Tag Archives: speed

Training Goals for the Off Season, and 2 Races

After my last 10K I thought I wouldn’t be racing for some time, summer is approaching and it’s getting too warm, there aren’t many races happening.
However, I have found 2 races I want to run in the coming month, one is a 5K this Friday organized by a “Run at Work” group, that’s my loose translation of the name of the group in Hebrew, but basically a few runners from different work companies in Israel.
The other is a 10K night run in the park, I’m not very excited about racing in the park, especially at night, but both these races I want to run for fun. Yes, I want to concentrate on training and taking it easy for a few months, and I don’t want a race to take away from that.


I want to train hard but also light… if that makes sense, or at least lighter/smarter than I’ve been training. Stay strong, build some speed, but at the same time find the balance to get some rest, so I can start marathon training in September.
I haven’t decided on a marathon yet, but I want to run one this winter, and since I want to run it in Israel as opposed to flying somewhere, my options are relatively limited. But then I only need one.

A few of the main points I’ve built my upcoming training around:

Distance: I want to stay steady with 65K/40M a week, which is not a distance I’ve been running for long, although I was at 60K/37M for a while. I’m feeling fine with 65K, and want to get even more used to it during the summer, so I can safely go up a bit come marathon training.

Lighter weeks: I’m planning on making a week every 2-3 weeks a lighter week, about 50K/31M. Replacing my long run with a shorter run will take care of that, and hopefully my legs will feel and appreciate the rest.

Speed: There’s a line that kept coming up in the running articles I’ve read in the last few weeks: “keep your slow runs slow, and your fast runs fast”. I haven’t been good at doing this in the past, I can push at the fast runs, but then the slow runs become moderate or even fast-ish sometimes. I admit this gives me a confidence push, but it’s just not smart training. I’m aiming for my speed time to be no more than 15% of my total weekly running time (although I am taking it up a notch speed wise on my intervals and tempo runs so I can gain some speed), and the rest will be mostly easy, with some moderate runs as well. I must learn to keep an eye on my watch and slow down when I have to.

Strength: I don’t usually skip workouts, but when I’m low on time or have to skip a session, it’s strength training that I give up first. I need to keep a balance between running, swimming, strength and core work, and not always skip (even if for good reason) what I like the least.


On the home front, I stayed home from work today because my boy is sick. Wish he didn’t have to be sick for us to be able to get a quality time day together. I took him to the doctor and walked around the mall for a bit when we went to buy his medicine, since he was feeling well from the effect of the fever reducer.
I bought him the World Cup sticker album and we’ve been pretty busy with that all afternoon.


And new earrings for his sister, because we couldn’t come home without something for her as well. He’s such a good brother.



Any training mistakes you’ve realized you were making?

For me, not enough runs at an easy pace.

Who are you rooting for in the World Cup?




Fast Like the Wind, and Tips to Do Speed Work

I like running fast sometimes. My fast.
It may not be fast for others, but for me it feels fast like the wind, fast like no one could ever catch me.

Wherever we may be in terms of running speed, improving it is not as hard as it seems. Our bodies learn to run faster, to breathe better, to move our legs more efficiently.
This is something I really like about running, we compete with ourselves, and eventually we win.

I did 2 speed workouts this week, they ended up being one day after the other (not ideal) because I had to change my schedule for work, although usually I do a rest/easy/cross training day in between speed days.

Monday was a HIIT workout with 6 relatively long intervals of 3 minutes each at 04:17 Min/KM (06:54 Min/Mile), with 2 minutes easy in between at 05:19 Min/KM (08:33 Min/Mile). Total time running, including warm up and cool down: 45 minutes. Total distance: 9.2KM/5.7M.

Even though the fast part of the interval is not a new pace for me, it is still a fast pace that I’m not too used to running. After the first interval I was wondering how I’d get through the second one, much less the sixth one.

I did this workout on the treadmill, so every new interval I visualized my weekend running route by the beach, and mentally placed myself 3 minutes before I finish the run (I know the route by heart and pretty much know where that is), and I just kept thinking “just pass the gas station and the bus stop and the interval will be over”. That certainly beat staring at the treadmill TV screen, although the NBA playoffs game was pretty entertaining too.

Today was a Fartlek run, also on the treadmill, with 15 minute warm-up, and 3 longer intervals of 10 minutes at 04:53 Min/KM (07:51 Min/Mile), easy pace 3 minutes, 10 minutes 04:37 Min/KM (07:26 Min/Mile), easy pace 2 minutes, and the last 7 minutes at 04:27 Min/KM (07:09 Min/Mile). Total time running: 50 minutes. Total distance: 9.9KM/6.1M.


Tips to start doing speed sessions:

* Do it on the treadmill – apologies to everyone who hates the treadmill, but to me being able to set an exact pace and know the treadmill will keep it, is a huge advantage. Sure, it’s mentally important to be able to control the pace without the assistance of the treadmill, but for a tough speed session, especially if you are a beginner runner, just running fast is tough enough for now.

* Set a realistic hard pace – Don’t get carried away with the speed you want to run or think you should be running, speed work is hard work, especially the last few intervals or the last few minutes of a fartlek run, so you want to keep it challenging but safe. Take one of your last regular runs and calculate your average pace, now do the hard part of the run at a faster pace than the average, and the easy part of the run at a slower pace than the average.

