In and Out Speedwork

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My new nickname for speedwork is "in and out"…  I am LOVING speedwork!!  Several of you mentioned earlier in the week that you are afraid of speedwork. I’ll admit, it’s challenging — but there are so many aspects of speedwork that ROCK!  Like:


  • It’s so fast.  Today’s session took 25 minutes.  Hence, "in and out"!
  • It’s maximum calorie-burning.
  • You look totally hardcore doing speedwork on the treadmill at the gym.
  • It’s incredibly effective.  I have really seen my speed increase since I started to practice speedwork.  And tangible results make me happy!


For speedwork, I do my "rest intervals" at my regular running pace (6.5 mph on the treadmill) and I do my sprints at my 5K running pace or faster (7.5 or 8.0 mph on the treadmill; less than a 8:00-minute mile).   


The goal of speedwork is to push yourself almost to the point of uncomfortableness (or how will you get faster?).  However, whatever speed you decide to sprint at, you want to be able to maintain it for about 400 meters (or 0.25 mile).  I do 2:00-minute sprints, which at 7.5 mph works out to about 400 meters.


Here was the 8×400 (8 sets of 400 meter sprints) that I did today:


  • Warm-up: 6.0 mph for 1 minute
  • Regular Sprint: 7.5 mph for 2 minutes
  • Rest: 6.5 mph for 1 minute
  • Repeat Regular Sprints 3 more times.
  • Power Sprint: 8.0 mph for 2 minutes
  • Rest: 6.5 mph for 1 minute
  • Repeat Regular Sprints 3 more times.
  • Repeat Power Sprint 1 time.
  • Cool down: 3 – 5 minutes


My afternoon eats were the standard fare. Yogurt and granola and blueberries.


Later, a pre-workout glass of OJ (with my Punxsutawney Phil, the Weather-Forecasting Groundhog).


Dinner was a very simple but yummy meal.  Sometimes a whole grain, a filet of fish, and raw veggies is just the best!


Quinoa might be my new obsession.


Mmmm flaky salmon!


Time to clean the closets! Have a great night!


Are you a fan of speedwork?  A hater?  Or are you a speedwork virgin?



  • Sarah W. January 22, 2009, 6:25 pm

    I’ve never done speedwork as you call it to get faster for running, since I am a beginner…but I am no stranger to intervals..

    I looove intervals – more specifically high intensity interval training (HIIT) is the BEST!!!

  • brandi January 22, 2009, 6:29 pm

    I love groundhogs! It’s a weird thing to love, but I think they’re so cute!

    Do you start off walking for a bit on the treadmill?

    I can’t get on and just start running – I usually have to walk 1-2 minutes before running.

    I did try doing “in and out”s the other day and the time did go by faster! I’ll have to keep up with it.

  • melissa (NibblesAndWiggles) January 22, 2009, 6:30 pm

    I haven’t really done speed work, but I love doing walk/run intervals. Makes the time go so fast!

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point January 22, 2009, 6:31 pm

    brandi – i kind of consider the walk from the car and up the stairs to the gym as my warm up. and a 6.0 mph run on the treadmill for a minute also warms me up sufficiently!

    melissa – walk/runs count as speedwork is that is the level you are at!! rock on!

  • sweetandfit January 22, 2009, 6:36 pm

    love the groundhog! I am definitely a sppedwork virgin… I think I may try to do that with walk/jogging

  • matt January 22, 2009, 6:41 pm

    how do you make your quinoa? i made it last week and it turned out like crap. i didn’t soak it first; could that be the problem?

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point January 22, 2009, 6:43 pm

    matt – did you rinse it off? quinoa is covered with some natural layer that tastes like soap (scientist think it is to detract birds and other animals from eating it!). other than rinsing it off, i just boiled it for 15 minutes and viola!

  • Justine January 22, 2009, 6:44 pm

    Speedwork virgin, here! Right now I’m still working on increasing my distance for my half and I’m not too concerned with time. I don’t wanna risk injury by increasing speed AND distance too quickly! I can tell I’m getting a tiny bit faster though just from running more often. I may throw in some speedwork once my training levels off (I’ve got two 13 mile runs planned before the half, so I’ll plateau a bit before the half).

