I have added speed workouts to my weekly regiments.  There are 2 days of distance.  There are 2 days of speed.  There is at least one day of hills.  And I like to run 50 miles a week.

Today, I did 10 miles on the treadmill.  On any 10 mile treadmill day I stick it at 6.0 mph and say my prayers I don’t mentally lose it on the machine before I am done.  I had a bad night of sleep last night, so I was adding to my stress.

Surprisingly, today was a good day!  Today, I went faster.  I have been adding a lot of speed workouts into my routine.  I have noticed during those workouts I can hold on to my speed with less discomfort.  I have found a nice breathing/stride rhythm.  So I bumped up my speed to 6.5 mph for 10 miles.  It was great.

On the machine I began to think about my running.  For the past 2 years I have been training for marathons and half marathons.  Rarely did I do speed workouts.  I was simply a collector of miles.  I was on the sole mission of preparing the muscles in my body to endure something very taxing.

In the process, I let go of short distances.  I let go of the speed workouts.  I let go of the 5K the 10K – and believe it or not my least favorite distance – the 5 mile.

(I feel the 5 mile is a 5K extension.  How long can you hold your pedal to the medal pace.  The 10K allows for a different pace, at least for me.  And I have never run a road 10K, they have all been trail.  The trails are a different kind of race all together).

Benefits for the marathoner in running a 5K

1.  The training is shorter.

When I schedule a long run in, I am blocking out 3+ hours at a time.  Speed workouts!  No more!

2.  The recovery is shorter

Good news for me and my foot

3.  More race time

When I was racing the shorter distances, I was racing 1 a month.  It gave me something to shoot for, to workout for, to focus on.  When I shifted to the longer distances, I cut all race time down to 5 for the year.

4.  Improve oxygen processing in the marathon

Yes, V02 max (the maximum amount of oxygen an athlete can use) increases, and helps us become more efficient in the marathon.  Check out some information about speed, V02 max and the marathon here

For me:

The marathon – a fun challenge

The half-marathon – another fun challenge

The 5K – not a fun challenge

To be honest, the 5K’s hurt, they are hard – they are LUNG RIPPERS.  Especially when you do not train for them.  Yes, I can run the distance.  Racing one, is put your head down and GO GO GO GO!!!!

But as I add speed I regain comfort in speed.  I am excited to keep adding speed to my workouts.

And register for a fall 5K.  Time to get the short distance racing shoes back on!  Yeehaw!