Channeling my inner speed demon

Ok, so I’ve probably said this a million times – but I truly don’t consider myself a speedy runner.  I think I do ok for myself, but I don’t really equate me as a runner to me as a speedy runner.

However, after my recent post on learning to trust myself and my abilities more, it’s time to stop assuming I’m “not fast” and start “faking it until I make it.” Because like it or not, I’ve got to channel that inner speed demon of mine and to coax her out of her shell. (What can I say, I have a shy side, who knew?)

What better way to do that than <wait for iiiiiiit> with INTERVALS.
My favorite love-to-hate running drill, as you might already know about me.

Yesterday was an “on” day, running-wise, for me. After a couple of tweets back and forth on what type of dreadmill workout I ought to conquer, my ever-so-wise friend Heather suggested this:

Heather Iacobacci

 I say combo – do 2 miles at intervals then finish out with 2-3 steady 

What a novel idea! A combination steady-state/interval style workout. I had never thought of that before. For real. I always went for either a steady-state run OR an intervals workout, but never even considered combining the two. Duh. Genius idea, my friend, GENIUS!

So without further ado, here’s how my interval/steady-state workout turned out:

2 min warm-up: 3.5 mph
2 miles, steady-state: 6.5-7 mph
1 mile, building intervals, as follows: 2.1 @7.1 mph; 2.2 @7.2 mph, 2.3 @7.3 mph, etc. until I hit mile 3.0 @8.0 mph
.5 mile active recovery: 6.0-6.5mph
1.5 mile, building intervals, as follows: 3.5 @7.1 mph; 3.6 @7.2 mph, 3.7 @7.3 mph, etc. until I hit mile 5.5 @8.5 mph
.5 active recovery: 6.0-6.5mph
5.5 miles total

Sweatastic, right?

Let me tell you – those building interval miles frickin’ FLEW on by. I’m definitely going to build this interval plan out next time, perhaps adding another segment of building intervals for another mile to make it a 6.5 or 7 mile total workout.

And another thing? I was so surprised to see myself running in the 8s and 8.5 mph range. Sure my legs were FLYING and I thought my lungs would explode, but guess what? I got through it. And felt like a total rockstar at the end. I’m legit still riding that runner’s high today, a full day later.

So I guess my “I’m not a speedy runner” thing isn’t gonna fly around these parts much longer, huh? The more I trust my body and allow it to break free to do what it’s capable of doing, the stronger I’ll become. I firmly believe that after getting through this workout yesterday. Score one for me!

PS. If you try this interval workout, I’d love to hear about it! As always, definitely tailor this to your endurance levels, starting at your comfortable running pace (which may be 5 mph, 6mph, 7mph or somewhere in between!) and build up slowly. Just because I’ve written this out using my speeds as an example, doesn’t mean that you have to run it exactly like I did it, just try out the pattern and see what works for you. My two cents, anyway.  😉

30 thoughts on “Channeling my inner speed demon

  1. This us exactly how I used to approach the dreadmill. In fact, the only way I can run on a treadmill is to do intervals. It keeps my mind busy and the time flies!!! That being said, beware! It is addictive. And can lead to overtraining if done exclusively. Keep some steady-state only days in there too! (believe me…I overtrained my ads off with HIIT!)

      • Oh totally – it can be very addicting, you’re right! I actually have learned that if I do too many interval workouts in the winter months and not enough steady-state, once I’m outside running on a more regular basis in spring/summer/fall, my running endurance suffers a bit in terms of how far I can go. I figured that out last winter when I basically ONLY did interval work on the treadmill and not any steady-state. My body got used to those breaks in between the bursts of speed so once I was outside again, steady state was like starting over. NOT gonna happen this year, nope! I’m only doing intervals once per week, steady state the rest of the time, at varied distances – and a mix of inside and outside. 🙂

    • I totally believe that!! I definitely think my speed has improved because of it, and honestly – without ALL that much effort if you really think about it. Once per week intervals (and they may be painful speed miles!) is all it’s taken me to get my speed up slowly but surely!

  2. This was a really good one for me today, sis, for as much bitching as I did, I am glad I did this, with a few modifications. It didn’t fly by, per se, but it was better for me to get through! Good variety!

    • I’m so glad you gave it a shot, sis! Like I said earlier, you might not love them now and they might feel VERY hard right out of the gate, but the more you do them, the better you’ll feel and the more you’ll start to like them. And your speed will DEFINITELY increase over time! You got this!

    • Yeah yeah, I knowwww – I can’t claim the “I’m not speedy” card anymore. Not with you around to tell me otherwise, hehe. 🙂

      It’s an awesome interval workout, I hope you give it a shot! 🙂
      (I have yours printed out on my treadmill too, btw!)

  3. Woohoo – awesome job my friend!!! See what happens when you listen to me 😉 Just kidding. I am glad you liked that idea though. It’s seriously the only way I was able to hit 8 miles during my half training last winter. And love the idea of the building. I tend to do intervals in terms of ratios of minutes like 2:2, or 2:1.5 kind of thing (mostly b/c that was one of my crazy training plans LOL).

    And the great thing about intervals is that as bad as it hurts, you know it’s not going to last it helps you really get used to that feeling and not be afraid of it.

    • I know, I really ought to *always* listen to you – you’re quite a smarty pants. hehe 😉

      I love what you say about getting over that fear of pushing hard and fast (TWSS??) — because once you can get that out of your head, it’s SUCH a breakthrough!

  4. That sounds like a great interval session. I have a hard time trusting my abilities and then getting frustrated with my speed. I know part of it is I am afraid I am going to burn out, but I need to get over that.

  5. I often have to repeat to myself “In order to get faster, I have to run faster.” For some reason, I just think that it will happen on it’s own, but it doesn’t.

    • That’s a really good point – I think anyone who has been running for awhile can fall into that trap. The “well, I run all the time, I’ll just naturally get faster” and it’s just not that easy (though I wish it was!). I like that idea tho – to repeat that phrase to yourself next time you want to skip that interval session, especially!

  6. Pingback: Speedastic Intervals (or: intervals inspired by crazy fast running friends) | EatDrinkBreatheSweat

  7. Aaaah. I have to do 5 miles on the dreadmill tomorrow and I came here looking for inspiration. FOUND IT. Thank you friend, for being you!

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