Speed tools and hot (running) pants

by Kim on April 19, 2013

Yesterday morning, while reading updates online about Boston, I accidentally stumbled upon a shockingly gruesome leg injury image. All of the images are disturbing and awful, but this one haunted me all day long.

I wished I could erase it from my brain…but at the same time, I felt like, in a way, I owed it to the victims to look. To not sugar-coat what happened in my brain.

Then, last night, I did some speed work on the treadmill—4 2-minute sprints at 9 mph. By the end of the third sprint, my stomach was churning and I didn’t think I had one more in me.

And I thought of the picture. Of a man with a calm, stunned expression, and nothing below the knees.

I ran for him—choking up, listening to Titanium. (“You shoot me down, but I won’t fall. I am TITANIUM.”)

I don’t think I’ve ever run so hard in my life.

Runners Remember

As you know, I’ve been getting super into speed training lately. In the past, when I trained for races, I was always just thinking about the distance—about getting to the finish line. My main goal was always completion.

Well, the inevitable happened, and I got bored. Completion is no longer enough. Now I want to be fast.

I’m no nycrunningmama, who just woke up the other day and ran 20 miles at a 7:33 pace before her husband left for work at 7:45 AM. Girl’s a machine.

But I want to be fast for me. Like, fast compared to the old, slower me. And that’s the only gauge anyone should care about, anyway.

In case anyone else out there is also interested in speed training, I wanted to share a couple cool tools I’ve found online lately.

1. The Training Pace Calculator

How fast should your tempo runs be for you to hit your goal time? How “easy” should your easy runs be? The calculator tells all.

Training Pace Calculator

Here, it’s showing the speeds I need to hit for my 50-minute 10K goal.

Oh, and I also keep a minute/mile to mph conversion chart bookmarked on my browser, since I use the treadmill so much and need to know that, for example, a 6:50 min/mile = about 8.8 mph on the treadmill.

2. McMillan Race Goal Time Calculator

Kristen turned me on to this thing. It’s very similar to the calculator above, except this one also estimates the goal times you can expect to hit for other race distances, based on your current speed and your next goal speed.


According to this, if I hit my 50-minute 10K goal, I should also be able to run a 1:51 half marathon and a sub-4 marathon. (Not that I plan on testing the marathon theory anytime soon…)

Goal Time Estimates

3. Split calculator

This is another thing I have bookmarked on my browser. It’s great for quickly figuring out your pace based on time and distance (miles or kms), but I love that it will calculate splits for you too.

Here are the times I’ll need to hit at each mile to make the 50-minute 10K:


People who don’t have fancy pacing watches (aka me) sometimes write their splits on their arm during races, or get one of these sweet split tattoos.


So hardcore, right?

Speaking of speed training…um, stuff…have you seen lululemon’s speed shorts?

Lulu speed shorts

It’s the drawstring in the wide waistband that gets me. I always feel like super light/short shorts like these tend to ride up on the waist more, and I’d love to be able to cinch those babies on tight.

Oh, and the air-venting pleats across the butt don’t hurt either. Who doesn’t like a nice breeze coming from behind?

I can’t decide if I like the black or pink better…

Lulu speed shorts pink

Oh wait. My legs are pasty white. They won’t look like that on me.

Do you have a favorite pair of running shorts?

Have you found any online running tools you love?

You can have only ONE MORE PIZZA for the rest of the your life. What kind is it and where is it from?

My go-to favorite pizza is Hawaiian (pineapple + Canadian bacon) and it usually comes from Papa Murphy’s. But if it was my last pizza EVER, I’d go all out: Pizza Hut meat lover’s, baby. So greasy, so salty, and soooo good.


{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Giselle@myhealthyhappyhome April 19, 2013 at 9:55 pm

LOVE the pink ones! My go to is black but those pink ones are super cute! I never really put much thought into speed training when preparing for a race but there’s always some included in my weekly runs.
Gosh, I have no idea what would be my last pizza ever. I like veggie pizza’s but in college my go to was a whole wheat stuffed pizza crust with just mushrooms. So good!
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Rachel B @ Busy Mama Fitness April 19, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Gah! You got me all excited about working on speed work and race tattoos and then you take away my pizza?????? I love that race tattoo. I think it would work really well with my chrono and I might try it for my Mother’s Day half coming up.

Let’s see – last pizza ever…. would be from Pagliacci’s and it would be verde primo (pesto, artichokes, goat cheese and mushrooms). Sooooo good!
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Kim April 19, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Ooooh good choice!!! I’ve never had that combo, but I’m drooling thinking about it.

Good luck with the mother’s day half!!


Katie @ running4cupcakes April 19, 2013 at 7:47 am

I love those lululemon shorts – they are currently on my “want” list! And I can’t decide between the colors either. I like them both! I have started to do more speed work during the week when I only have 30 minutes to get in a quick run before Luke’s dinner and bedtime. It has changed just a 30 minute run into a challenge, trying to go farther each time and push myself that much more. I have never been much of a speed person and I am enjoying it much more than I thought I would. :)


Kim April 19, 2013 at 10:16 am

That’s awesome! Cool idea to get as far as you can in 30 min.

I’m the same way–I’ve never thought of myself as “fast” but I think I’ve been selling myself short!


PickyRunner April 19, 2013 at 7:27 am

Obsessed with those pants. Titanium is such a good song. Especially for right now. Run for Boston.
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Kim April 19, 2013 at 10:16 am



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