Speed workout of the week: Downward ladder

A weird side-effect of the blistering cold and gusting winds beating up the D.C. area this week: The weather actually forced me to do my first speed workout since … well, let’s not go there. The forced workout came after I spotted a terrible little snow tornado out my window right before my lunchtime five-miler. I headed to the treadmill instead, where I did the following:

1X1 mile at 7:30-minute-mile pace

2X .5 mile at 7:15-minute-mile pace

4X .25 mile at 7-minute-mile pace or below (the last one was more like 6:30-minute-mile pace).

This was a change from my standard treadmill speed workout, 3 X 1 mile at 7:30-minute-mile pace, and it felt great! Let me clarify: After it felt terrible and demoralizing and exhausting, it felt great—which is sort of what we’re going for with speed workouts, right?

What’s your go-to speed workout? Do you have different ones for the treadmill and track (I do mile repeats on the treadmill and Yasso 800s outside)?

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5 responses to “Speed workout of the week: Downward ladder

  1. Wow, that’s a fast pace (at least for me!), but during the winter the treadmill is an excellent alternative to running outdoors 🙂

    Keep up the great work!!

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  2. I’m always on the look out for new ideas for jazzing up a treadmill workout. I’m sort of confused on what you did though. You ran a mile at 7:30 pace… then a mile at 7:15 pace… and then a mile at sub-7 pace? What does the 2x… and 4x… mean?

    • Oh! Sorry for the speedwork jargon. That means that rather than just running three miles (or three miles straight, for that matter), I rested for about a minute between each rep. So I did a mile, then rested. Then half a mile, then rested. Then another half a mile … and so on.

  3. wowzers! you are speedy, my friend! this is a great workout, i might steal it. 🙂

  4. Haha. The clarification is spot-on. Great workout! I have a hard time (mentally) with multiple intervals and varying distances. 3-6xmile or 4-8×800? No problem. But making it a variety pack like yours my brain refuses to cooperate and I psych myself out. Basically I just do mile repeats and 800s. A few times I did 200s.

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