Category Archives: Running

Last Week’s Workouts

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

Last week’s workouts were purposely kept on the easier side because I had a race on Sunday.  Not just any race, a mountain race.  And the first race bib I’ve put on in 10 months.

Monday

4 mile run, avg pace 9:09, 156 ft elev gain

Since it was Memorial Day, everyone was home, it was cloudy and cool, and we were all being lazy, I took the opportunity to do a short 4 miler run.  Kept it easy and enjoyed the alone time.

Tuesday

Morning Yoga Flow @ Bending Bodhi

30 minutes Stepmill

strength training

DB bench press

DB pull over

single leg balance w/ tricep kickback

cable squat and bicep curl

cable reverse lunge with row

rope overhead tricep extension

pull up shrugs

banded pull ups

bench step ups with KB shoulder press

plank ups

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

Wednesday

6.2 mile run, 9:28 avg pace, 766 ft elev gain

2 mile warm up, 4 repeats, 2 mile warm home

Kyle and I tackled the big hill today.  I wasn’t feeling super jazzed about the run because my legs were fatigued from lifting yesterday.  I thought for sure our times were going to be slower than previous but Strava let me know that we are trending up in getting to the top quicker.  It never will be easy but we are stronger than when we first started the repeats back March.  Back then, my fastest repeat was 2:18.  Today it was 2:09.  I call that progress!

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

Thursday

Morning flow yoga @ Bending Bodhi

One hour trail run, 5.2 miles, 12:09 avg pace, 332 ft elev gain

Lori was in town and wanted to meet up for a run.  She had just run Pineland 50 miler on Sunday so was looking for some easy miles.  We hit the trails for some soft dirt and morning chatter.

Later in the evening I got in some strength training:

bosu burpees

side plank to single leg balance

pendulum lunges

med ball slams

KB single leg deadlift

plank ups on bosu

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

Friday

REST DAY!

Saturday

30 minutes Elliptical, 30 minute walk with Cooper, floating on a Unicorn raft

I woke up Saturday morning with itchy eyes and zero motivation to run (actually swim) in the humidity.  Instead I opted for some time on the elliptical followed by an easy walk.  The rest of the day was spent at kid sports and floating on a unicorn raft with a cold beer enjoying the gorgeous day.

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

Sunday

Cranmore Mountain Race, 6.2 miles, 1:36:41, 2,380 ft elev gain

Surprise!  I ran a race on Sunday.  The good news: I didn’t break myself (again!).  The bad news: I suck at running downhill. Race recap coming soon!

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

Linking up with Hoho and Wendy for the weekly workout wrap up.

How was your week in workouts?

Four Workouts to Increase Speed

Four Workouts to Increase Your Speed | happyfitmama.com

You want to be a faster runner.

You’ve increased your time running. You’ve increased the distance you are running.

That’s one of the easiest ways to get faster as you build strength and endurance.

But running the same speed for every single run is not doing anything in getting your fix for the need for speed.

To run faster, you need to run faster.

For years, I stuck to the treadmill for speed training. I dialed in the speed and then held on for dear life. But then I fell in love with the track. What used to seem like the most boring thing ever quickly became fun. Or at least fun after I was done with my workout.

Doing speed work on the track upped my running confidence. To hit my prescribed paces, I had to do all the work. I couldn’t allow the treadmill to set the pace. I knew the distance, I didn’t have to worry about having to stop for traffic lights or I didn’t have to worry about climbing a hill to throw my pace off. The track really helped me figure out how to pace myself. Although truthfully, that’s always a work in progress for me. I’m always trying to get rid of my positive splitter status.

I then started to do speed work on the roads to simulate race situations. If I wanted to run faster in a race, I needed to do speed work on the roads. The law of specificity, right?  In a road race situation, it’s highly unlikely that the course will be pancake flat and will be in an oval. If it is, it’s most likely a track. Or a cul-de-sac.

Four Workouts to Increase Your Speed | happyfitmama.com

Bottom line is if you want to get faster, you’ve got to run faster. So do it on the treadmill, the track or on the road – whatever works for you!

If you’ve been consistently running for at least 2-3 months, you can begin to add speedwork to your training.  Just a word of caution, adding too much intensity too quickly, whether it’s hills, Fartleks, intervals or tempos, can increase your risk of injury.  Start off with one workout a week and gradually increase over time.

Speed work taxes your body A LOT. Your body needs time to properly recover from hard workouts. Growth occurs during rest and even easy runs in between hard sessions. You shouldn’t be running back to back hard days.  You want to alternate easy/hard. Elite runners never run “fast” every single run.  Their race pace may be a 5:xx something pace but training runs can have an 8:xx pace.

Keep easy days easy and hard days hard. Remember easy days are vital for improvement!

Here are four workouts to increase speed:

Fartlek

Besides being a really funny Swedish word that makes every giggle, Fartleks are incredibly effective in building speed. And they are one of my favorite workouts. Why do I love them? They are easy to do anywhere. They aren’t as intimidating as run x:xx pace for xx amount of time. It could be as simple as picking up the pace for 30 seconds followed by 2 minutes of easy running and repeating that 5 times.

