Speedwork Tuesday

in All Posts

Our bar has officially been transformed into an office for one blogger, one acupuncturist, one office manager, and one holistic doctor.  We all spent the morning type-type-typing on our respective computers (my in-laws’ are staying with us).


Eventually, I took a break to go for a run and do some speedwork. 


My big 5K is in less than 2 weeks, and my goal is to finish in 23:00.  This will be extremely hard for me to achieve because I’m definitely not “naturally” that fast.  I’m trying to create a new 5K PR, which I set in December of 2008 when I won a small local race called Dash of the Elves (recap).

DSCN9994 - Copy

I’ve been getting a lot faster lately, thanks to dedicated speedwork sessions.  I’m not going to be disappointed in two weeks if I don’t PR because I know I’ve tried my hardest to train for a good race.


Today I set out to do 4.15 miles and worked in six speedwork sessions.  I warmed up for a mile and then did six alternating sprints of 400 meters at 7:45/mile to 8:30/mile.  It was ROUGH!  I tried to time my sprints so I was running uphill during the sprints to maximize my efforts.  Yes, it felt vaguely like medieval torture.


  • Distance: 4.15 miles
  • Duration: 37:53
  • Mile 1: 9:38
  • Mile 2: 8:13 <— beginning of sprints
  • Mile 3: 8:43
  • Mile 4: 9:47 <— cool down
  • Mile 4 – 4.15: 1:26


It was a great workout!  I’m happy to be running around my own neighborhood again.


Afterwards, I came home and made lunch:


Another quinoa mix:


  • Quinoa
  • Leftover feta, chickpea, and dill salad
  • Grilled zucchini
  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet potato fries
  • Feta


What training goals are you currently gunning for?  Are you going for speed or distance?  Or a little of both, like me?



  • Madeline @ greensandjeans August 17, 2010, 1:59 pm

    I’m about six and a half weeks out from the twin cities marathon so I’m definitely in distance mode right now!

  • Freya @ Brit Chick Runs August 17, 2010, 2:02 pm

    Distance all the way…bring on that Marine Corps marathon!
    Great lunch 🙂

  • Freya @ Brit Chick Runs August 17, 2010, 2:02 pm

    Distance all the way…bring on that Marine Corps marathon!
    Great lunch 🙂

  • Freya @ Brit Chick Runs August 17, 2010, 2:02 pm

    Distance all the way…bring on that Marine Corps marathon!
    Great lunch 🙂

  • Samantha @ Health, Happiness & Skinny Jeans August 17, 2010, 2:03 pm

    Distance! I have a 1/2 marathon in September that I am training for.

  • sonia August 17, 2010, 2:08 pm

    oh gosh i wish i had gone to the summit this year, but i definatley plan on going to it next year. could you possible do a post on the cost of the summit in general this year, could you talk about saving up tips for the summit any other smart saving tips you might have used?

  • Tracy August 17, 2010, 2:10 pm

    Good luck on your 5km run. Nice to read about others training for runs. I also enjoy your healthy meals.

    I am 6 weeks from my next 1/2 marathon and will be
    starting speed next week. I have another blog http://uber-fit.blogspot.com/ that keeps track of my training.

  • Amanda- The Nutritionist Reviews August 17, 2010, 2:12 pm

    Yum! Your lunch looks awesome! I love roasted zucchini!

  • Courtney August 17, 2010, 2:13 pm

    I run on my school’s cross-country team, so my goal is to run under 20:00 for 3 miles… it will take a lot of work but I hope I can do it! Good luck in your race training 😀

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg August 17, 2010, 2:14 pm

    Ooh, I love your bar!!! That will be great for parties!

    Yeah, speedy running is definitely NOT my thing– I’m very impressed with the speedwork you’ve dedicated yourself to!

  • Estela @ Weekly Bite August 17, 2010, 2:14 pm

    I’m not really training for anything in particular… just maintaining my current fitness level 🙂

  • Heather (Heather's Dish) August 17, 2010, 2:15 pm

    i am really just training for fun and to be healthy…that counts too, right? 😉

  • Christina August 17, 2010, 2:16 pm

    Both but mostly distance. I’m working up to running a 10km but I’d also like to increase my speed, I’m a bit of a turtle.

  • Gavi @ GaviGetsGoing! August 17, 2010, 2:16 pm

    Congrats on getting in a great speed workout! I just started training for my half-marathon yesterday. It is in November, so I’ve left myself a full 3 months to train. My goal is to finish in two hours, so I am training for speed and distance at the same time. I can’t wait already! 🙂

  • Sue August 17, 2010, 2:16 pm

    That’s great you’re improving in your running speed. I don’t know if I could do it myself, although I have started running again. By the way, that quinoa mix you had looks really good. Is quinoa like brown rice? I’ve never tried it before and was curious. 🙂

    • Caitlin August 17, 2010, 2:25 pm

      It’s another ‘grain’ but it has a lot of protein! It’s definitely a better alternative than rice.

      • Jessica August 17, 2010, 3:24 pm

        have you ever tried the red one?

        • Caitlin August 17, 2010, 3:30 pm

          No! Is it good?

      • Jessica August 18, 2010, 12:17 pm

        I didnt know that is why i asked you…haha

    • Jenny August 17, 2010, 3:37 pm

      I’ve tried red quinoa, it has a nuttier taste. Very good!

  • Paige (Running Around Normal) August 17, 2010, 2:18 pm

    Nice job on the speed work! It was great getting to meet you – had so much fun at the summit 😀

  • Lindsey August 17, 2010, 2:18 pm

    I’m running my FIRST 5K on September 12 (my birthday!) and I’m just aiming to run the whole thing. I’ve never naturally been a runner, but it’s getting easier every day. If you have any advice for 1st timers like me (training and/or race day tips), they would be greatly appreciated! 🙂 Good luck!

  • Erin August 17, 2010, 2:19 pm

    I’m currently training for the Chicago Marathon, but in order to try and keep some of my previous speed I’m doing speedwork once a week. I do it with my running group which makes it slightly less torturous.

  • Lauren August 17, 2010, 2:20 pm

    I love doing alternating sprints because the break in between makes it not as rough. 🙂
    I am training for both right now! I have a half marathon in a month, and a 5k a month later that I want to rock.
    Hopefully my speed sessions will pay off for both.

  • AllieNic (Frisky Lemon) August 17, 2010, 2:21 pm

    I’m training for speed right now…I was a long distance runner in college, and I’m trying to train myself to run shorter distances (200m, 400m) faster. I tend to just lope along…I wanna be fast!

  • Faith @ lovelyascharged August 17, 2010, 2:22 pm

    I’m somewhat letting myself take a break from running. I know deep down that I love running but I’m lagging on the passion right now. I’m not naturally speedy either and I think I was putting too much pressure on myself to hit goals and constantly up the ante.

  • Heather (Rogue Runs) August 17, 2010, 2:23 pm

    I’m running my first 5K on Sunday! I’m very nervous/excited. I’ll probably have to walk at one point, but that’s okay! I don’t care how long it takes. I just want to do it!

  • Laura Smith August 17, 2010, 2:24 pm

    currently training for a half marathon where I want to break 2 hours. Using a plan from runners world..hope it works!!

  • Natalie August 17, 2010, 2:24 pm

    Just curious… when you say you warmed up for 1 hour before your speedwork, what did you do? Was that jogging, biking, or something else? I’m trying to plan some speed sessions and wanted to get an idea about the warm up.

    • Caitlin August 17, 2010, 2:26 pm

      sorry that was suppose to say mile! lol big difference.

  • Margaret August 17, 2010, 2:28 pm

    Hi Caitlin!

    I love your blog and Operation Beautiful!

    I have a question for you regarding your speedwork for a 23:00 minute 5K. Why is your speedwork slower than your goal 5K pace? I am a runner and dabble in some high school coaching, so I just wanted to make sure you understand that 400m repeats should be done at a 5K or even a 1 mile pace especially if you have a goal in mind. You may need to re-adjust your goal or re-adjust your speedwork.

    Sorry for offering some advice you did not ask for!


