Five Things Friday – 12/20/2013

Happy Friday!

I am so excited that the weekend is finally here because that means it is about time to head to North Carolina!

Wes did some negotiating and we will be leaving on Saturday to head down for an entire week! I am beyond excited that we get that much time off. We will spend the first half of the week with his family and the second half with mine.  Wednesday is an odd day for Christmas to fall on, but for breaking it up between families it makes it easy!


Yesterday was kind of a strange workout day.

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I knew I wanted to spin for a portion of the workout, but I had planned to break it up because I was worn out after my long spin yesterday. I began with the plan to spin for 30 minutes, break and do some weights, then spin again. After I was about 25 minutes in a group began to set up for a spin class. The class basically watched an episode of NCIS and did a workout.

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I decided to stick it out for another 30 minutes and watch some of the episode.  It went much quicker once I had something to distract me.

I got off the spin bike after an hour and headed to finish the rest of the time we had on the treadmill.

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I was only about to get in a 15 minute walk before we had to leave to take Wes to a dentist appointment. I wasn’t able to do my weights, so we agreed to come back after the appointment to fit that in.


Two hours later we were back in the gym. I did one final 30 minute very easy spin session followed by weights.

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I also stalked Wes a little bit :)

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Today I wanted to bring you a run down of some of my favorite running workouts.

I know that most of you will be slowly getting back into training for the spring marathons, so in the spirit of it I wanted to share with you Five Running Workouts to Get Ready for Spring Marathon Season.

These are all workouts I did when I was in training and healthy.  That seems like so long ago at this point, but I guess it was!


1. 5 x 1 Mile Repeat Workout

Workout 8 7 13

This workout has several parts to it:

1. Mile Repeats – These can be done at whatever pace fits your training. I like to do them progressively, meaning that each one gets slightly faster than the last. This helps my legs get into it and helps to get my legs used to running when tired.

2. Ladder – The ladder is a way to do some strides and simple sprints near the end of the workout. It goes by very quickly.

3. Warm Up/Cool Down – These can be done as slow as you want. There is no set distance just whatever you feel is good for your body. You could also walk or spin for a cool down.


2. 4 Mile Tempo Workout

Workout 8 12

You can modify this workout in many ways. First, the warm up and cool down don’t have the be as long as I made them this was just simply what I had done that day. In fact you probably want to shorten them. 

You want to run the 4 mile tempo portion at your half marathon pace.


3. 6 Mile Marathon Tempo Workout

6 Mile Tempo

This is a very simple tempo workout. I used the 2 miles easy running before the tempo to help get my legs up to speed. I would progressively push the tempo up until I reached marathon pace.  I found that this helped me because instead of going directly from a jog pace to marathon pace, it allowed me to work up to it and my legs weren’t as in as much shock.

Again, you can edit the amount of warm up and cool down as you like.


4. Yasso 800 Modified Workout

Yasso 800 Modified1

I love Yasso 800’s and they are a great workout in helping you prep for a marathon! 

You want to run each at 800 in the amount of time in minutes as your goal marathon time. For example, if I want to run a 3 hour and 35 minute marathon each 800 should take 3 minutes and 35 seconds.  For a true Yasso 800 the rest in between each 800 should also be 3:35.

This is supposed to be a marathon predictor workout, and when you are able to do 10 then you are ready for your marathon. You want to start out easy so I would start with 4-6 and work your way up.

This is a TOUGH workout, and I can’t stress enough the importance of starting out slow.


5. 8 x 400 Speed Workout

8 x 400 speed workout

This was one of the earlier workouts I did in my training cycle.

In order to get the pace you should be training at for the marathon I used the McMillan Calculator. It will actually break down what you should be running any speed workout at by your goal marathon time.

The 30 seconds on x 1 minute off is just to work on strides. It will also help your form so I typically will do these as sprints.


I hope these are some workouts that can help you in your training!

They all can be modified as well if you are in your off season. I tend to stick to easy running with MAYBE one day of tempo/speed during the off season.


Do you do speed work during the off season?

When is your next race schedule for? 

About Sara

Welcome to my blog! My name is Sara and this blog documents my journey as a wife and a runner. I train hard and put my heart and soul into my running. My life is a crazy journey full of ups and downs, and I am here to share it all with you!


  1. I feel like I’m the only runner who doesn’t do speed work! I just really don’t like it, and since I’m not trying to win anything when I toe a start line I kinda don’t care. Although I am totally willing to push myself as hard as I can for as long as I can. My average pace has dropped by 2 minutes. I find that the more I run, the faster I’m able to run. Part of why I love having 1/2’s on the schedule to train for. My next race is a 5K March 14th.

    • I know how you feel speed work is TOUGH! If I wasn’t trying to knock an hour off my marathon time eventually I wouldn’t do it either! The only good part about it is sometimes I do find that it can make the workout go faster!

  2. I like to mix things up with speed, distance and hills – and am very fortunate that I can easily do anything right from my house!

    As it has gotten really cold I have basically tried to stick with one ‘run with purpose’ per week, which means long run, fast run or hills. Today was so warm (30F) that I did a faster 9 mile run before I had to get the kids up for school. Wonderful!

    I was surprised that Wes could get the time – good for you guys! Also splitting the holiday that way is for the best, because trying to family-hop tends to leave you exhausted and frazzled and no one happy! Enjoy your trip!

    • I agree it does make it easier and we aren’t going back and forth!

      I don’t know how he worked it out but it means everything to me! I am so glad he did! HE has to work extra the next two weeks but it is well worth it!

      I like to mix things up too – well you know when I can :)

  3. You are a workout machine! Impressive…I get bored beyond belief on my stationary bike…although, it’s an excuse to watch shows I would be embarrassed to admit watching other times…*cough* Kardashians…

  4. These are great workouts, thanks for sharing. I try and do some speed training at least once a week and these will help change things up, keeping it fresh.

    I have two resolution runs scheduled for Januray (1st and 5th). They are small short races to get people out and running and I am really looking forward to them.

    Save travels home for the holidays :)

  5. whew the mile workout makes me tired just to think about it, but it’s an awesome workout!

  6. I am about to start training for the Raleigh Marathon in April. I haven’t done any speedwork during the off-season, except a 5k a few weeks ago. Its gonna be tough getting back into it, especially while the weather is cold!

  7. I am bookmarking these! Speed work has traditionally not been my friend because I really just like fun running without a plan. But I have decided that 2014 is the year of the PR, so I for sure need to buckle down and do some work.

  8. Great workouts – thanks for sharing! Very excited that you guys get to head to NC!!!!

  9. So many people have told me about those Yasso 800’s! I think I’m going to have to try that workout now that you’ve reminded me of it! Thanks for the tip!

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