Speed Workouts – Birthday Edition

As I reflect on 2013, I am very appreciative of the Wednesday morning 5:30 am track workouts with Athens Road Runners. I know this might sound painful if you are not a morning person, but there is something special about meeting this community every week early in the morning at the track. Since starting this weekly workout, Wednesdays have become one of my favorite days of the week; I am up early and usually feel great all day after pushing my limits at the track (runner’s high anyone?). Speed workouts are an important addition to every runner’s training, and I encourage you to try it if you have not yet! I am not in Athens this week so I got Coach Al to email me the workout. It was not as much fun without the group but I did it on my own Wednesday morning to celebrate turning 24 and now I am sharing it with you, give it a try sometime in the next week! (or on your next birthday, if you want to make it your birthday workout too!)

Athens Road Runners Members at the UGA Track

“I was thinking about you this morning …Happy early birthday! We are going to do 3 individual miles after a mile warm up. ┬áThe concept is to drop down the time with each progression. So you want to run the first one at about 75% effort then rest a good 3 – 4 minutes then the 2nd one about a 85 – 90% effort rest 3 -4 minutes than the last one give it what you have left. Then a good cool down. I really want to start working y’all into a tempo run per week. Tempo is defined as an effort that is just difficult enough without being race pace…I like to call it barely a talking pace…kind of like a one word answer pace if that makes sense. A good tempo workout would be about 3 m iles or 20 minute sat that pace. This workout for tomorrow is designed to start zeroing in on that desired tempo pace.” – Al Jeffers.

I did this workout on a straight mile-long sidewalk near my house and here are my results:

Mile 1 – 7:44
Mile 2 – 7:55 (into the wind)
Mile 3 – 7:21

As you can see, I went a little faster on the first mile than Al suggested, but still was able to give everything on mile 3. These are great times for me, and I never knew how fast I could be until I started working out with Coach Al and Athens Road Runners members at the track. Oh and fast is a relative term, different for every runner. Let me know how it goes if you try this workout! And if you live in Athens I highly recommend joining Athens Road Runners for 2014 :)


  1. Beth

    Wow! Ok…I am officially inspired by you to join you and the other ARRs on the track in 2014! Wednesday mornings…here I come!

    PS – Happy BIrthday!

  2. I am so super proud of you. I miss Wednesdays immensely, not only for the chase you give me (thanks rabbit!) but for that early-morning, pre-sunrise camaraderie. You rock lady. Keep it up!

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