  • Heather August 17, 2010, 2:29 pm

    I am working on both speed and distance – need to build back my mileage back up but I’m hoping to train more for speed as opposed to distance for my next 10 k.

    Good luck on your race!

  • Corey - The Runner's Cookie August 17, 2010, 2:31 pm

    Little bit of both! I’m 1/2-marathon training right now, so it’s the biggest mix of speed and endurance I’ve ever had to do. I find that I need to keep my speed workouts interesting – fartleks, on/off segments, run to the next telephone poll, whatever I have to do!

  • Kelly August 17, 2010, 2:31 pm

    Speedwork is tough! I used to hate it in high school, it has been growing on me now though. Training for my first half marathon right now!

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman August 17, 2010, 2:31 pm

    The quinoa salad looks good. I just made an attempt to get zucchini at the grocery store last night and they were out. Seriously.

  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday August 17, 2010, 2:31 pm

    I’m on to speedwork because I have a 5K in October.

  • Holly @ couchpotatoathlete August 17, 2010, 2:32 pm

    I’m working on a little of both, although right now I need to focus on actually RUNNING and not doing other workouts. I have a 10 mile race in October that I haven’t really prepared for…

  • Bethany (Not Unless I'm Being Chased) August 17, 2010, 2:36 pm

    I’m working on a combination of both. I’m 8 weeks out from my first marathon and all I really want to do is cream my half marathon pace. Things are looking up — I had a PR for a 5K time this morning. Must be the weather. Cooler weather = hotter legs ;).

  • Rachel August 17, 2010, 2:38 pm

    I’m training for my first 5 mile race which will be a PDR. This weekend I am doing a 3.1 mile race for a little fun run in my old college town. It will be my 6th race this year and I started running in February. Racing is ADDICTIVE!!

  • Elizabeth August 17, 2010, 2:45 pm

    I’m training for two goals right now, but they’re both speed-related. I want to do a sub-30-minute 5k in September, and I want to climb the Willis Tower (Sears Tower) in less than 20 minutes in November. Both VERY lofty goals for me, but I’m taking the training one workout at a time…fingers crossed. (I’d cross my toes too, but it’s really hard to run that way!)

  • Kristin August 17, 2010, 2:46 pm

    I am primarily training for distance with moderate speed (hopefully around 4 hour pace for marathon at the end of Sept…but also hoping that my speedwork in search of that goal will lead me to 5K and 10K PR’s by the end of the year (seeking sub-23 and sub-49, but we’ll see!).

  • Bree August 17, 2010, 2:47 pm

    I’m training for my first real race – a 10 miler in October. I would like to say I am training for speed, but I just want to do well and am not putting too much pressure on myself. At least I am trying not to!

  • Hallie August 17, 2010, 2:49 pm

    I just finished my first half marathon (two days ago!) and I’m suuuper slow so my next goal is to work on my speed do a faster 5k. I’d love to do a 5k in under 30 minutes, which is a lofy goal for me, right now, but I think I can do it if I work at it.

  • Mac August 17, 2010, 2:49 pm

    I am more so working on distance and pacing myself. I think the fact that I jump out of the gates is not allowing me to run as far as I would like to.

  • Ashley August 17, 2010, 2:51 pm

    My immediate goal is speed. I just ran my first ever 5k and would love to better my time. My goal for next summer is totally distance. Before this month, I had never run more than 3 miles. I’m planning to do a half marathon next June!

  • Rachael @ Mrs-Adventure August 17, 2010, 2:52 pm

    Wow look at you go, I havent’ begun to try speed training. I am just trying to get more miles down for now… but I am training for a 10K :+)

  • Camille August 17, 2010, 2:53 pm

    I am currently training for my second marathon! Hurray!

  • Jess @JessCantCook August 17, 2010, 2:55 pm

    I’m a week into training for my 2nd 1/2 marathon! My goal last year was to finish, this year I want to beat last year’s time. Now that I know I can actually run the distance I’m going to add speedwork and strength training in.

    I just discovered your blog last night and I love it 🙂 I even mentioned it on my blog today!

    • Caitlin August 17, 2010, 2:56 pm

      Why thank you!

