Summer of Speed

SOS: Week #1

Welcome! Happy Memorial Day!

For your reading pleasure today I will be sharing the first installment of the summer of speed weekly recap. Hopefully I won’t be sending out too many distress signals over the course of the summer, but I know it will be getting rather warm and I likely will be in distress at some point. SOS seems to be a fairly appropriate title for a summer training cycle.


I don’t have too much to say about the easy runs. The average pace ranged from 8:10 to 8:30 on those and most of them were run with the Daniels.

Monday: 5 easy

Tuesday AM: 2 mi. WU, 15 X 1:00 hard with 1:00 recovery, 2 mi. CD

The first speed workout of the training cycle was a nice little one minute on, one minute off combo. This is a great way to ease back into the speed work. I really didn’t expect this workout to be all that challenging. Going into the workout I told myself that it was only 15 minutes of hard work (which is a true from a mathematical standpoint). We woke up to lots of rain Tuesday morning, which forced me to take the workout to the treadmill. I’m still enjoying the newness of our treadmill, so I wasn’t all that upset about this turn of events.

I did my typical warm up progression of starting at 6.0 mph (10:00 pace) and bumping the speed up by 0.2 mph every two minutes until I have done 2 miles. At that point, I alternated between 10.0 mph (6:00 pace) for my minutes “hard” and 8.0 mph (7:30 pace) for my “recovery.” The hard minutes seemed to last way longer than the recovery minutes! I was definitely working by the end of this workout and I was very happy when I got to my last hard minute. Only 15 minutes of hard running. Psh … right. Next time I’ll know better.

Tuesday PM: 5 easy

Wednesday: 8 easy

Thursday AM: 2 mi. WU, 4 mile progression tempo, 2 mi. CD

Thursday morning we woke up to glorious weather! The humidity was low and the feels like temperature was in the low 60s! It was in the mid to low 80s the rest of the week, so this felt quite amazing. The temperature made my tempo go much better than I expected or that it would have otherwise. I did this workout on the track (mainly just because several folks were meeting at the track anyway and it’s really as good a place as any to do a workout). I used to never do tempo runs on the track, but I’ve really started to enjoy a nice track tempo. There is something about running on the track that really just makes you *feel* faster.

The goal pace range for the progression was to start at just under 7:00 pace and to work my way down to the mid to lower 6:00 range (something like 6:50, 6:40, 6:30, 6:20). I always like to try to get 10 seconds faster each mile. Well … since the weather was so nice, I got a little carried away with the first mile and ended up running a 6:28. Whoa! I was not expecting that. And shoot! That’s gonna make the next three miles a little challenging. Haha. Somehow I was still able to get 10 seconds per mile faster each mile and the finished the tempo portion with a 6:17, 6:07 and 5:54 mile. I was over the moon happy with this workout and I’m pretty sure the endorphins carried me throughout the entire day! It felt great to be back at the track.

I was even more pumped about the summer of speed after this workout.

Thursday PM: 5 easy

Friday: Orange Theory Fitness (3.1 miles)

I mentioned in my last post that I tried out an OTF class and really enjoyed it. I went to another class this week and enjoyed it equally as much. The workouts are heart rate based and are specifically designed to keep you in certain heart rate zones throughout the workout. The goal is to stay in the blue to green zone (60 – 80% of your max heart rate) for 30 to 35 minutes and to get in the orange or red zone (85 – 100% of your max heart rate) for 15 to 20 minutes.

The “theory” behind it is that spending time in the “orange zone” helps to increase your excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), also known as the afterburn (i.e., so you burn more calories for up to 36 hours even after the class is over). The heart rate monitored, high-intensity workout is scientifically designed to keep heart rates in a target zone that spikes metabolism and increases energy. I’m not concerned with the calorie burn at all, but I do enjoy understanding the science behind it.

All OTF classes are made up of three components: treadmill intervals, rowing, and weight training. In the class that I went to Friday we only switched between the stations one time (we switched twice in the other class that I went to). I started out rowing and moved on to the strength training after that and ran last. My heart rate barely got into the blue or green zone during the first half of the workout (runner problems), but once we got to the treadmills I was able to push myself and get into the orange and red zones for a little bit.

The running incorporated hill intervals this week (my favorite … not really). We took the incline up to 4, 8 and 12% during the run, which was definitely tough!

Saturday: 10 easy

Sunday: 1 mi. WU, Half Marathon (7:18, 7:16, 7:22, 7:23, 7:20, 7:29, 7:29, 7:29, 7:32, 7:35, 7:33, 7:29, 7:32, 0:48 = 1:37), 1 mi. CD

Sunday morning I did a new thing … I registered and ran a virtual half marathon. I went back and forth (a few times) as to whether I wanted to go do a half marathon in Georgia, but ultimately decided that it didn’t make sense to drive 5 hours each way, pay for a hotel, etc. just to be able to say that I ran a half marathon this month. During the final round of deliberations, Daniel came up with an excellent idea. He suggested that I could try to find a virtual race to sign up for and I could still get my half in without having to travel. Genius!

Within about 5 minutes or less, I was easily able to locate and register for the Lest We Forget Half Marathon via Virtual Strides. Could I have run the half marathon distance without signing up for a “virtual race?” Absolutely. However, a portion of the race proceeds go to help support the National Military Family Association, which is a great cause and I will definitely be counting this as my half marathon for the month of May, so I was happy to “officially” register for a virtual race.


I started my run around 6:30 Sunday morning, which was a little later than I typically run, but was earlier than most races would’ve started. The temperature was 77 degrees and the humidity was 95% when I woke up. Argh. So much for that wonderful weather we had a few days ago. I was originally hoping to run around 1:35 for the half, but I decided to go ahead and plug the temperature and dew point into the pace adjustment calculator before I even ran to see what a realistic pace would be. It converted 1:35 to 1:38, which seemed like a reasonable goal.

I kept it really simple and ran an out and back route along the bay. I picked a route where I knew lots of people would be out running and biking, which was great. I ran by myself and listened to a few podcasts. Let me just go on record and say that running a race by yourself is a bit of a challenge! I found it hard to push myself, which in actuality is best because I wanted this to be a solid effort, but not something that would derail my next week of workouts. I finished in 1:37 and I am totally fine with that … happy with that!

Have you ever done a virtual race before? How did you like it?

I hope you guys have a wonderful (short) week! Talk to you soon!

2 thoughts on “SOS: Week #1”

  1. Looks like a great week of training! I like that you managed to incorporate OTF and blogged about that too. I think if you’re running faster workouts and lower mileage, the cross training might be a nice change of pace (literally), and with the summer it’s good to have something indoors.


  2. Ooh, I love that you did a virtual half marathon– that’s pretty cool. The only time I ever did one was when my race was cancelled due to bad weather, and the race organizers said you could earn your medal by running the distance on your own any time within a week of the race. Also, those one minute on, one minute off intervals are harder than they sound, as you learned! It’s not a lot of recovery for the amount of effort.


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