Runners Nook: Increasing Speed

There are a number of reasons to love weekends: sleeping in, late nights out with your gang, taking it a bit easy on the couch, afternoon naps, loafing around in sweats! Funny enough, I don’t get anything on that list I just described…except the sweats part! I use weekends to get up at the same time as I do everyday, but instead of my typical mommy/wife duties, I head out on my own for some ME-TIME. This includes a nice run. When you read “nice” read it slowly “nnniiiiiiccccceeee” because that is how good it feels to do this run!

I’m working on increasing my speed as I’ve always been more of a slow runner. I’m also a short-strider from all the marathon training in the past, so I’m working on lengthening my strides. Out of all the info I’ve read about increasing speed, the common phrase used is: If you want to run faster, you have to train faster. So I’m getting way out of my comfort zone and doing just that. Here is the workout I did on Saturday.

I don’t know my exact speed when I run that’s why I coined the speed: slow, fast, and sprint.

Slow run: I would consider a jog that I could do for a long time, I consider it my old marathon pace
Fast run: just as it starts to get uncomfortable and I am breathing heavy
Sprint: all out, as fast as I can, body aching, heart-pounding run

After my warm-up, I try and do 3 to 6 cycles (each cycle is 6 minutes long) before cooling down. My ankle’s a bit funny so I listened to my brain and did 4 cycles this week. After cool down, I always do at least a 10 minute stretch.

Why I’m loving this technique?
1. I feel it in every muscle in my legs for most the day
2. I don’t get bored
3. It’s working already and I’ve only been doing it a few weeks
4. Even if my workout is short, I still feel like I had a great run
5. I get to pass other runners (I know that sounds bad, but like I said I’m not fast, so when I pass another runners, my inner competitor kicks it)

My last hour of ME-TIME is going for a coffee and catching up on a bit of reading. I picked a cheerful Danish bakery/cafe which has fresh, homemade pastries and breads on display to make anyones mouth drool! They even provide little lap blankets for those chilly mornings! I have no idea what that sign says but I think it’s funny! It reminds me of those old ads at the drive inn movies for the concession stand (except in Danish).

Instead of the chocolate covered croissant, I decided on the healthier option by having a whole grain roll with jam and butter (yes…that’s real butter)!

I crave my morning runs and time to “think” without interruptions. I may only get 1 a week but I plan on making the most it! Hope you are all having a great weekend.

(P.S. the book I’m reading is Wish Upon a Star by Olivia Goldsmith which I highly recommend for those who dream of leaving your world and venturing off to England on a whim…ha, ha…that sounds like a familiar story)

RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER: 5 Minute Workout:  Lower Body Blast

Little disclaimer: I’m not a running coach or a professional runner by any means. This is simply me sharing what works for my body and lifestyle.



Filed under Runners Nook

2 responses to “Runners Nook: Increasing Speed

  1. Cheri Wood

    Kristen thanks for sharing! Love your little tips and tidbits…I am actually starting to look forward to them each day….great job!

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