My identity as a runner is not rooted in speed. I have been perfectly happy as a solid middle of the pack runner and get my kicks from distance not time. However, last spring I noticed that I was getting a little bit speedier from not really trying at all. I think I was just getting better at running and training for the marathon, so I was naturally get a little faster. Mike is a speed lover. He loves to push himself to meet new time goals and do track workouts. He pointed out that if I was getting faster without trying, maybe I was more capable of speed if I actually did put some effort towards it. Since my distance game has been off recently (you can read mournful posts here and here), I have officially decided to deem this… THE SPRING OF SPEED!
Some commonly accepted ways to improve speed are:
- Run consistently – this means both during the week (3 – 6 days of running) and throughout the year (don’t “stop running” or get completely out of shape)
- Include speed and hill workouts – Speed workouts are typically slightly shorter and more intense effort than mid-distance or long runs. Some examples of good speed workouts here, here, and here. Hills can mean just including more hills in your running routes or doing specific hill workouts. Some examples of hill workouts here and here.
- Strengthen your legs and core – I don’t think this requires a lot of explanation. Read more here and here.
- Do more plyometrics / sprints – I love plyometrics (I’ve talked about this before) and “jump” training is definitely associated with improved speed. Same with sprints! Read more here and here.
Here’s what I’m doing to get faster:
- Four runs per week. Monday is short, hard speed work. Wednesday is slightly longer, moderately hard effort. Friday is easy. Saturday is long run.
- Lady Ripped. I’m hoping that in my quest to get lady ripped and heal my knee injury, I’ll also get faster! I’ve been doing 100 x more strength training in the last month than I have like… ever. Hopefully I’m on the right track.
- Boot Camp style workouts. I’ve been attending a bunch of different classes and incorporating boot camp style circuits with plyo into my solo workouts.
- Actually racing 10Ks and 5Ks. Right now I’m signed up for one 10K and a couple 5Ks this spring. I normally never sign up for these distances and focus more on distance. I really want to improve at these shorter distances so I’ve gotta race them!
- Hills. I incorporate hills into pretty much all of my outdoor runs (I don’t live in a particularly flat area) but I’ve never done a proper hill workout. I want to give one a try sometime and see how I do.
Questions for you guys:
- What kinds of fitness goals are you working towards this spring?
- Have you ever worked on improving your speed? How did you do it?
Hey there! Remember me? Don’t worry I didn’t forget you 🙂 These last couple weeks have just been such an incredible whirlwind. I really didn’t want to take a moment away from soaking it all up. I’m sure you understand! I was SO appreciative of everyone’s comments and congratulations. Literally my Facebook couldn’t keep up with everything. I didn’t get to respond to everyone like I wanted to but please do know that it meant SO MUCH to me.
So let’s see… where did we leave off? Oh RIGHT, Mike asked me to marry him!!! Spoiler Alert: I said yes. Duhhh. So I’m not sure exactly how I’m gonna deal with the whole wedding thing on the blog. I mean I notice a lot of other bloggers have like wedding tabs and all these posts, but I don’t know if that’s something I should do too?? I mean don’t get me wrong. I’m definitely going to be writing about wedding stuff on here. I’ll probably just add a “wedding” category and file all my posts under there? Don’t worry, this isn’t going to turn into a wedding blog. I don’t even really do Pinterest (I know, I’m a huge let down). Anyways let’s catch up a little and then I want to leave you with a fun running workout!
So after Mike popped the big question… the family descended upon Arlington / DC for an epic love-fest and celebration of all things Christina. I mean, it was my birthday TOO after all. It was basically the best weekend ever. We had a big family dinner at Zaytinya with my family, Mike’s family, and my bff Sarah (who is basically family and she’s my MOH so she gets special perks).
And the next day we threw a party at our apartment. This was already planned for my birthday but it morphed into a birthday / engagement party which was super fun. People brought MANY bottles of champagne and we have a lot of booze leftover. Hooray! Sarah is my favorite. MOH FTW!
This was the ONLY picture Mike and I took together all weekend, which is very unusual in my family. We must’ve been so excited, we forgot to take pics. This pic was clearly a joke because A. I mean, look at my face, and B. I get uncomfortable with the hand on the chest pictures.
Anyways… we’re very happily engaged and I’m finding it really difficult to keep my nails constantly manicured. I mean, am I made of money here?? But I’m doing what I have to do 🙂 So since I’m not running the marathon any more, I’ve had a lot more freedom in my workout schedule which has been pretty sweet. Also the weather has been crappy and cold as all get out, so I’ve been getting inventive in the gym on the treadmill. I’ve been using a bunch of workouts I’ve found online including a couple from Active which are AWESOME. But on Sunday, I made one up on my own and wanted to share it with you! I wanted to do a one hour workout split between running and lifting weights. So I came up with this 35 minute Speed Pyramid that was super fun. If you don’t know all your paces exactly, just use the noted progression of intensity and see how you do!
Hope you’re glad to have me back… I certainly missed you all 🙂
Final softball game of the summer… Evan, Bryan, Sarah, Sarah, and Me! Post coming soon about this amazing group of people I have the honor of calling my teammates 🙂
Wilco at Wolf Trap (Post coming next week about our July date night!)
Lazy morning spent in bed snuggling with Fig. The towel is in the bed with us because Fig decided to be a real jerk and knock a full glass of water into my bed. I couldn’t stay mad for long 🙂
Here I am settling in for a late night at work and I get this notification on my phone from Facebook. RUDE.
My Week in Workouts:
- Rest Day
- 10 Mile Long Run
- Rest Day
- 3 mile Run
- 75 Minute Level 2 Hot Power Yoga Class
- 60 Minute Cardio / Strength Intervals Class
- Speed Workout [Ladder: 800M (10K pace, 400M recovery); 400M (5K pace, 200M recovery); 200M (>5K pace, 30-second recovery); 1000M (10K pace). Rest 3-4 minutes. Repeat set.]
- 60 Minute Cardio / Strength Intervals Class