My Love/Hate Relationship with Speedwork 

Hey, hey, hey, I hope all you lovely humans are staying cool this warm Thursday! I am soaking up the air conditioning and enjoyed this smoothie (that tasted like a chocolate shake!!) for breakfast this morning. It was so good, that I may just make another one for dinner tonight. 😉 

Anyways, hopefully, you have some coffee in hand and are ready to talk about speed work. 
I don’t know about you, but when I started running I didn’t incorporate speed work/interval training into my weekly regime. 

(Throwback picture of my birthday race! My mom ran the 5k and I ran the 8k)

I’ve always been a reasonably speedy runner (not crazy fast, but decent) so I didn’t see the need to add interval/speed training into my weekly runs. 

However, once I started working on my speed,I’ve never looked back. Okay, except since getting large and pregnant- speed work and I are taking a break right now. 😉 We will have lots to work on after baby T comes. 

Interval (or speed) training has greatly decreased my mile time and my average running pace! The beauty of speed work is that it is painful, it is hard, but it is also super effective. Every time I head out for my speed workout, honestly I feel a little overwhelmed. But, afterwards,  I feel like a super human. There is something magical about running as fast as you can (for only a specific amount of time- not the whole run!) that leaves me feeling like I’m on top of the world. 

Here’s a simple speed workout example taken from an article on

Easy fartlek. Fartlek, or speed play, is variable-pace running that emphasizes creativity. During a 30-minute run, choose objects to run to–telephone poles, trees, buildings, other runners, whatever. Make choices that mark off different distances so your pickups vary in length from 15 to 90 seconds, and modify your pace to match the distance. If you’re with a group, take turns choosing, sometimes revealing your choice ahead of time, sometimes not.”

Pickups are simply, picking up the pace during a run for a certain amount of time, normally (as said above) 15 to 90 seconds. 

When you are incorporating speed work into your runs, make sure you are running on a smooth surface, you don’t want a twisted ankle! 

I’ve noticed, when I use one of my runs a week to focus on speed, my speed has improved and I’ve grown stronger mentally and physically. Make sure that you have a solid running base before adding speed work into your weekly running regime, in order to discourage injuries. 

Personally, on my speed workout days, I run .15-.25 mile as quickly as I can. I then recovery with a .5 mile (at a recovery pace) and repeat until my mileage goal is met.

Speed work is work. It is crazy hard. But it is also crazy awesome. 

How about You? 

  1. Do you do any speed work?
  2. Favorite speed workout? 
  3. How many times a week do you run?