The effort I’ve put into this training program is paying off. It’s now only two weeks and a bit before the Sarasota Half Marathon, and I’m into speedwork. That’s never been my strength, so I was facing it with some trepidation.

Turns out I didn’t have to worry. This morning, I did an 8.2K workout, starting with a 2K warmup at my target steady pace (6:01 mins/km), then moved to a 1.6K at a 4:45 pace. Followed that with a 1K recovery segment at steady pace, another 1.6K segment at the 4:45 pace, and a 2K cooldown at the steady pace.

And you know what? The fast bits weren’t as hard as I’d feared. Not easy, mind you, but I ran inside myself for the duration. Breathing hard and sweating buckets by the end of the set, but feeling strong and happy. Next Wednesday, I’ll do another speed workout, and will make it three segments at the 4:45 pace.

The other nice thing about this morning’s workout was I finally sorted out how to keep the Breathe Right nasal dilator strip from lifting off with all the sweat. The answer was simple – before applying the strip, I wiped the bridge of my nose with some witch hazel. Bingo! Problem solved! I’m going to wear a strip at Sarasota. Can’t do any harm, and may do some good.

So, my long runs are going well (have a 20K run coming up on Sunday), my recent tempo runs have been very enjoyable, and now I find I can do speedwork. I may turn out to be a runner after all!

(I actually considered doing a short barefoot recovery run outside this afternoon, as it’s 5C and sort of sunny. Decided to be cautious, though, which I think was the right decision, as I’m really feeling the effects of the morning’s speed workout.)


  1. Great speed work Alan. The rest sounds very wise. Any other cross training (swimming, yoga, weights) at a low intensity does wonders for recovery too.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Paul! In the past, I’ve done cross-training, usually swimming or yoga, and sometimes weights. Contrary to expectations, it didn’t too anything at all for my running or racing. These days, my cross-training consists of walking our two greyhounds six to eight kilometers each day. That seems to be enough. :)

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