Four Workouts to Increase Your SPeed | happyfitmama.com

Hills

While training for Mount Washington two years ago, I grew to love hills. Like LOVE them.  Now, rather than avoiding the mega hills in town, I purposely make them a part of my route. I grew to appreciate that they do in fact make you a stronger, faster runner in the long run. The old saying, hills are speed work in disguise, is absolutely true.

Four Workouts to Increase Your Speed | happyfitmama.com

Intervals

Doing short, intense bursts of speed builds up your stamina and endurance. To reduce the chance of injury, if you are a new runner or new to speed training, start with hills and Fartlek training before trying interval work.

Four Workouts to Increase Your Speed | happyfitmama.comTempo

Tempo runs scare the running tights off me more than any other workout. You want me to run that fast for that long?!?! With other speed intervals, it’s always a shorter period of running at a faster speed. But with tempos, it’s faster than easy pace, but not so fast that you are out of breath. More of like a comfortably hard pace that you can maintain for an hour.  Some say it’s close to your 10k pace. If you can talk easily, it’s too slow. If you can’t talk at all, it’s way too fast. It’s meant to help you run faster and harder for longer periods of time by increasing your anaerobic threshold.

Even though tempo runs scare the pants off me, I know that it’s the one workout that I should be doing to give me the biggest reward in gaining speed.

This tempo workout isn’t fancy but gets the job done.

Four Workouts to Increase Your Speed | happyfitmama.comEven if you aren’t training for a specific race or goal time, adding any of these speed workouts to your weekly rotation can help you become a more efficient and stronger runner. Plus, it just makes it fun!

Linking up with Coaches Corner  and Wild Workout Wednesday.

What’s your favorite speed workout?

What’s your least?

Last Week’s Workouts

Last week's workouts } happyfitmama.com

I hope everyone had a great long weekend.  It’s hard to believe that it’s the end of May and summer is here.  I love summer running and will never complain about it being too hot or humid because winter and frigid temps will be here before we know it.  Like over the weekend…it was mid 80s on Saturday and mid 50s on Sunday. Wtf?!?!

Last week’s workouts

Monday

6.5 mile run, 8:48 avg pace, 430 ft elev gain

I woke up Monday morning feeling so much better after spending most of the weekend down and out with a cold.  So much better that I didn’t even realize I ran the biggest hills in town. Maybe it was the gorgeous sunrise that powered me?

Tuesday

Morning Flow Yoga @ Bending Bodhi

20 minutes Arc Trainer

20 minutes Stepmill

strength training

cable running woman

rope row and squat

rope tricep extension

TRX pistol squat

TRX pull and reach

KB bench step ups

weighted thrusters

eccentric pull ups

pull up shrugs

TRX mountain climbers

TRX pike plank

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

Wednesday

7.1 mile run, 8:46 avg pace, 445 ft elev gain

The plan called for rolling hills and 1:30 pick ups at every mile.  When Kyle and I started to running, I joked that I planned the route so we’d hit the base of the mega hills in town right at the mile markers.  As luck would have it, we did. Needless to say, the sweat was flowing.  A lot!

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

You smell that?  That’s what awesome smells like. 🙂

Thursday

strength training

DB bench press

DB pull over

renegade row

reverse grip barbell row

side lunge/ DB clean

bench steps ups with DB shoulder press

weighted thrusters

KB pendulum lunges

KB single leg deadlift

med ball squats

6 mile run, 8:54 avg pace, 254 ft elev gain

I don’t do it nearly as much as I should, but running AFTER lifting always makes me feel like I’m running on Bambi legs aka tired legs.

Friday

REST DAY!

Saturday

5 mile run, 8:45 avg pace, 229 ft elev gain

It was so nice to run whenever I wanted and not be rushed to get to gymnastics, soccer or baseball on a Saturday.  The temps and humidity were up by the time I made it out the door.  Have I mentioned lately that I’m really enjoying the heat?  That is except when I run into my super speedy friend during the last 1/4 mile of my run.  She’s gliding along effortlessly and I feel like I’m all out sprinting to keep up with her AND to carry on a conversation.  Must have been the humidity that made me feel like I was gasping for air.  Hahaha!

 

Sunday

10 mile run, 9:07 avg pace, 338 ft elev gain

I really wasn’t in the mood to run solo for my long run.  It seemed like almost all my friends were running races.  But as luck would have it, Kyle had 10 on her plan also so we decided to meet up.  Originally we were planning for a rolling hill run but we both felt the need for some Vitamin Sea.  The miles flew as we chatted the whole time.  We even did some obstacle course training by jumping a chain link fence.  Don’t worry, we weren’t doing anything illegal…I think.

FYI – maneuvering over a fence is a lot harder now compared to in my teens or 20s. My hand and leg agree.  #ouch

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

How was your week in workouts?

Linking up with Hoho and Wendy for the weekly workout wrap up.