  • Tina August 17, 2010, 2:58 pm

    I had to laugh at the medeival torture remark. It does sound like adequate description of sprinting uphill though.

    I love your attitude approaching this race as well. You know you did (and will do) your best and that is what matters most.

  • Heather C August 17, 2010, 3:00 pm

    Those speed workouts are definitely paying off!

    currently going for distance And speed, trying to break a marathon PR. In reality, just trying to survive high altitude training for now 😉

  • Heather August 17, 2010, 3:00 pm

    great job on the speedwork! I can go fast for a short period of time or slow for a long perod of time. trying to meet in the middle!

  • Kacy August 17, 2010, 3:05 pm

    Whew, that does sound like medieval torture! I’m training for my first marathon and it’s kicking my ass (in a good way).

  • Jasmine @ Eat Move Write August 17, 2010, 3:05 pm

    I guess you could say I’m training for life. I’m trying to incorporate good habits that I can keep forever, since we’re hoping to get pregnant soon and I really want to make sure I’m in good health for pregnancy!!!

  • katie@ runthislife August 17, 2010, 3:05 pm

    I’m starting training for my 2nd half (in November) by way of my FIRST 10K in September. I always “just” aim to finish, but this time I want to beat my last time…at least by a little 😉

    Always love reading your life!

  • Becky August 17, 2010, 3:15 pm

    Nice speed sesh! I’m impressed when people can go outside for their speedwork. I try to do one speed run/week, but I get so confused that I end up just hitting the treadmill for intervals. Great running with you at HLS!

  • Sarah (this is it) August 17, 2010, 3:18 pm

    I’m training for a 1/2 marathon in September and trying to maintain my speed so I do 1 speed workout a week. Perhaps my biggest goal is to finish without an injury!

  • Amber K August 17, 2010, 3:22 pm

    No training goals right now, but I’m loving reading about what everyone else does.

  • Laura August 17, 2010, 3:29 pm

    I’m currently working on speed training. My second (yes only second) 5K is in 4 weeks and I hope to finish in a sub 30:00 time!

  • Dorry August 17, 2010, 3:30 pm

    I’m running my 1st half in December…I’m trying to focus on distance but I love speed! 🙂 It felt good for me to run in my neighborhood as well but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss the lakefront in Chicago.

  • Kathryn August 17, 2010, 3:32 pm

    I’m training for a 10k in Sept. My sister is on the planning committee for the event and she is running it. I told her I would run it with her. I have really enjoyed the training until this week. Sunday’s run was awful and today’s run was only a little bit better. I’m not sure what’s happened. I’m hoping I get out of this slump.

  • Amy B @ Second City Randomness August 17, 2010, 3:42 pm

    I’m attempting to work on speed for my next couple of races… I’d love to do my upcoming 8k under 40 minutes- but I know it’s a slow progression, so I’m aiming more for under 41 this time. I think if I set 40 as a goal, I’ll just get pissed at the end because I don’t think I’m ready for it yet…

  • Callie August 17, 2010, 3:50 pm

    I’m also going for a little bit of both speed and distance. 🙂

  • Amy August 17, 2010, 3:51 pm

    I did speedwork today, too! 4 x 1200m cruises with 600m recovery. Makes a girl HUNGRY! But I’m hoping it really boosts me up a notch for this marathon…..

    And sweet potato fries? Like cooked from the freezer? Cold? Warm? Do tell….

  • Emmanuelle August 17, 2010, 3:55 pm

    I’ll be running my first 5k in December. Yeah that’s far away, but I’ve never been a runner, in fact I’ve always hated running! But lately I’ve been wanting to give it a try so I started yesterday the Couch to 5K program. At this stage my goal is just to finish the whole thing, as I will also start my yoga teacher training in September 🙂

  • Cyndi @ Weightless Life August 17, 2010, 3:59 pm

    I’m working on distance right now, but one of the benefits to my weekly long run is that it’s making my shorter run times faster. I’m pretty happy about that.

  • Liz August 17, 2010, 4:01 pm

    Great pace on that run! I miss speedwork and shorter runs – I am training for Marine Corps so my running is very endurance focused now. Once that is over I want to train for a faster half marathon.

