Speed Work … OK Sure!

For my first half marathon, I used a program that basically focused on distance runs. Since it was my first half marathon ever and considering I never ran a race longer than an 8K when I signed up for it, I thought this was my best option. I was worried and would question myself if I could complete 13.1 miles.

The training program was great. It worked. It got me to complete 13.1 miles in 1:58:00. I felt confident going into the race and the questions of if I could disappeared and turned more to when do I think I could finish.

Now that I am training for my second and third half marathons, I decided to take a look at other programs. I decided to go with Hal Higdon’s Advanced Half Marathon program.

As noted on his website, the training schedule begins with 400-meter repeats, but also includes 800- and 1600-meter repeats in later weeks.

I have now done a few of these work outs and wow. I have been doing the 7 x 400s and after each 400, I walk 100 meters and repeat. I’ve been cranking up my speed on these 400s. For the first few, he notes to run them at 5K pace. I’ve been running them faster though. The 100 meter walk after each 400 definitely helps. Some 400s are better than others but I continue to push.

I will jog a half mile up to the track, do my speed work out, then jog home as a cool down.

These work outs have definitely pushed me in a new way. I even said to someone the other day that I was sore after the first one. I feel right now, this kind of feels harder than just going out and running for an hour and a half. I look at that as a positive. Like I’ve built a decent long distance base and since I’m just started to add in speed, it should be hard. Don’t get me wrong, it’s all hard, but I’m sure you know what I mean.

I have a few more 8 x 400 workouts and then I move up alternating weeks of 800 or 1600 runs increasing the reps by one each week. It’ll be interesting to see where I am at the end of training.

I feel like I have a love and blah with the speed work outs so far. I love them when I’m done and during parts of it, but there are some laps I’m running when I’m a quarter of the way through and just like ugh come on.

As Hal Higdon said, “If you want to race at a fast pace, you need to train at a fast pace several days a week.”

Speed work …. ok sure!

Do you do speed work outs?
Do you like speed work outs?
What do you do for speed work outs?

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2 Replies to “Speed Work … OK Sure!”

  1. My son runs 5k’s and he does speed workout 2x a week as well as running hills. He noticed a big drop in his 5k time after he started running hills. As for the speed work out he varies the distance. One week he works on 800’s where he runs 6 800’s progressivly getting faster with 2 minute rest in between. Another week he works on 400’s with 10 400’s and 1 minute rest in between. This week he ran 5 1000 with active recovery of walking 100 and jogging 100. For the hills we find golf course hills and bridges

    1. Great info Lauren! Thanks for sharing. He’s doing a fantastic job. I’ve seen a bunch of your posts on his races and he’s a fast one. Hills are important too and part of this program. The good thing is there are a lot of hills in the Caldwell area, so I feel like I’m running up or down them constantly. I know it has helped me a ton in 5Ks as I notice that’s where I can close the gap on other runners around me. It helps a ton when I race on a flat course. Definitely interesting points on the rest in between sets. I’m going to try that out, especially with the varied times per distance.

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