Don’t Fear the Speedster

Screen shot 2014-02-27 at 8.52.17 PMThere’s actually a lot to fear from speed workouts. I know people are all “you’ll get stronger!” but when you start doing them they basically just feel like a death march that leaves you doubled over dry heaving and wishing you’d made better life choices.

Lest you feel like everyone else out there in the running universe is busting out 7 minute miles like it’s an easy stroll in the park, let me assure you I was ready to puke up some soy flaxseed chips after my run (note to self: don’t stop at the Trader Joe’s sample counter before the run). I went into this thinking, “I can’t do 3 consecutive miles at an 8:54 pace,” but like I tell my mom when she says, “you can’t run a marathon!” It’s important to think not, “I can’t do this… so I never will be able to” but rather “right now I can’t do this, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be able to ever do it.”

There’s your deep thought for the day: sucking now doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily suck later.

It’s thoughts like these that get me through running. So I did each mile at an 8:54ish pace but broke up one of the five miles in between them to give me a second to re-swallow my lunch and poor post-work snack choice. It’s hard, but I’m hoping it’ll get easier… Or I’ll get faster… or I’ll just end up dying. But something’ll happen, right?

How do other people get through speed workouts? Anyone have a mantra/trick/magical power they don’t mind sharing?

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11 thoughts on “Don’t Fear the Speedster

  1. Grit your teeth and embrace the feeling of discomfort. Think about the fact that your body is physically capable of doing the speed, you just need to change your brain. If you have done Dopey, doing 3 quick miles is a relative breeze. These thoughts help me when I do mile repeats and I hope it helps you!
    ~Lisa

  2. Ummm, yeah, my “speed” pace is your comfortable “easy” pace so I’m pretty sure I have no right to contribute to this lol But good luck! And try watching Frozen while on the treadmill during the speed work, might not help, but at least it’s Frozen! 🙂

      • Oh, I know the pain alright…I feel the pain even thinking about it! lol

        I’m surprised you hadn’t thought of Frozen. I mean, it’s Frozen! But before Frozen came along, I would try and save things that I really wanted to watch for speed work on the treadmill. Also put on closed captions. The “reading” helped to distract from the pain…somewhat.

      • See, on the treadmill I have this… problem? I guess that’s what I’d call it. I tend to kinda drift to the right and on more than one occasion while trying to watch something and run I’ve almost fallen off the treadmill…

  3. I usually feel the same way (ie feeling like I’m going to throw up/hating life/hating running). If you use music during your runs, I usually turn it on either right before or half way through my intervals. Although usually half way through because the first ones are usually OK until I realize they’re not ending soon! That usually helps me add a bit of a pick me up.

  4. My mantra is: “This is training.” In other words, this is how I get stronger/faster in order to accomplish what I need to do on race day, and it’s not going to be any easier then than it is now! That really helps me.

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