Mid-week Motivation: Holiday Speed Workout

Nine months and one majorly botched half marathon later I finally have my running legs back! I ran literally until the day I went into labor, but it was slow and laborious (sorry), then it was summer and it’s awful running in Charleston in the summer, so I’ve been dragging this out way too long. But the weather is cooler and my stamina’s back. Just in time for us to start thinking about baby number two.

This workout is inspired by one of my favorite running friends from my old running group in San Diego. She’s also one of the most naturally talented runners I know. My claim to running fame is getting second to her in our age group at the Wild Animal Park Half Marathon a couple years ago.

We used to meet after work for speed workouts, and my favorite was an 8 mile loop around Mission Bay where we would run at  half marathon pace for combinations like 1 mile, 3 quarters of a mile, half a mile, and 4x quarter miles. The goal was, the shorter the distance, the faster the pace. At the end I would be dry heaving and limping and she would be on her way to swim laps.

I don’t have much time for 8-mile speed workouts anymore, so I’ve started doing this shortened version. It has the same goal, a combination of endurance and raising and slowing your heart rate, but it can be done in a half hour on lunch or squeezed in between family time and holiday parties. Or, you can liven up a longer run by fitting it into your middle miles.


I did this workout on Saturday when I was on the verge of a cold and needed to sweat it out, but didn’t really have the energy for my usual Saturday long run. Despite being sick, I actually felt great. It was breezy and sunny, absolute perfect running weather. Despite feeling great, I have no idea how fast or far I actually ran, since my Garmin never started tracking.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

It’s only 15 total minutes of speed work, but breaking it up into intervals makes it more challenging. It’s always harder to start after a rest pace. I try to maintain a decent pace during the two minutes, but, if you’re new to running you can walk in between. I’ve also done this workout back to back, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 when I was training for a half marathon last year. It’s an easy workout to keep track of while you’re running, and, even though you’re increasing the pace, it’s a relief to decrease the time.

PS- I’m beginning to make the switch from Lululemon everything to other brands. I loved running in these Athleta pants (even though they’re advertised as yoga pants). I don’t know if I got the wrong size, but they almost feel like compression pants–which is good because some workout clothes don’t have enough support for running. They’re extremely soft and a nice change from my usual basic black.  AND they’re currently on sale for 38.99!

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One Response to Mid-week Motivation: Holiday Speed Workout

  1. Jo January 2, 2016 at 9:12 pm #

    I love that workout! Going to try as soon as I’m home from holidays.

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