  • Victoria January 22, 2009, 6:55 pm

    I do it begrudgingly because it helps, but I don’t love it.

    I absolutely love quinoa. Perfect for grain salads.

  • K January 22, 2009, 7:15 pm

    Beanie Babies!! Oh the memories 🙂

    When I was training I haaaaaaaated speedwork! More power to ya!

  • Sarah (lovINmytummy) January 22, 2009, 7:15 pm

    I like both speed work and long runs. Its nice to do most of my speed work during the week when I am pressed for time and then to do my long runs on Saturday. I think I’d get bored if I just did one or the other all the time.

    You are right though, you look totally hardcore on the treadmill!

  • Nancy January 22, 2009, 7:16 pm


    Thanks for your kind words and encouragement! 🙂 I loved the ten commandments post earlier!

    I know this might sound really stupid, but I’ve never tried Quinoa and was wondering if it is similar to brown rice- taste wise and nutrition wise?

  • matt January 22, 2009, 7:27 pm

    i guess thats where i messed up! i don’t rinse it. thanks!

  • Meg January 22, 2009, 7:32 pm

    I have never done speedwork!

    Love the groundhog!

    Yummy dinner!

  • Anonymous January 22, 2009, 7:36 pm

    hey I don’t know if you have mentioned this before.. but what kind of yogurt do you eat.. I’m trying to find a good tasting one because I’m really picky and just trying to find new ones..

  • ttfn300 January 22, 2009, 7:44 pm

    speedwork does wonders, but i like it much better at the track! definately worth pushing yourself though 🙂

  • Mica January 22, 2009, 7:49 pm

    I’ve dabbled in speedwork, but since I never race, I don’t commit to it. Hopefully, I’ll develop a less “laissez faire” attitude to my speed soon!

    What does quinoa taste like? Is it similar to brown rice?

  • chasedaylight January 22, 2009, 7:55 pm

    I’m a speedwork virgin, but will definitely be integrating some into my workout routines after my 5K this weekend! Thanks for the tips 😀

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point January 22, 2009, 8:02 pm

    mica and nancy –

    quinoa does kind of taste like brown rice, but it has an interesting texture to it. it’s kind of a like a cross between cous cous and brown rice.

    Here are five reasons why quinoa rules, according to the article above

    Price – Quinoa is inexpensive.
    One of the biggest challenges that I hear from patients is that eating healthier is often too costly. I agree that many organic foods are more expensive, but whole grains are one exception. For only $2.95 per pound- you have enough quinoa to eat several times in one week.

    Quinoa is gluten free
    With the rising incidence of Celiac’s disease in many populations, Quinoa is one grain that contains no gluten, so it is safe for anyone with Celiac’s disease or a suspected intolerance to wheat products.

    Quinoa is a good source of protein.
    A ½ cup serving of dry quinoa has approximately 11 grams of protein. When cooked, one cup of quinoa is about 254 calories and has almost 9 grams of protein.

    Quinoa is loaded with minerals
    Quinoa contains potassium, magnesium and manganese. Of these three minerals, magnesium is one of the most common mineral deficiencies in the body. Magnesium helps regulate the absorption of calcium, energy production and aids with muscle contraction.

    Quinoa is easy to cook.
    One of the easiest ways to make quinoa is to take 1 cup of quinoa and boil it with 2 cups of organic chicken broth. This normally takes about 15 minutes. As the quinoa is finished, add 1 Tbsp of curry powder. Now you can sprinkle in anything you want from raisins to sautéed mushrooms and enjoy.

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point January 22, 2009, 8:06 pm

    anon – hmm if you are a picky yogurt eater, you might not like my answer. i eat dannon all natural plain NF yogurt (the kind that comes in the big tub for $3 or less). i eat so much yogurt that i can’t afford the “good” stuff. the large cartons are a steal.

    i like dannon all natural plain because its so… fresh tasting. there’s like 4 ingredients. no chemicals. but its pretty basic as for as yogurt goes — no flavoring!!

    i have tried the following brands of yogurt and liked them:

    trader joe’s

  • Rose January 22, 2009, 8:07 pm

    Thanks for the reminder of the benefits of speed workouts. I will admit that I was a hater – and haven’t done a speed workout in years (probably not since I ran competitively). This was a nice kick in the butt for me!

