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Jumping Back intoSpeed Training

by Meghann on February 14, 2017

Oh, hey. Look who’s finally diving back into speed training.


When I registered for the Walt Disney World Marathon last year, my goal was plain and simple: to finish. And that’s exactly what I did. My training plan was focused on building mileage – not speed – and on race day I crossed the finish line. It wasn’t pretty, but I did it. It was also my slowest marathon to date… by 30+ minutes.

My new goal is to focus on speed. Once upon a time I was fast. I mean, I wasn’t on my way to qualifying for Boston or anything… but I remember when holding a sub-9:00 min pace was my “normal.” I was in shape, I ran with friends regularly, and I worked my butt off for all of my PRs.  Obviously, it’s all relative, but that seems like a lifetime ago now. I doubt I’ll be gunning for any PRs anytime soon, I just want to see if I can go (somewhat) fast again.

So here’s my game plan.

Do the work.

Sounds simple enough, but it’s surprisingly easy to make up an excuse and ditch my planned work out for the day. I have to constantly remind myself that I can’t just sit around dreaming of what used to be, then get mad at myself for not seeing any results. I need to get out there and do something about it. Right now I’m running 3-4 days a week. I’m dedicating one day to track work, one day to tempo, and one day to a long(ish) run. I’m filling in the rest of the week with yoga and strength workouts. Again, nothing fancy – I’m rediscovering my love for YouTube workout videos and have found some decent videos via Amazon Prime.


Leave excuses at the door.

For the longest time my biggest excuse was not having access to a track for speed work. I still don’t. I only have a limited time each morning to do my work outs and unfortunately I just can’t make it to a track in that time.  No more excuses. If I can’t get to the track, I’m bringing the track to me. One loop around my block is approximately .3 miles. It’s not a perfect 400, but it’s close enough. It’s also right out my front door, so I don’t have to waste time driving anywhere or worry about unexpected track closures.


Run with friends.

The best way to get faster is to run with people who are faster than you. I miss running with friends. They push me like no other and I probably owe all of my great running achievements to them. They’re still on the top of their game, so I’ve been too nervous to ask them to go out on any runs recently. That’s just silly. I mean, they’ll obviously have to take pity on me for the first few times out, but a big goal of mine will be to meet them for some weekend runs again.

Reign in the indulgences.

I was developing a terrible habit of having a glass of wine or beer every night after work. Not only were the extra calories completely unnecessary, but I felt like crap every morning for my runs. I was only giving half the effort and it showed. I stopped buying the beer/wine at the store each week and, in turn, stopped reaching for it each night. I’ve also been cutting out sweets and stopped eating out as much. The results have been great. I don’t feel as gross when I got to bed each night and I wake up a much happier person.

So there you have it. It’s not a quick fix plan, but it’s a start. Once I’ve re-developed my pace, I’ll start re-focusing on some race goals. For now simply working on my speed is exactly where I want to be.




1 Meagan February 14, 2017 at 11:10 pm

I’m really trying to work through this phase now. Cutting out the crap, eating healthier so I don’t always feel bloated and too tired to put in any effort. It’s hard for me and I don’t even have a baby so good for you! You’ve done so much that you should be proud of.
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2 Beth February 15, 2017 at 6:42 am

Do you have any recommendations for good online videos? I struggle to find ones that aren’t way too had for a beginner like me!

3 montessoriishmom February 15, 2017 at 10:01 am

Good for you, that sounds like a great plan! I too have hopes of really getting back into running some day (more than just three or four miles at a time) but I have a long term foot injury, so we shall see. In the mean time, I’ve recently started doing workouts by FitnessType on YouTube ( They are great! I especially love her HIIT / Tabata workouts. I have a four month old baby, and they let me get in a great workout during his naps. I’d love to hear about the workouts you’ve found on Amazon Prime, I’m always looking for new ones!

4 Michelle Brandon February 15, 2017 at 9:04 pm

Way to go! Your motivation is awesome- maybe it will inspire me too!

5 molly rose February 15, 2017 at 9:45 pm

DUDE. Speed work has become my new bff. I joined Orange theory fitness about 6 months ago and I have developed a new love for running fast! (ooooon the treadmill, but still). I’ve always been one to trot around and “hope” for a PR.. and sometimes getting it! But now, I WORK for a PR. Through OTF and some speed work on my own outdoors. I rarely due my old usual 3-4 mile jogs outside. One long run a week and in addition to OTF, I’m good to go. Seeing improvements a lot!

ps I’d love to run with ya to help you get fast again! My happy spot is just under 9 minute miles, just sayiiiiin 🙂

pps how in the WORLD do you avoid a glass of wine at night. Get it girl. #hero #butalsolovemywine

6 Mindy @ Just A One Girl Revolution February 15, 2017 at 10:10 pm

“I have to constantly remind myself that I can’t just sit around dreaming of what used to be, then get mad at myself for not seeing any results. I need to get out there and do something about it.” <<– this is totally me right now!!
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7 Jesica @rUnladylike February 16, 2017 at 4:07 am

Love the plan! Running with other people is probably my favorite thing about running. I also love doing speed work with others because it pushes me to not give up when the intervals get tough. Looking forward to seeing you reclaim that speed! xo
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8 Taryn February 16, 2017 at 10:15 am

Good for you to start working on speed! That was a struggle for me as well after my second child was born. I have to say weight training was a game changer for me. And just getting my legs and body used to running fast. Can’t wait to follow your journey to get faster!

9 Kristina February 17, 2017 at 1:42 pm

Are you doing the Disney marathon again? I did it in January as my first marathon and just registered for 2018. In fact, I just booked the Hilton Bonnet Creek marathon weekennd hotel package based on your review. I also had the goal to “just finish” but this year I would like to get faster. I don’t quite know where to begin with that.

10 Whitney February 20, 2017 at 10:13 am

I hear ya. Getting a schedule up and running with 2 kids is a struggle. I feel better about myself and life when I eat better (not as much sugar!) and get exercise in. Any amazon video recommendation’s? Also, have you seen It’s pretty legit too.

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