  • Amber from Girl with the Red Hair August 17, 2010, 4:02 pm

    I’m currently training for my first marathon – so definitely going for distance. And holy moly have I gotten SLOW. Last October I ran a half-marathon at a 9:17 pace and now I’m lucky to hit a 9:40 pace in my “tempo runs”. I did my longest run to date, 17 miles, last weekend!

  • Lisa August 17, 2010, 4:04 pm

    My goal right now is distance opposed to speed. Hood to Coast is next week and it’s an endurance event. I need to be able to run 18 miles total, not be fast.

  • Caitlin @ Right Foot Forward August 17, 2010, 4:05 pm

    My goal right now is distance. I’m running my fourth half marathon in October!

  • Lana August 17, 2010, 4:20 pm

    Your times are looking great Caitlin! I’m training for a triathlon (the run part because my mom, sister and I are tag-teaming it!) I’m also eyeing some 1/2 marathons in the late fall. Lately i’ve been training both speed and distance depending on how I feel. When I run in the mornings I’m typically better at distance. When I run in the evenings I’m typically better at speed. That seems to be the way my body works, lol.

  • mindy @ just a one girl revolution. August 17, 2010, 4:22 pm

    I’m working on a little of both; I’ve got a half mary in October, but I’d love to get a bit faster.

  • Lea @ Healthy Coconut August 17, 2010, 4:24 pm

    I’m working on my endurance and also on my negative splits when I run. I like it when I set goals for myself before a run, it can be small goals and it makes my runs more fun.

  • Girlwiththepinkhat.blogspot.com August 17, 2010, 4:32 pm

    I’m training for a 1/2 marathon and documenting it on my new blog-girl with the Pink Hat. I am going try the speed workout that you did today sometime, it looked really tough! Good luck with your training!

  • Mary @ Running Wifle August 17, 2010, 4:35 pm

    I’m working on a little bit of both! I’m training for an October marathon but picked a plan with 2 days/week of speed work and five 20 mile runs. My previous marathons were run in the hopes of not collapsing before the finish line- this time I want to go faster!

    Also, it’s cute that you and your in-laws are all working side by side- you must have a really good relationship 🙂

  • Heather August 17, 2010, 4:40 pm

    I started my half marathon training plan yesterday so I’m in distance mode for sure!

  • Vaala August 17, 2010, 4:57 pm

    I am supposed to be training for distance but speed work is still a big part of my training program but I’ve got a little knee injury so am currently spending most of my time on the bike instead of on my feet…a little nerve-wracking as I have a 12 hour rogaine next month and then the world rogaine champs in November (that’s 24 hours…argh!!!). Am feeling a bit anxious!

  • Lauren August 17, 2010, 5:03 pm

    Hi Caitlin,
    This is unrelated to this post, but I just wanted to let you know that I bought the last Operation Beautiful book that they had at one of the Borders in Scottsdale, AZ today! I can’t wait to read it! Thanks for all that you do…you are truly an inspiration!

    • Caitlin August 17, 2010, 5:04 pm

      Thank you soooo much!

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) August 17, 2010, 5:09 pm

    What a great speedwork session! You will rock this race I just know it!

  • sarah k. @ the pajama chef August 17, 2010, 5:39 pm

    both… speedwork for a 9/11 race, then distance for an upcoming 1/2 in oct & a full marathon in may!

  • Jessica@tastyandtrim August 17, 2010, 5:50 pm

    I hope to run a marathon one day but am taking baby steps and am running a 5k in September. I’m more concentrated on finishing the race than speed but I hope to improve my speed as I move along! I love reading your blog and am a huge fan of all that you do. Reading your blog inspired me to start my own 🙂

  • Aimee August 17, 2010, 6:02 pm

    I ran my first 10K on Saturday and I’m training for a 1/2 marathon in October. So I am focusing on distance. I got a little caught up in my time for a few weeks and I began to dread my runs. After misplacing my Nike + I relaxed my expectations and allowed myself to simply “finish” the mileage I had planned for the day. It was the best thing that could have happened because I began to enjoy the runs again.