* Easy is good – You will be making quite an effort during the fast parts, so keep them short. For a HIIT session 30 seconds to 1 minute is enough, and make the easy part at least 2 minutes long, 3 minutes is even better. For a fartlek you can make the intervals a bit longer, but then go easier on the pace.

* Take your time – Write down your fast/easy paces, and do the same workout again next week. After you do it a few times, and the paces start feeling a bit easier than before, increase your fast speed a few seconds per KM/Mile while leaving the easy speed the same.

* It’s OK to stop – Speed sessions are tough and they are supposed to be. Pay attention to your body, and if you feel you really can’t go longer, it’s OK to give yourself a break. You could stop for a few minutes and then continue, or decrease the fast interval speed a few seconds per KM/Mile, or altogether stop.

* Have fun – you’ll be sweaty and hurting and huffing and puffing. But running is fun and speed work is enjoyable in its own way. So run hard, run fast like the wind, and enjoy it!


Do you do speed work?
Do you like it?
Do you feel that you are a faster runner from doing speed work?


Do You Drive Like You Run?

We all have a running style, and I’m not referring to our heel strike or pronation.
No, I’m talking about the style that has more to do with our personality.
Are you training to be the fastest you can be? Are you going for distance? Do you mind if someone passes you? Do you try to pass them right back, even when you know you don’t stand a chance? Do you run without measuring your time or distance because it’s of no importance to you?

I definitely see some resemblances between my running and my driving.



1) I try to save time:
Both for running and driving, I’m always trying to save a couple of minutes. It’s like a big goal. Does it really matter if I run 21K in 1:40 or 1:42? I’m not even talking about a half marathon race, just a regular long run. And does it matter if I arrive to work at 8:46 or 8:48? I’m supposed to be there at 8:30, it’s already late anyway.



2) I like the feeling of speed:
When I’m running, I really like the feeling of going fast. I say feeling, because sometimes I can be running slow, up a hill, or with sore legs from a previous run. But if I’m making an effort and I feel like I’m going fast, then I’m happy. The same goes for when I’m driving, depending on where I’m driving speed feels differently, but that feeling of going fast does it for me.



3) I’m competitive:
I don’t really compete with people who run much faster than me, that’s silly. And I don’t really compete with people who are slower than me, that’s just stupid. But if I think someone is on a similar level than me, and they pass me, then it’s on. It’s on even if I was on a slow recovery run. It’s on even if I know I’ll pay for it in a few KMs. It’s on despite my better judgment.
For driving I’m more rational than that, but sometimes competitive anyway.



4) I fuck up:
I’ve fucked up in races, started much faster than I should have because there was this girl/guy/dog/tree who I just had to pass (of course she/he passed me right back on the 2nd half of the race). I’ve fucked up in training, didn’t take enough rest days, did too much speed work, got myself injured.
And I’ve fucked up when driving too, most recently yesterday, almost got my license revoked. Yes, I was going fast beyond the speed limit, even fast beyond “you-just-get-a-ticket” limit.



5) I really like it:
Despite the sweat, pain, soreness, stress, nerves, etc., I love running and I love driving, it’s “me” time, half very in the moment and aware of what I’m doing, half doing it automatically and enjoying the silence in my mind and the music in my ears.


Have you ever gotten a driving ticket?

Are you competitive with those running/driving around you?



High Intensity Interval Training – Explained

This morning I woke up early to 2 cups of coffee and some blog posts to read.


 It is, if you can't move without it.

It is, if you can’t move without it.


Went to the gym for a treadmill run and some swimming.

Today’s treadmill workout was a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) run.

HIIT is by far the hardest running workout I have ever done, however, it works.  If you want to get faster/stronger/run longer (even at a slower pace), this is the workout for you.

I have a love/hate relationship with HIIT because on the one side it is a tough workout, but on the other side the sense of accomplishment I get when I’m done and my legs are shaking and I’m about to faint, is unbeatable.  I know I sound like a masochist.  But like I said, it works.  And later down the road, when a pace that seemed impossible to hold for more than 30 seconds (or to even get there!) you can suddenly keep for 10 minutes, then you know you did something right.  Tough work pays off.



High Intensity Interval Training is a type of workout (in this case running, but can be any other type of aerobic activity) that consists of short bouts of faster running, with rest periods in between each bout.



  • Run faster
  • Get stronger
  • Build aerobic fitness
  • Increase mental focus for hard running
  • Very efficient workout in a shorter amount of time
  • Teach your body how to run and hold different paces

This too:




Keeping in mind the basics of short bouts of faster running with rest periods in between, you can basically do it any way you want.

I do 4 different types of HIIT, alternating one HIIT workout each week (so it takes me 4 weeks to do all 4 types).

Always start with a warm up, I do 5 minutes walking and 10 minutes light running.

hiit workouts

Do these workouts so you can run as fast her:

 I dunno, she seems to be running fast

I dunno, she seems to be running fast



Because High Intensity Interval Training is hard on your body, once a week is more than enough for this type of workout.  I usually do HIIT after a rest day, so my legs are as recovered as possible.