    PS: I went to school 20 minutes from Phil 🙂

  • Bridget January 22, 2009, 8:13 pm

    I guess I’m weird- I love speedwork!! I’ve always done it on a treadmill, but I think I’m going to try it on a track this spring 🙂

  • Michaela January 22, 2009, 8:16 pm

    Careful with doing too much speedwork too fast–injury may occur. I made that mistake earlier this year because I got carried away. Although it may feel fine when you’re doing it, sometimes adrenaline takes over some warning signs. I’m definitely no expert but look to Runner’s World for the safe way to incorporate sprints if you haven’t already.

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point January 22, 2009, 8:30 pm

    michaela – great suggestion for everybody out there!!! i definitely looked at runners world and several sprint programs before doing my first few.

  • Allie January 22, 2009, 8:32 pm

    I have to say…I Love me some speedwork. I do it at least once a week on the treadmill. I feel like it really improves my running as well.

  • Raspberry Runner January 22, 2009, 8:40 pm

    I like speedwork because I feel like I get a great workout! But I can’t motivated myself to do it alone… I can go on really long runs by myself, but I need a running buddy for speedwork.

    and I am also obsessed with quinoa. and salmon, mmm…

  • emily January 22, 2009, 9:26 pm

    if I ever get to run again I will certainly be doing speedwork, it’s fun! btw, I’m loving the “new” blog 🙂

  • just me January 22, 2009, 9:40 pm

    ew, i hate speed work, and anything short distance really. i would rather run forever and ever if i could!

  • Guy de Maupassant January 23, 2009, 3:13 am

    Hi, Caitlin
    I’m learning so much reading your blog! For instance, I’ve never heard about Quinoa before but made some research and found out that it’s some sort of a grain from South America (unfortunately seems it’s not available in my country).
    I will definitely pass by more often!!!
    Keep up the good work!!!
    Cheers from Portugal.

  • Jess January 23, 2009, 5:47 am

    I’m usually a speedwork hater. I can just never motivate myself to get out to a track.

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point January 23, 2009, 6:22 am

    guy – thanks for reading!!

  • VeggieGirl January 23, 2009, 6:23 am

    Cute stuffed animal!! 😀

  • brandi January 23, 2009, 7:17 am

    good to know – we drive to the gym after work, so I don’t really get a “walk” in before hopping on the treadmill.

  • mytastytravels January 23, 2009, 10:09 am

    I LOVE quinoa too! I have a great recipe for quinoa stuffed bell peppers on my blog under “Happy New Year”. Higher protein, whole grain and it cooks pretty quick, what’s not to love?

    kristen 🙂

  • mytastytravels January 23, 2009, 10:12 am

    Anon – another great brand of plain yogurt that is no too tangy and quite smooth and yummy is Wallaby. It’s is Australian style. You should try it!

    -kristen 🙂

  • Trojan January 23, 2009, 10:34 am

    I LOVE speedwork and it yields and best results for me when I turn it on. When in the groove i’d go 30 min alt a 1 min walk, 1 min reg(6.5-7.0) to 2 min of full out 10. It always got me leaner than anything but people think your nuts when at the gym!

    Great job girl!

  • Leslie January 23, 2009, 10:44 am

    Totally a speedwork virgin, but I am going to start working some into my running for sure!

    I can never find quinoa at the store where I live… probably because I live in a rural area, but I’ll have to look for it the next time I’m near civilization!

  • Chasity M January 27, 2009, 2:51 pm

    I really like your blog! I just got into running earlier this year and finished my first half marathon.

    I’m doing my first bout of speedwork this evening. I signed up for another half and I want to improve my time on this one.

  • HangryPants January 30, 2009, 4:10 pm

    Hey Caitlin, When you do your speed work, what incline are you running at?


  • cvettecj July 9, 2012, 3:27 am

    I’ve been shopping around for car insurance… right now I’m paying $79/mo for 10/30/30.
    Just got a rate from auto insurance tips, – for $57/mo for comp/liability/theft 100/300/300.

    I think I might go with that, has anyone found any rates for less than $50?

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