Going Down, Down, Down

I got yet another text from the Sis over the weekend that had my legs itching for the speed they once easily used. She had crossed off the long run (whoop!) and was elated to have 1) found a route for the distance (remember those pre-Garmin days?) and 2) run it at a pretty quick pace. I was 1) excited that she continues to stick to the plan and 2) a little surprised by how quick it was run. Yup, color me competitive.

If nothing else, this chick is pacing me for round 2! Fine with my ego, but my legs need to catch up.

Enter, The Progression Run.

At one point, I employed this tactic on almost every run. Slow recovery pace? Nah, I’m good. Easy, consistent runs? Nope. Negative splits and ending sprints? YES, hand them over.

I started slow, sped up, and ended ALL runs with a short sprint. It was just my style, and I stuck to it. It gave me something to think about, an end goal & faster legs. Eventually I used this tactic to keep up with faster run-buddies, and that’s another post (a topic I reference too often).

Somewhere along the training for Marathon #2, I decided to give this “easy run” a try. As it turned out, I had no concept of “easy” and it was training in itself to learn “slow & recover”. Oh, ,I have energy at the end? Great!

Months later, it’s too often that I select “Easy” on my RW log. My overall pace is definitely slower than it once was, and I’m past the deadline for using “altitude adjustment” as an excuse. Game on! 

The progression run is second in favorites only to the Tempo, and yesterday was a sign that it’s all coming back. Fist pump! The legs started at 9:30 and ended at 7:30 over the course of 5 miles. And we go from here…


DC Countdown: 7 days!!!! One week, people. ONE WEEK.


What’s your favorite type of run?

How do you choose to speed it up when the challenge presents itself?



Filed under family, Goals, good days, motivation, Speed workouts, things that make me Happy, training

9 responses to “Going Down, Down, Down

  1. That’s so awesome that you’re able to speed up that much during a run! I’m definitely not as fast as I used to be, but I’ve been trying to include some conservative speed work this training cycle and it must be paying off because last weekend I decided to let loose on what has become a “short” 12 miler since I’m about to enter the taper period… and I surprised myself and held an 8:30 pace for the whole thing! Still not where I used to be, but I can definitely say speed intervals are my new favorite type of run!

  2. 7 days! Yay!!! I’m so excited for you, you’re going to have a great, much needed, time in D.C.!!! (And way to kill that run! Speedy!!!!)

  3. Lauren Calcote

    Glad my texts give you motivation because YOU give me motivation by telling me to run 11 miles! 😀 I think the fast pace was an adrenaline thing… I hope I can keep it up! Unfortunately, I do not have a fancy shmancy watch that tells me my exact pace, distance and time though. Might look into those after I start making real monies! Good luck in DC! I know you will do amazing! Love youuuu

  4. I haven’t done a progression run (on my own) in a while. Usually it’s a forced progression done during speed work on thursdays. There’s nothing like other runners to keep us motivated! For example, it helps that my friends are doing this tri at the beginning of April bc it reminds me “Hey, they’re swimming twice a week, so I should prob do that too.” even when I really don’t want to swim. 🙂

  5. I love a good progression! Feels great to start slower and finish FAST!

    Woohoo, DC and National Half!

  6. I like tempo because for some reason I am pretty good at suffering with consistent splits. I’m a weirdo. Excited you are heading this way!

  7. I’ve never done a progression run – well, at least never set out to do one, although I’ve had negative splits before. I’m going to try this!

  8. runyogarepeat

    On cold days, I run on the indoor track, and I always end up doing speedwork! My favorite is do decreasing intervals – 1 mile, 800, 400, 200 because each one gets shorter & faster. I’ve only done a few tempo runs before, and they get pretty hard!

  9. purpleshoe runs

    you’re SO FAST! can’t wait to see how DC goes for you!!

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