Half Marathon Training Speed Workout Tuesday

Yesterday marked the second week of Tuesday morning half marathon training speed workouts! As you all know, my friends and I are training for the National Half Marathon in D.C. in March.


(check out the UNC women’s field hockey team doing sprints behind us!) 

It was FREEZING and pitch black yesterday morning when I met my friend Jillian at her place at 6:30 a.m. Like last week, we ran the 1.5 miles to campus to warm up. By the time we got there, it was light out and our friend Elle (in the red) was there ready to work out with us!


Last week, we deciphered what “4×400” meant and did an entirely running-based workout. This week, we decided to mix things up. :)

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When I was living in Tampa for a summer I lived near a track and would do speed/boot camp workout combinations there on my own. I decided it would be fun for training to lead the girls in one of my speed boot camps yesterday morning :)



We ran a total of 6 laps (1.5 miles) around the track. We all-out sprinted the “straights” (aka the straight part of the track), and jogged the curves. In between each lap, we did things like this:


I led us in 2 to 3 moves in between each lap, including:

  • Ab/core work (situps, flutter kicks, the eagle ab, planks with leg lifts)
  • Back strengthening moves (lying on your stomach and lifting your body into a “superman pose”, etc.)
  • Jumping lunges and squats
  • Push ups
  • Burpees (first normal, and then with a push up added in)


It was fun AND a great workout! Not only did we work on our speed with the track sprints, but we kept our heart rate up in between with the boot camp style moves, and worked out our entire bodies, too. Success! Jillian and I jogged another 1.5 ish miles back to her place after we were done, for a total of 4.4 miles including our track workout. It’s great training to have to jog home after an intense workout like this!

And thanks to our friend Lauren (second from the left) who took these photos for us :) She was at the track having her own workout!

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Next week, we’re going to go back to doing 400’s, the week after, we’ll do another one of these sprinting boot camps, and so forth! Good times.

Are you a fan of speed workouts? Have you found they make a difference with your race times?


  1. 1

    Looks like a terrific workout Anne, and an awesome track.(As if I know anything about tracks)

  2. 2

    Those look like awesome workouts! I’m so jealous! I live in Chicago and everything is covered in snow. :( Treadmill for me for speed workouts and outside for very bundled up long runs. Can’t wait for summer marathon training (when it I’ll be complaining about how hot it is)

  3. 3

    I need to get better about including speed workouts. I’m incorporating them this time around during my training but it’s not as regimened (sp?) as your routine! Looks so fun! I wish someone were training with me!

  4. 4

    What a fun workout! I love going to local tracks for drills and thigns like that. Always a good challenge.

  5. 5

    When I ran in high school we used to do speed workouts. I really enjoyed them. I have a much more difficult time doing speedwork on my own though. I also haven’t run on a track in a very long time.

  6. 6

    I’m horrible with speed workouts!! I can never motivate myself to do them- especially outside. If I had a track I might get more into it, but compulsively checking my Garmin for the distance just isn’t fun. I do try to run intervals on the treadmill though- about as close to real speed training as I get!

  7. 7

    Workout with friends looks soooo fun! I may be teaching a bootcamp as well tonight as well!

  8. 8

    I’m just starting a new half marathon training plan too and want to do speed once a week in the form of intervals or tempo runs.

  9. 9

    Awesome workout!

  10. 10

    Oooohhhh speed work. I just decided which spring half marathon I will be running, so soon enough I’ll be experiencing track workouts, as well! They’re so tough, but it’s kind of fun to switch things up once a week. Good luck in the rest or your training!

  11. 11

    I’m going to be implementing speed workouts a lot more for my half in April. I had them on the schedule for the Disney race, but my husband and I usually ended up skipping them to run with the dogs instead. This time, I really want to work on my speed (I am hoping to cut 10 minutes off my time!) so speed workouts are clutch!

  12. 12

    SO FUN! I’d love to do something like that with my friends.
    Right now I’m running on a treadmill (midwest temperatures don’t make for good outdoor runs!) and doing speed work there. I usually do them in .25 mile intervals. Hopefully it helps with the marathon pace!

  13. 13

    Nice job! I did my speed workout yesterday, too – love how great they feel!

  14. 14

    Woot woot!! Impressive, lady! Especially so early in the morning! I’m starting my triathlon training…um…soon???…and I’ll have to remember to do interval workouts!

  15. 15

    Looks like a lot of fun, and difficult! I have a speed workout today, but I usually do them on the treadmill. Boo!

    I think I am noticing a difference since putting speed and tempo runs into my schedule. My 5 mile tempo run on Monday was almost 2 minutes faster than the one I did the previous week!

  16. 16

    Ya’ll look like you are having SO much fun! :) Congrats and good luck on the training!!

  17. 17

    Speedwork is the best technique (assuming one is already running a reasonable base of miles) for lowering race times. As the saying goes, “Long slow distance produces long slow races.” Muscles, lungs, minds have to know what it feels like to go faster than normal training runs and where oxygen debt sets in. Speedwork does that uniquely well.

    Having said that, speedwork also provides the best opportunity for injuries. That’s why being fully warmed up is so important and why easing into the increase in speed is essential.

    As you get faster, it will be important to actually track your times for the 400s and see how you can bring them down. That will be painful, but it’s the next time in the journey to faster races.

    Keep up the great work!

  18. 18

    “deciphered what 4×400 meant” – haha, Anne P, oh man. If you need any other speed-work lingo de-coded, let me know ;)

  19. 20

    Your bootcamp speed workout looks awesome…and so fun! I am actually working on a post right now about speed training. I don’t have enough positive things to say about it! It has made a tremendous impact on my overall fitness and my speed. I think even weekly speed workouts can make an incredible difference in one’s overall speed. I hope you’ll continue to share your speed workout plans and ideas–I’m always looking for more! :)


  1. […] at her place as usual to jog the 1.5 miles to the track! The plan this week was to do a repeat of our combination boot camp/sprinting workout from 2 weeks ago, but between Jill being sick all last week and me running 7 miles on Sunday instead of Saturday, […]

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