On schedule for yesterday was a fartlek run. 5 times 2 minutes on 1 minute off.

Doing speed workouts on the roads has become much easier thanks to my Garmin. Once upon a time I used a stop watch and would have to look down repeatedly during each repeat and then hit lap when the repeat was finished. I was always over the allotted time and I always ended up going over on the recovery as well because REALLY it’s been 1 minute already? Two minutes can feel like an eternity when pushing yourself and when putzing, running 1 minute can feel like ten seconds. It’s the nature of speed work.

Now I plug-in the workout into my Garmin in the intervals section and away I go. The only thing I haven’t yet figured out is how to get it to beep each mile on the warmup. The beep motivates me and keeps me going. A 6 mile warmup with no beep feels like an eternity. It also means I have no clue what pace I’m running and I’m running completely on feel – which isn’t a bad thing BUT I like the beep.

Related: What A Single Beep Means To A Runner

During the intervals I don’t know what pace I’m running. I run them on feel as well. I run as fast as I think I can go, knowing how many I have left and knowing that at the end of the workout I want to feel like I could have finished one more repeat. There is also that pesky cool down as well. So I factor all that in to my head and away I go. I believe as a coach that learning to run on feel is one of the best things you can do for yourself in learning how to pace for races.

When I am running a race, I don’t look down at what pace I’m running according to my Garmin. I don’t know how that pace is calculated but what I do know is that my best pace during speed work miles is often in the mid 5’s but I don’t and can’t run in the mid 5’s – I run somewhere in the 6’s. I do know that I am what I consider a surge runner – I am fairly good at even pacing for miles, but within the mile I’m all over the place. Pushing when I feel good, backing off when I know I’m pushing too hard. If I was constantly looking down at my watch to see my pace I would be pushing and not pushing not when my body was telling me to, but when the watch was telling me too. It’s one of the reasons I don’t like scheduled walk breaks for runners I coach who like to run/walk –  a story for another day.

Averages for the 2 min on and 1 min off were:






I’m becoming a data geek with my garmin. There are always new things one can learn about running. Right now I’m really interested in cadence and stride length. I love seeing the little purple dots on my speed days.

That one little slice of white on the run is where I stopped to pee for about 40 seconds. My garmin gives me overall time elapsed + time spent running, so I don’t feel bad stopping my watch. I can still see what the overall time was that it took me to finish the run, which I believe is extremely important to know when judging how long it takes you to complete long runs of 20 miles etc.


My speed workouts are nothing crazy right now. I am not a 3:11 marathoner right now. I have to work with where I am fitness wise and mileage wise and accept my limitations as I attempt to push past them again. I think often times it’s easier for us to think we want to improve upon a PR but when that PR was years ago, maybe it’s not the best indication of what we can currently run. I plan on finding a race soon, doing a short taper and seeing where I am fitness wise right now. The races I ran this fall for one reason or another aren’t really a good indication of what I believe I can do. That being said, I know based on different workouts I’ve progressed a little since September and even if I don’t run a race, that is helping me stay motivated.

On my run yesterday my stomach was NOT cooperating. I typically don’t eat breakfast before runs, but I’ve noticed that I almost feel sick when doing speed if my stomach has nothing in it but coffee. I wake up before 7 am and am not able to go for a run till around 9:40ish, that’s a long time to feel hungry and then go run. By the time I am finished most days it’s almost 11 am or after and I’m crazy hungry. That was the long way of saying I ate breakfast yesterday and though I didn’t feel “sick” on the run, my stomach DID NOT feel good.

I decided somewhere in the 5th mile I could either give up and just run an even pace home all because I was worried about how “slow” I would be on the speed part OR I could just shut up and put forth the effort and know that effort, no matter what the pace is > than giving up.

#giveuporshutup is my new mantra for this training cycle

I can whine all the live long day about what’s not right with my body right now or I can shutup accept that I am different {we all are} and just do what I can right now.

Comparison is the thief of joy. Now that I have my joy back in running I’m not going to let comparison steal it.


If you like Mile Posts I’d LOVE it if you suggested my facebook page to your friends who also LOVE running!

xoxo Dorothy


%d bloggers like this: