Kristen R: Speedwork for the Unspeedy


I’m not a terribly fast runner. Well, let’s be honest: I’m not a fast runner. I’m not a super-slow runner, either. I’m just one of those middle-of-the-pack people. And, let me be clear, I will always be one of those people.

We are an awesome group of people: We’re dedicated weekend warriors; we wake up uber-early for our weekend long run  because the family has a Saturday schedule to keep; we run at odd times mid-week because we work and parent; we run to push ourselves; we run for the challenge; we run as an outlet. We run.

Before kids, I was more a front-of-the-middle-of-the-pack runner. Now I’m really in there, wedged smack in the middle, and there are times when I feel like I might even be waning on the edge of the back of the middle. And that’s OK. I’m still running — and that’s why we’re all in this, right?

But here’s the deal: I’ve finally set a goal amidst all this daily running. I’m going to run my final half marathon for the year in under two hours (or right at two hours, if we’re being honest). I did it pre-kid. Now, seven years later, I want to do it post-kids.

Enter speed work. I just completed my first set of mile repeats, quite possibly for the first time in my entire life. It was a good workout. The speed was good. The number of repeats was good. All good. Then, I started reading about 800 meter repeats being better than full miles…yadda, yadda, yadda. What now?

Frankly, for someone new to the speedwork game, I’m just happy to be playing, but I do wonder what’s more beneficial: the mile or the 800-meter repeat?

For now, the plan I’ve created for myself dictates miles, so that’s what I’m doing. But what about you? What’s your best tried-and-true speedwork training — and why? And, are you in the mile repeat camp or is the 800-meter repeat your speedwork of choice?

Daily running update: 600+ miles logged, y’all. Cheers!

Gotta run!
Kristen R.

Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 9.24.45 PM

KHP Art Below

KHP- Playing in Photoshop.  This was a break for you and me from the drawing.  I  am working on the drawing now.

KHP- Playing in Photoshop. This was a break for you and me from the drawing. I am working on the drawing now.


About Kristen R.

Counting down to 40, while juggling motherhood, marriage, the corporate grind & middle-of-the-pack running. It's OK to point & laugh.
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7 Responses to Kristen R: Speedwork for the Unspeedy

  1. wwwmama says:

    I love this writing here. I am definitely back of the pack when it comes to any real distance. If I manage 10 minute miles for the half without stopping, I’ll be thrilled.
    How do the mile repeats work? Do you get a break in between? I think I remember doing this for cross country and it was just rest (walk) until you can breathe normally again and then get moving again. Are you on the treadmill setting a particular speed? I’m having some trouble getting runs in with Free around. I tried running with her biking next to me the other day, but it meant stopping and starting when cars went by and varying the pace depending on how fast she was going. I was thinking of trying the track today; maybe mile repeats could work, but that might kill me on a track!

    • Kristen R. says:

      I got a treadmill back when T traveled all the time. Otherwise, I just wouldn’t have been able to run. Now, it just helps me so much during the week to run on it after the girls go to bed. Mile repeats are just what you said and do them on the tread, but might try them at a nearby track soon. The general rule is to run them about 10-15 seconds slower than what your race pace is. And, like you said, you walk between them to recover.

      Just so you know, I absolutely walk during races! I walk through the water stations and when I refuel w/ GU or some other energy thing. In one of my next two posts, I’ll do a post on stuff to consider having w/ you for long runs, just for you. It’s stuff you might want to have while you’re training and on race day — carrying a water bottle (I always run w/ mine), what kind of nutrition you might need during the long runs (I eat GU around mile 6).

  2. cathyn61 says:

    I mix it up. Sometimes I do shorter intervals, other times longer. Probably longer intervals further out from the event and shorter ones as it gets closer. However I will never ever do 100m intervals again – that’s how I injured myself. So take care. Doing speed work does increase risk of injury so make sure you are well and truly warmed up.

    • Kristen R. says:

      Ah, very good to know. Thanks for sharing that. Many years ago, I injured my hip doing a speed workout a couple of weeks before a marathon. Then I ran the race. Not good! I will definitely do a long warmup. Needed that reminder!!

  3. khpixler says:

    This is great and an inspiration. I need to remember to warmup, do speed workouts and run my long runs slower. I just need someone following me around telling me what to do or I fall into my old running patterns. You are Awesome.

    • Kristen R. says:

      Haha! Not awesome, just OCD when it comes to my running plan. OK, maybe a little awesome 😉 You’re pretty awesome, too. You running those fall half marathons still?

  4. wwwmama says:

    Awesomeness all around! I have been making my list of questions for you and you just hit some of them…how to deal with water and carry stuff. Do you have a good pouch to carry stuff?

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