Citius, altius, fortius (faster, higher, stronger)

Today I achieved a running milestone; I was able to run my fastest pace for a 5 -mile race.  Now to be honest, after running a marathon, a 5 -mile race may not be a lot to get excited about for some.  In all honesty, I actually woke up this morning and skipped breakfast because it was “only 5 miles.”  During my regular training, this would be a huge no-no, but I figured it would be easy.  As I approached the start line, I began to regret missing breakfast, but at this point it was far too late to do anything about it.  The race started and I followed my usual running plan of starting slow in hopes of speeding up as the race went on.  After 5-10 minutes, my inner competitor started telling me “don’t just run, race!”  This may seem like a small distinction but I realized that although I’ve been running for a few years, I have never really thrown caution to the wind and run fast for long.  So, I did.  I pushed harder than I have before and finished well.  Don’t get me wrong, there came a point when I was completely regretting the lack of breakfast as my legs got heavy from lack of fuel, but I kept pushing.  One of my strategies when I get tired is to pick a runner and try to pass him or her.  If I accomplish that small goal, I pick another and another until the race is over.  It worked!  My pace for this race was almost 40 seconds per mile faster than I’ve run before in a race.  So how did I do it?  Intervals.  The following is a workout I’ve been doing once or twice a week on the treadmill (which I totally hate, but switching up the pace makes it more tolerable) for the past few weeks.  I won’t lie, it has been a challenge, but today’s results were well worth it.



Begin the intervals at a slow, easy pace at an incline of 1.0 to 2.0.  This may not seem like much, but maintaining the incline for the duration of the run is a great challenge along with the speed.


Minutes                      Pace

0-2                              5 mph (warm-up)

2-3                              5.5 mph

3-4                              6.0 mph

4-5                              6.5 mph

5-6                              7.0 mph

6-7                              7.5 mph

7-8                              8.0 mph

8-9                              5.0 mph


Repeat 4 times.  In 1 to 2 months, kick butt in a race!

Posted on December 9, 2012 at 5:54 pm

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Categories: Fit First
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Written by

Erin Lumpkins

Erin Lumpkins is a true Blue Michigan Wolverine! She has been a health and physical education specialist for the past 10 years. Erin graduated from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor with degrees in athletic medicine, physical education and health education. Currently, she is working to complete a master’s in public health with a concentration in global and community health. As part of the program, she studied at University of Oxford and conducted research on obesity. She is an avid health and fitness enthusiast. She has completed 3 marathons and is addicted to Zumba and belly dancing! She looks forward to sharing her experiences and your stories, so ladies can make this fitness journey together. Follow her on twitter @1908erin.
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