Race Pace Workout

trail running happyfitmama

I think I caught race fever over the weekend.

With a ton of friends racing local 5k’s, the Maine Coast Half/Full Marathon(way to go Sarah and coaching client, Cindy!), Sugarloaf Marathon(way to go Kailey on your 2nd marathon!!), and one of my favorite races, Wallis Sands Half (Robin had a 12 minute PR!!), I felt the urge to register for all the races. And I can’t forget to give a High 5 to Allie for killing her Tri on Sunday (You raise me up Allie!) and my coaching client, Dawn, for scoring a huge pure and 2nd overall woman in her 1/2.

The grit and determination had me fired up. I know the hustle and grind of training, especially long distance training, is a pain but I do like following a good plan. I’m this close (you can’t see me but I’m holding my fingers about an inch apart) to signing up for a fall marathon. It’s been over a year since I ran a race…do I even know how to do it anymore?

I ran trails with my friend Karin on Saturday afternoon. It was simply marvelous. All I was thinking – Why don’t I do this more often? Dirt just feels so much better. Not just for my body but for my mind and spirit. It’s so quiet and serene in the woods. And I feel like a kid again, running through the woods, playing with friends. One thing is for sure my body could tell I ran on different terrain. My hips and glutes were sore from climbing, hopping and jumping. I’m committing myself to doing more trails from now on. I need it!


It’s hard to believe that I was on the pain train fighting off injury (maybe?) two weeks ago. I was hesitant to go to a chiropractor, but I thought, why not? My mid back was painful to the touch. The fascia in an area was just not happy. And my Piriformis was inflamed because of it. Last Tuesday I had an adjustment and it seemed like everything went right back into place. I’ve felt good as new ever since then. That and I’ve been practicing good biomechanics while seated (I’m a habitual leg crosser or will have one leg tucked underneath me). I’ve also been doing very, very basic spinal exercises. I scoffed at the idea of doing a side plank or plank with my knees on the ground – too easy! But I think a side plank with just the hips elevated is actually harder than the full position. Try it – you might be surprised too. I’ve felt stronger in a few days with 5 simple exercises. Another reminder that simple is best.

So I’ve got a fun workout for you today!

I love doing ladder workouts at the track. The best thing about it – what goes up, must come down! The same applies with this Race Pace Workout. You start out at a blazin’ 5k pace and finish the set at a comfortable marathon pace. Those 4 mins at marathon pace feel downright slow after the other paces. I’ve been doing this workout every so often when I feel the need to dial up some speed but don’t want to necessarily do it at the track. Don’t get me wrong, I have grown to love the track but sometimes I feel that I need to do the work on the road to really feel like it’s possible to run that fast on something other than a pancake flat surface that goes round and round.

Dial up your speed with this Race Pace Workout on your next run. happyfitmama.com

Repeating this workout 2x, it would be 50-60 minutes depending on your pace for the warm up and cool down. If you wanted more, repeat it 3x. Either way, it’s a great way to push the pace with variety.

Try it out and let me know what you think.

You can find more speed workouts on my Pinterest board created just for the need for speed!

Do you ever get race fever?

Where do you prefer to do speed workouts?

9 comments on “Race Pace Workout

  1. I think I love this workout! For the same reason I love ladder workouts too, the idea of doing slower or shorter intervals. Though I had a little giggle as I thought of my “blazing fast ” 5k pace. 🙂
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  2. Wow, it looks like you’re doing much better! Going to see a chiropractor, especially if you’ve never been before, can certainly be a nerve-wracking experience, but the results are so worth it once you work up the courage to go! Glad to see you’re doing well! Thanks for sharing!

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