Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Implementing Speed Work...again

Now that I'm a month post-injury, I feel that it is safe enough and my body is healed as much as it's gonna be enough to start putting speed work back on my running schedule.

I'm slightly obsessive compulsive so when I first started doing my speed work back in November, I created a spreadsheet that tells me the date, type of speed work (tempo, intervals, fartleks), distance, average pace, and a spot for comments (interval pace, any conditions that I feel are important enough to write out, warm up and cool down pace).  Seriously, OCD.  Anyway, my last speed work was around January 10th.  I had the half marathon at the end of January and stopped with the speed work immediately prior to rest my legs.  I stopped immediately after due to my shoulder dislocations.  Two months after my last speed work, I was a little lost on how to start back up.

I've mentioned running has been a bit hard to pick back up.  Not running in general...but running the way I ran back in January!  I'm too hard on myself.  I want to be there NOW!  I have a goal half marathon in May!  I've tried to just relax a bit.  I picked running back up slowly.  I ran shorter distances and a slower pace.  I needed to start somewhere but didn't want to hurt myself.  Especially considering the first time I tried to run was with my Thursday night run group and I ended the run with tears, frustration, and a sore shoulder.  It's never easy coming back from any type of injury.

But with an 8k PR, a long run last weekend of over 9 miles, a hill run, and several "regular" runs, I felt that it might be time to start speed work again.  I don't want to push myself too hard but I don't want to baby myself either.

I decided 400 meter intervals were the best way to start back up.  The question was...what pace?  I looked at my old notes on my speed work and decided maybe I should start where I started in November.  My speed intervals were around an 8:30 pace.  However, I also know that sometimes I focus too much on the garmin and it may throw me off mentally. So I also decided to do what I did that first speed workout in November...not look at my pace at all and run by feel.  It worked really well back then!

Yesterday, I went out for my 400 meter intervals.  Easy 1/2 mile warm up & cool down and 4x400 speed and 4x400 recovery.  My thought was to have my speed be around 8:30 and maybe my recovery to be around 10:00, running by feel of course!  It was super windy and slightly cool with a light mist.  I went anyway.  It's now light out if I go immediately when I get home from work!  The thought of the dreadmill made me sad. Plus since I wanted to run by feel, the treadmill would make me focus on a specific pace too much.

The result:  I felt that I was running my warm up too fast.  I tried to slow up a bit but I didn't think I succeeded in that.  The first speed interval and recovery interval were into a huge headwind.  After my first speed interval, I stopped and swore under my breath at the wind for making this more difficult!  I thought about giving up the speed work and running easy.  Then I remembered back to my first speed workout in November and I remember it being hard.  And after a few weeks, it got easier.  That helped me not give up and keep pushing, wind or no wind.

The whole time I was out there, I felt my speed intervals weren't fast enough (and that maybe there were closer to 9:00 than 8:30).  I also felt that my recovery intervals were probably closer to 10:30's than 10:00.  I was slightly frustrated the whole time for this feeling as difficult as it did.  Again, I didn't look at my watch at all.  And I finally made it to the measly 3 miles I set out to do.

Actual results:  I was much faster than I thought.  No wonder I was winded and frustrated.

1/2 mile warm up and cool down: 10:04, 10:00
1/4 mile Speed: 8:06, 8:16, 8:02, 8:27
1/4 mile Recovery: 9:40, 10:11, 9:55, 9:52

Ok, it's clear from my garmin results that I actually have more in me than I think I do.  Coming back from an injury shatters your confidence a bit sometimes.  I doubt my abilities.  I get frustrated with myself.  Basically, I need to not be so hard on myself and just keep pushing forward.  I still have the "old me" in me.  It just takes a little time.

Did I also mention this was already my second workout of the day?  I enjoyed an early morning spin class the same day as my evening speed workout.  Bad ass or stupid?  Doesn't matter to me...

Next time I'm going to look at my garmin pace to be a little more consistent with my intervals.  My speed could be taken back just a bit 8:20-8:30.  I'm pleased with the outcome of yesterday's speed work and am excited to try another round of intervals or a tempo run next week. Just trying to get back on that horse...

**Giveaway News** - Check out this great giveaway posted on Erica Finds!  Click HERE for details!


  1. Great job on your speed work! I am still trying to get back to trying to following a training plan like I did when I first started running!

  2. Nice job with your speedwork. Yes, I can relate to the frustration that comes from "starting over" after an injury. My three weeks off seems to have put me about 6 weeks back. But at least I can be glad I'm healthy. I say you are bad ass for working out twice! :-)

  3. Um, it's BAD ASS! Way to go! And for the record? your 10:00 minute mile "recovery" is my sprint - ha! :D

    Enjoy your weekend!

  4. Haha, I am so OCD with logging my training ... Garmin Dashboard, DailyMile, AND RunningAhead. Anyway, great job!!! Stop being so hard on yourself! Just run by feel.

  5. Good job! I needed the reminding that it is time to start speedwork up again! :)

    Also, I nominated you for a Liebster award today -- congratulations!