  • Chelsey August 17, 2010, 6:30 pm

    I have been doing speedwork for my upcoming half marathon. I really just want to shave off a little bit of time and get a PR!

  • christina cadden August 17, 2010, 7:24 pm

    I want to do a 10K but I also want to get faster. So I guess I will have to add speed workouts to my training plan. I hate sprints though.

  • Jen August 17, 2010, 7:42 pm

    You are getting really fast!!

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing August 17, 2010, 7:58 pm

    Ew. Speedwork. You’re more a woman than I am!

  • Ashley @ Nourishing the Soul August 17, 2010, 7:58 pm

    I’m training to run my first 5k in October – I’ve run longer races but never a 5k and NEVER for speed! I have a “coach” – a male friend who ran competitively – training me and it is certainly rough! I never knew what speed workouts even were before the past few months. My goal is sub-25, which I’m finally starting to feel confident that I can do. And with this to spare, I might have to make my goal a little harder. But don’t want to get injured. Good luck on your training!

  • Lauren August 17, 2010, 8:17 pm

    I use to be all for distance, but I think part of being a well rounded runner is also working on speed, agility and endurance. It’s great to have these goals no matter what kind of runner you are!

  • Raya August 17, 2010, 9:37 pm

    Training for my first half, but I want to be faster too!! Last night I ran 7.3 miles which was HUGE for me, but I am SLOOOOWWWWWWW. Speedwork is my best friend and worst enemy all at the same time. So..short answer: both, distance and speed. =)

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin August 17, 2010, 9:58 pm

    Nice job on your run today! It really does sound kind of torturous, so kudos on finishing it! 😀

    I’m trying to improve my endurance, but I’m kind of stuck at the 4.0-4.5 mile mark. It’s more of a mental block though, so I just need to push myself past it.

  • Katie @ Her Inner Shine August 17, 2010, 10:41 pm

    Congrats on the speed work today Caitlin! Can’t wait to see how your 5km goes 🙂

  • Catherine August 17, 2010, 10:45 pm

    I’m running my first half marathon in September, and my goal is really just to finish. Before I started training, I’d never run more than 2 or 3 miles at the most, so even just finishing my 12 mile run last weekend was an accomplishment 🙂
    I figure I can focus on speed/time for the next half marathon!

  • Janna@Janna's Keeping it Real! August 18, 2010, 1:27 am

    A speedy-ish long run? Heh…

    I am hoping for a PR come October 3rd, which would mean sub 2 (sub 1:58). We shall see!

  • Astrid August 18, 2010, 4:32 am

    In September I will be travelling to Chili, Bolivia and Peru and I will be hiking in the Andes. The biggest challenge: The Inca Trail 🙂

  • Britney August 18, 2010, 7:12 am

    I’m training for my first 10k, so distance!

  • Di August 18, 2010, 8:04 am

    Good luck with your 5K — hopefully you’ll make your PR!

    I’m currently training for a 5K and since I’ve never run one, I’m going for distance…a whole 5K. 😉

  • Amelia August 18, 2010, 12:09 pm

    I’m still going for distance. Sometimes I try to work on distance and speed at the same time but it doesn’t usually work out. Good luck with your 5K!

  • Krista (kristastes) August 18, 2010, 12:41 pm

    I love speed work. I was a sprinter in high school but I have embraced longer distance running. I find when I’m doing speed work and giving 200% effort that I am able to run way longer when I do a ‘slow’ or normal run! Keep up the good work! 🙂

  • Kelly August 23, 2010, 12:44 am

    I’m on my school’s cross country team and I am training for the 5Ks that I will have to run during the season. For my speed workouts I usually run a mile at around a 10-minute pace, then run 3 or 4 800s at a 7:30 pace (which is brutal). Then I usually cool down with another mile at a 10-minute pace. I also do intervals: run for 35 minutes and repeating a pattern of 5 minutes at a 7-minute pace and 2 minutes at a 9:30 pace 5 times – also rough. I just discovered this website today and you motivated me to finally go on my run today, and for that I thank you!

    • caitlin August 23, 2010, 9:05 am

      Welcome to HTP!

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