For my first two years of running, I had three speeds—slow, a little faster than slow, and Wow! I can hold this pace for 30 seconds, now I want to go crawl into the fetal position. It’s only natural that some runners find themselves wondering just how fast they can *actually* go. The best part about running is you can always get faster and stronger and speed work can help! Here are 3 things to remember if you’re thinking about incorporating some speed work into your running routine.
Slow and fast are relative.
Don’t feel discouraged if your 30 second fast intervals feel barely a second faster than your slow pace. Starting slow and finishing strong is key! The terms fast and slow are relative and the only thing that matters is that you’re making the decision to put your strongest foot forward.
Choose not to suffer.
Listen up! This is the most life-changing piece of advice I’ve ever been given. Going into harder workouts with the mindset that you will NOT suffer will change your life. Yes, tough runs happen but finding ways to cope with the discomfort without kicking yourself for even trying will help you find fun in the struggle (Yes, FUN is possible). PS: Shoutout to my sports psychologist Dr. Bob Corb for this game-changer mindset.
It might hurt a little bit.
OK, so when I say “a little bit” I mean don’t be alarmed if after your first 30 second interval, you want to lie down and never get up. That’s normal! (Running is fun, right?) Do what you can and push yourself just a tiny bit harder than you think possible. It won’t be easy but it’s worth it! Just take your time on the recovery and remind yourself that you’re a strong woman!
Today’s impossible is tomorrow’s normal. It may not feel like it will ever get easier, but you’ll be running your personal best before you know it! Just don’t be afraid if your speed work looks a lot like this…
Remember, you can do anything you put your mind to! Start by writing down tiny weekly and monthly goals. Then run them down!