Monday, September 3, 2012

Why Everyone Should Love Speedwork

I'm anticipating another Uber-busy week coming up. School will take off as normal, I assume, and I'm going to have to drag myself out of bed and get moving each morning in order to make it to the bus stop and through 3 hours of classes before the next real break for lunch. So of course, I need to be extra prepared with a filling breakfast that can carry me through!

Before I share my (hopefully) delicious new recipe, let's talk about speed work. Duh duh duh.... I know. If you're strictly a distance runner like me, the very phrase brings chills to your spine. To be honest, despite the title of this post, I don't love speedwork. I actually kind of loathe it...but just a little less than I did before.

You see, I had to face a grueling set of speed drills this morning at 8:00 AM, which is either a really good thing or a really bad thing depending on how you spin in. If you want to look at it was 8 in the morning on Labor Day and I would really have preferred to be snuggled down in my warm bed, head buried deep in my yummy-scented pillow. If you want to put a positive spin on it, though... the fact that it was 8 meant that my mind hadn't completely woken up to figure out what the heck I was doing to it yet, so I got in maybe 200 meters before I had a mental breakdown. Hey. That's 200 meters more than last time, so I'm happy.

But the long and short of it is: speedwork DOES help you. It can't be denied (I've looked for a way. No go) The reason speedwork helps improve performance is it literally 'creates' a different energy-usage pathway in our muscles so we can burn through glycogen more efficiently. That means increased metabolism, people!

In more detail, our body only has so much accessible glucose at any given time, and this gets quickly used up in short sprints through Anaerobic Respiration. However, longer, sustained workouts activate Aerobic Respiration, in which the body has to use available oxygen for conversions. The more we build our Anaerobic pathway, the more we can prolong the time that the body starts Aerobic Respiration, and the more we can burn through any excesses of glycogen (essentially, sugar). So it helps our body out! Yea speedwork! (I'm not cheering, either, don't worry. I still do not love it, and probably never will.)

But let's get on to something I do love. Like food. Like maybe... FROYO!! Or even better...
Okay... with some chopped espresso beans too :)
1 ripe banana, mashed
8 oz Fat Free Plain Greek Yogurt (could use vanilla or honey, also)
1-2 T. Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder
1 Packet Sweetener (optional)
2 T. Chopped Coffee Beans (optional)


Banana and Yogurt


  1. Combine all ingredients and stir well. Place in freezer for at least 1 hour. Take out and thaw for a few minutes, stirring up or putting in blender to obtain soft-serve consistency. ENJOY!
Nutritional Information for ENTIRE RECIPE: 250 calories, 1.5 g fat, 24g protein, 33g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber

No comments:

Post a Comment