Work Out Your Workouts

While there is a lot to be said for having “Freedom” in your choice to exercise whenever you can, and however you want to, I personally love the Schedule.

I love having a Long Run (LR) day, a day for Speed, a day (or two) for taking it easy or hopping on the bike, and a day for taking OFF and enjoying every minute of it. I also love having the mentality that any of those days can be switched around, sped up (if the legs so desire), shortened/lengthened as needed.

During training (currently: marathon), if said schedule gets thrown off, color me crazy. All it takes is two or three days of ignoring a workout and my balance is skewed towards unmotivated and restless.

Now, all of that being said, two things have been missing in my world of consistency: Strength Training & Speedwork.

This needed to be worked out.


I sat down on Sunday night to literally put these on the schedule. Yes, my training plan includes Tempo Runs/Repeats every week. No, I have not done them every week.

A small piece of paper that reads the following is stuck on my fridge:

  • Sunday: Easy Cross Training {Could be hike, walk, bike ride or Yoga"}
  • Monday: Easy Run, STRETCH
  • Tuesday: Cross Training, Strength
  • Wednesday: Speedwork, STRETCH
  • Thursday: Easy Run
  • Friday: Rest Day
  • Saturday: Long Run

Why is the “Stretch” in all caps? It often gets skipped.  I know, the legs and I are working on that!


So far, Week #1 has been a success! Monday’s run was very easy and I loved it.

Tuesday’s XT turned out to be a 30-mile “Easy” bike ride (1:40) with D. After which I decided I will not be riding his “normal” routes any time soon! It was an awesome ride, but oh my calves/hamstrings and head-winds. Whew.

Wednesday’s Speedwork was a “4 x 1600m @ 7:16”. I procrastinated for a good hour out of intimidation, and deciding where to go do this (ended up at a local park that is exactly one mile around, and two miles from the house). What resulted was the perfect route and a better-than-expected results. Victory!

9:37 – 7:32 – 7:01 – 7:06 – 7:02 – 9:20 – 9:20 (0.5)

I’m not a fan off the 800m jog recovery in between– I chose a 400m quick walk, instead. Whatever works! I also had a water bottle for sipping in between each repeat.

All together – 7 miles, 62 minutes, avg 8:52.


How do you work out your workouts? Do you thrive on a schedule, or the freedom of each day to its own?



Filed under following the schedule, Speed workouts, things that make me Happy, training

23 responses to “Work Out Your Workouts

  1. i really like just doing whatever i feel like…i never gave myself that freedom before, so i’m LOVING it now!

  2. I’m with you on the schedule; yours looks great! Love having the flexibility too because sometimes, you just never know what might come up!

    Hello awesome mile repeats!!!

  3. Lacey

    nice job Heather! 4×1600 in this case feels closer to a tempo run, which is also speedwork. it’s nice you have a park that is like a track. 1-mi around is also awesome b/c = fewer laps! 🙂

    also–i find that and ICE BATH instead of stretching is just as/ MORE beneficial to the legs!

  4. Move over Keanu, we have a new Speed demon!

  5. well, I’m not in a training cycle right now, so it’s kind of weird…i have some fairly regular exercise dates that happen every week, so i plan around those, plus around my long ride which usually happens on sunday, plus around any insanity in my schedule. so usually at the beginning of the week i kind of mentally plan what i’ll be doing each day, but it’s different every week.

    seriously awesome job on the speedword – those are some freakin’ fast miles, lady! victory is right!

  6. er, that was speedwork. spelling failure. 🙂

  7. You are funny! I would LOVE to kick out a good speed session with you. Okay, I do know what you mean about pre-speed anxiety b/c I do get that from time to time but I am learning to tell myself to suck it up and get it done since I have done just fine in the past. There is a lot of speed hiding inside of you.

    PS – I second Lacey’s comment re: ice baths vs. stretching.

    • heatherdc

      That speed will (hopefully) slowly seep through this oxygen-less air and my track-work intimidation 😉 Come run with me whenever you want!

  8. I also love a good schedule. I too am training for a marathon and have 3 necessary runs a week (speed, tempo, long) and on my off days, I allow myself to do whatever I want. I try to give myself 1 rest day a week, but it’s hard because I love working out!

    Great job on that workout!!! Those 1600 m splits are awesome!

  9. SO crazy I was writing a post about my new training plan and fitting in all the cross training. So I’m linking to you to give people more ideas. Not sure how I haven’t been following you, but I am now love the blog!

  10. wowsers those are some awesome repeat times. I like to walk the first .1 after the repeat and then slow job the remaining .4. To each their own.

  11. I like to have a schedule too. That way, I find myself actually doing the workout instead of saying, “Oh, I can just do it tomorrow.” I do find that strength training tends to get neglected when I’m training for a race though.

  12. I’m not one to do a whole lot of scheduling but I used to when I had rigid work hours…and I’ll plan/schedule more when we start training for the half! 🙂

  13. I’m with you. I need a schedule and feel so much better when I had a plan in mind each week.

  14. I go back and forth. If I’ve been going without a schedule for awhile I CRAVE the schedule. But, right now, after being a slave to my marathon training schedule for almost 13 weeks I’m kind of “over it” and ready to go back to random workouts for a few weeks. I know I’ll crave the schedule again eventually, though!

  15. as long as i manage to get in a long run lately, life is good. the heat here is redic and doesnt allow for more than that. pout!

  16. We’re gonna rock our races — woot woot! I totally have to remind myself to stretch too. I’m not a natural rubber band, unfortunately.

  17. I love a good schedule too. It’s nice to know what to expect each day. I’m really bad though because I also skip my cross training days and take them as extra rest days. I’d never dare skip a run, but cross training, meh I’m just not that into it.

  18. Elizabeth

    I usually need a schedule, even if I don’t stick to it. Also…I don’t really stretch either. Oops.

    Glad your speedwork went well!

  19. Pingback: Battling the Speed Work Demon « Dietitian on the Run

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