If you can’t beat it, use it! I was starting to get seriously frustrated about having to run in all the crazy wind around here…until it started snowing. I realized that things can always get worse and, instead of trying to constantly fight the elements, why not just go with the flow?
Here are two of my favorite speed sessions and, if you can figure out how to run them so the wind is at your back for most of the workout, you may score a new PR!
8 x 4 Minutes at 8K Effort
The first thing you need to pay attention to here is the word effort. As an extra challenge, try not looking at your watch (except to note when to stop and start) and run by feel. This is the best way to tune in to your pacing and rhythm without relying on your watch.
When I first saw this workout I thought – – what the hell is an 8K pace? Who runs that distance (5 miles)? The point is that no one does which is why this effort should be in between a 5K (3 miles) and 10K (6 miles) pace, which pretty much every runner is familiar with.
The fun part (yes, there is one) is looking at the breakdown of your 4 minute efforts and seeing just how consistent they are since you cannot control the placement of hills, both up and down.
Obviously this workout is best on the road where your speed is being controlled by you but, of course you can do it on the treadmill and then you won’t have to guesstimate your pace… Either way, you will suffer in the best way possible.
Some of you may be all too familiar with this type of workout. It’s great for the treadmill because you’re constantly watching the clock and barely have time to get bored. It also helps improve your speed and that finishing kick on tired legs.
Have fun with these, stop cursing the wind and be happy it’s not snowing where you are…unless it is, then I can’t help you.
[Tweet “Run like the wind with these two #speedworkouts for #runners! #train4life”]
How often do you incorporate speed work?
Do you run by effort or your watch pace? Be honest!
guess what? I know my 8k pace! Locally, there are 2 8k (or 5 mile races as they’re called) here. One elwasblast week and the other is next week. It’s a wacky distance! But I kind of like it. Anyway – great workouts!!! And I really hope the wind subsides because it’s unreal. And then when it’s snowing and windy – so not cool for April!
Of course you do you running nerd! LOL! That is great and I actually would love to race an 8K…I think. Let me know if you give the workout a try.
Staying positive is one thing I allowed myself to do for the last couple of weeks. Honestly, it’s the best thing I could do with the weather. You don’t know if we are going to have crazy wind, snow or a downpour. They both sound like interesting and fun speed workouts, thanks for sharing.
It’s so hard to stay positive but, what is the alternative. We can’t control the weather, right? Summer is coming…it has to be!!
I was sooo used to running by my watch but then two instances–technology fail and pouring rain made me abandon the watch and I was shocked to see that I was moving much faster than I thought I was in my head or at least how I felt. Thank you for these running plans!!
That happens ALL the time! I’m sorry it happened in a forced way for you but, what an eye opener, right? Good for you!
I hate the wind! And cold blustery weather in April. It’s been insane lately! Thanks for these workouts. Can’t wait to try them!
It’s the worst. Everyone here is in a bad mood and depressed. We were teased with a mild winter and then about two weeks of spring weather and now this? Booooo.
I look at the wind as a resistance workout. I figure, it’s not going away so I may as well make it work for me.
But saying all that doesn’t mean I have to like it.
I know, I know! I try very hard to tell myself that when I’m out there but I just want one run or bike to be truly enjoyable. Is that too much to ask? This spring – the answer is YES!
You know the shamrock shuffle in Chicago this past Sunday was an 8k…. I don’t know why that was the distance, but it was, so this would be great prep for whoever is doing that next year…. I don’t do any formal speed work, but I do sort of do some random fartlek type stuff and try to sprint my last 2 minutes, but after talking to my running group mentors this weekend, I think I’m going to make myself do a little more speed work here and there…. and the 4 minute intervals I can do….so I’m going to give it a try.
I did NOT know that! Thank you for letting me know. I will try to get ahead of that next time!
I think you’re in a great spot to start adding in some “formal” speed work, although fartleks are great too. Let me know if you give the 8 x 4 a try.
Oh, I’m going to try that ladder workout on the treadmill soon. I always need some sort of plan on that thing so I don’t die of boredom. We had a windy day here the other day and I used effort rather than time to gauge my output and I swear I ran way harder using effort! Wind is NO JOKE.
I’m so glad!! Yes, anything to combat the boredom that is the treadmill, right?
I agree that my run by effort is usually harder and faster! The mind is a tricky little thing.
ooooh I love effort-based speed workouts like these! I have my athletes do a similar workout to the ladder one. I never thought of an 8K pace workout but I love it – because 5K pace can sound so intimidating. I run by effort for all of my speed work, because things like wind, temperature, terrain can all affect the pace.
I’m so glad Laura! And yes, the 5k pace can be so intimidating so this takes the edge off nicely. Let me know if you do it!
This is a great idea! If you can’t beat the weather, join it! Thank you ! As the marathon is getting closer, I’m getting more and more nervous of what the weather will be like that day. But then started thinking that no matter the weather, I have to run the thing and currently I’m considering running when is raining, so I don’t go home crying if we get rain. So, I will try to apply this to a run in the rain!
You can so run in the rain – no problem! I have run at least two marathons in complete downpours and, as long as you’re dressed for it, you can do it! Currently I’m trying to get used to biking in the rain…yikes!
This wind is so crazy!! I really like ladder style workouts… I need to do more of them. Now I’m counting down to the half… I may add in one more abbreviated speed workout early next week but then full on taper
I love the ladder as well! Good luck with the taper and I’m so excited to see how you race this half!!
Well, when I’m healthy I LOVE doing speed work. Ladders are my favorite. Hopefully I’ll be back up to par sooner rather than later!
YES!!! And hopefully it will be right when the weather decides to warm-up!