Two weeks

Just checking in with a quick training update, before I head into another work-induced black hole (this time, it’s a conference that I helped to organize).

As part of 5K training, I’ve been doing speedwork regularly. The nice thing about going from zero workouts to twice a week is that there’s usually quick progress. Case in point:

Example 1: over 2 weeks ago, I did mile repeats with splits of 8:43, 8:27, 8:28 (average 8:33/mile). I was disappointed, but I also abided by my motto, “You gotta start somewhere!” This past Saturday, I did the same workout with splits of 8:05, 8:00, 8:15 (average 8:07/mile). To be fair, the first workout was done in the pre-dawn hours in my neighborhood (on sidewalks), whereas the second was at high noon on a track. And I’m sure that running a 5K recently with a 8:13/mile average helped a lot mentally – i.e., to know in the back of my head that I was capable of running that pace or faster for mile repeats (though I didn’t pace myself based on my Garmin).

Example 2: exactly 2 weeks ago, I did a fartlek workout (10 x [1 minute on/1 minute off]) with an average pace of 7:52/mile. In very similar conditions this morning, I did the same workout with an average pace of 7:39/mile. Of course, I’m happy with the faster average pace, but I’m even happier with the fact that this morning’s splits were more consistent than they were 2 weeks ago.

Something I just realized recently is that I’ve never trained for a 5K. So I’m hoping all of this hard work pays off on March 20th! Regardless of the outcome, there are some lessons I’ve learned with a few weeks of speedwork under my belt:

  • Speedwork is hard, but I get a lot of satisfaction after each session.
  • No matter how hard I *think* I’m running, I can almost always go faster.
  • My perspective keeps shifting as my splits get faster. I remember a few years ago when I thought a single 8-minute mile was my top speed, and now I can run 3 miles averaging 8:07/mile! I know that’s not very fast by a lot of people’s standards, but for someone who often came in dead last in the timed mile at school, it means A LOT.

Hope everyone is having a good week! Happy Chinese New Year!


Spring has sprung! #seenonmyrun





Howdy! My name is Jen and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I like to eat, run, and blog, but not usually at the same time.

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10 comments on “Two weeks
  1. heatherihn says:

    wait, which race are you doing March 20?

    • Jen says:

      Oakland! Technically the “Bank of the West 5K”. I’m doing the “Run This Town” Challenge – 5K at 7:30am, followed by the half at 9:15am!

  2. That photo is making me so jealous! Hope you’re enjoying the weather; I’ve never done dedicated 5k training either; I’d be interested to read more about your plan! How many weeks is it?

    • Jen says:

      Haha, I’m not following an actual plan, it’s more like something I’ve made up in my head. 😉 All it is is running 4x/week, split between: shorter intervals, long intervals/tempo, a long run, and an easy run. I think a “real” plan would have me doing more serious speedwork than what I’m doing, but I’m OK with being a bit lazy/loose.

  3. lilahwi says:

    Happy Chinese New Year! I have been reading your blog for awhile, but haven’t commented yet. Just stalking. 😉 I wanted to thank you for suggesting the book by Matt Fitzgerald, I am reading it now. I also can identify with this post, I am 5K training for the first time though I have been running for 5 years and have run 2 marathons. 🙂 I am doing a 5K winter series now (I am in Wisconsin). Running a lot of 5K races definitely helps. My goal race is also March 20th. Good luck!

  4. Mike says:

    HooRAY for getting faster! Speed work is the best, isn’t it? (Especially once it’s over). Barring a crazy heat wave, all your hard work should definitely pay off on March 20. Just be sure to save a lil’ sumpin’ sumpin’ for the half!

    • Jen says:

      I am secretly (or perhaps not so secretly, now that I’m writing it down) hoping that I can PR both distances…but the 5K is definitely priority #1.

  5. Angela says:

    Happy New Year! I love speed work. Yes, it’s hard, but super satisfying (and for some reason I always feel less beat up than on easy runs)!

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4/28/19: London Marathon

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