I’m going out on a limb here. But I think that just about every runner – regardless of ability, distance preference, age, etc. – wants to be faster.
Short distance runners? Obviously.
Professional and elite runners? Of course.
Racing enthusiasts? Yep.
But what about us Average-to-Slower-than-Average, Middle-to-Back-of-the-Pack, It’s-an-Honor-Just-to-Be-Nominated runners?
Whether your goal is qualifying for Boston or (like me) finishing a marathon in under 5 hours, we all feel the need for speed.
I’ve always wanted to be faster, but I didn’t really think it was possible. I’ve finished all 5 half marathons in about 2:30 (PR = 2:27:42) and both of my marathons in about 5:30 (PR = 5:30:10). So I guess in my mind, that was about the best I could do.
Of course, I never really tried to be faster, either. It’s not like I ran slowly on purpose, but my focus during my first two marathon training seasons was on distance and endurance. I didn’t train for speed at all, really. I just kind of hoped that the adrenaline on race day would make me a little faster.
Nice try, right? Adrenaline is great and all, but it’s only going to take me so far. It finally started to hit me that if I want to get faster, I’m going to have to work for it (duh). This was reinforced by my friend and Galloway group leader, Marcia. She spent last summer busting her butt in a speed training program – and her work paid off with a huge PR during this year’s 26.2 with Donna. I saw firsthand (or secondhand?) that speedwork works.
And then just a few weeks ago, I ran my Magic Mile in 8:03. And I realized that maybe I really can be faster too.
So what next? There are a couple of speed training programs around town, including a Galloway program, but I can’t seem to find anything that will work with my schedule. The sessions all seem to be early in the morning (before the kids have left for school), in the evenings (too close to dinnertime and bedtime), or on Saturday mornings (when I run with my marathon training group).
So it looks like I’ll be on my own for speedwork. Not ideal, but not a problem – except that most of the info that I’ve found online is for road running. And here’s the thing. We’re going to have summer temperatures (80’s and up) here until at least September, and I’m only going to be free to run from about 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. And maybe I’m a big old weanie, but it’s just going to be too hot for me. The sun will be out, and the humidity will be thick. Yes, I need to do some running in this weather to get acclimated to the current climate, but for speedwork? I’m not sure it’ll work for me.
So that brings me to today…and to the conclusion that I’m probably going to end up doing most of my speed training on the treadmill.
I’d really love your advice on this:
- Do you do speedwork on the treadmill?
- If yes, how? Be specific! I honestly have no idea where to begin.
- Do you have a non-treadmill speed workout that I can adapt for the treadmill? Tell me more!
Thanks in advance, my lovely friends. I can’t wait to hear what you have to share.
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Last updated: March 18, 2023 at 7:15 am