Training. Running. And speed intervals?

After a lengthy conversation with my friend Lottie yesterday she advised some speed intervals for me.  I’ll admit, I’m just the girl who goes out and runs.  I don’t “warm-up” or “cool-down” (yes, some may be gasping at that thought.) I’m getting better at stretching afterwards (one positive).  But being completely truthful… I just run.  I always have a distance range in mind and will always fall within that mileage range but other than that – I go with the flow.  Even races that I do, I rarely have time goals.  I’ll have an idea of where I want to finish but I don’t beat myself down over it.  The reason is simple, if you run you  know that each and every day your run fluctuates.  It can be a very dramatic pendulum swing at that!  Some days you feel like you’re gliding on air (yeah, those days are rare) and some days (like many) I feel like my legs are sinking in cement.  Each race is the same way… you may feel like a rockstar or you don’t.  It’s all good.  The way I look at it – you’re doing it so who the hell cares!  I’m competing with myself no one else.

Two years ago, pre-weightloss I was running a 9:30 minute mile.  It was fine with me.   I ran happily with my husband and loved every minute of it.  He paced me and we enjoyed the time together.  Then bam, I lost 32 lbs.  My running got significantly faster (like in the 7 range) and my husband, although he still runs, prefers cycling more now.  So I run and train alone, media-free, 100% of the time.  I pray a lot on my runs.  I mediate.  I pick people for each mile I run and think about them and send prayers their way.  I also run extremely early so the world is quite peaceful.  I love it.  But again… I just run.  No time goals, just distance.

So yesterday after speaking to Lottie, she asked me a lot of questions I had no answers to.   My race goal time.  My pace I wanted to run.  How much speed work I’ve done.  And I had to laugh.  Each run I do is the fastest I can.  May it be good, bad or ugly.  I train 6 days a week – 3 days running and 3 days of cardio/weights.  I never give my legs a rest.  She schooled me on the value of rest and I saw the difference this weekend when I ran 13 miles much slower.  The run felt great.  Well she wanted me to do speed work today.  I was all over it taking copious notes.  Seriously, post it notes of times etc.  I then put all of the information in my Garmin 620, downloaded my workout, laid my winter running clothes out (yes freezing today) and went to bed.

At 5 am my alarm went off and out I went.  Believe me, I had no idea what to expect.  I mean I’ve had 8 milers at 7:25 mm so how hard could this be?  Ummmm it was hard!  It was windy.  It whipped my butt.  Here’s what I did:


Lap 1 was my warm-up.  Remember, I never do those.  But I did… got the muscles ready for a beating.  Lap 7 was the 1/4 mile recovery run then lap 8 was a cool down run.  I then realized I didn’t run 6 so I tacked on 1/2 mile at a slow speed afterwards.

Then I started with my intervals spaced with quarter mile “recovery slow running”.  My first interval was way too fast and I didn’t know or realize it until it was too late.  I was pushing it.  I also have learned that I have a horrible time pacing myself!  But overall Lottie texted  me with a positive review of what I had done right and where to improve.

Next up one last long run for the week on Friday or Saturday.  An easy 8 miler – she said seriously easy and slower than Sunday’s run.  Ummmm I’ll try!  I need to improve on slow runs and pacing myself.

Until next time :) oxo Robin








— Knead to Cook


  1. Running goals and motivation are such individual things. Some people thrive on the discipline and order of a strict and carefully-planned training regimen. Others, like me, use the time on the roads for different reasons. For all the years I’ve run, I very seldom log, or plan, or set goals. Running serves each runner in so many different and positive ways. Good luck with your interval training, it sounds like a fun new running adventure.

    • I agree Candace wholeheartedly. The road is my therapy, my punching bag, my chance to pray, mediate or whatever I need to do. I have just realized that beating myself down with each and every run can’t be beneficial to my legs or knees. This has been fun and I’ve found a new love of actually running some slower runs when I can enjoy them. Look forward to seeing you soon! oxo

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