of course.

You have a training journal that you write in everyday. It’s like your diary from middle school years, full of all your hopes and dreams.

Believe I Am Journal | happyfitmama.com

You have a whole stash of GU, Honey Stingers, Huma Gel or whatever mid fuel run you love.

Your laundry basket is always full of sweaty workout gear.

You second guess yourself often - Why am I doing this?

You have a countdown calendar app to race day.

You want to talk about training plans and running with everyone. Oh wait, that happens even when you aren’t training for anything.

Your feet have more callouses than you can count but there’s no way you are getting a pedicure till after race day.

Your turn! You know you are in training for ______ when…