When a Marathoner Tries to Sprint

A few years ago, an old coworker challenged me to a race. He is a CrossFitter/sprinter type; I enjoy half marathons and marathons.

A mile, to him, is “long distance.” A mile, to me, is a sprint. We decided that a 800 (half a mile) was the optimal distance, and after several false starts, we decided that we’d race the last week of June.

As it just so happens, I’ve been on several dates with a fellow who, as one of his side hustles, coaches high school track. We ran an 800 as a baseline the other day — 3:36. I have no idea what my “real” mile pace would be, but I thought it’d be a hair faster than 7:00, so I was a little disappointed in that time but took it as just what it was — a baseline.

So, this fellow has been texting me speed workouts (that’s romance to me, people), and short distance speedwork? Yowzers. Marathon speedwork usually means running 7-8 miles.

Yesterday’s workout:

1 mile warm up

2 400s

1 800

1 mile cooldown

There’s a track at 27th and 10th I’ve been running at sometimes, but I *thought* there was a track right by the West Side Highway at that soccer field there, so I ran over there. Spoiler alert: there’s not. No problem, I figured I’d just run the speedwork on the WSH or on a pier.


This fellow wanted me to run the 400s in 85-90 seconds. LOLLLLLL.


The second one, I was DETERMINED to run faster…and I did! It took me a bit to stop the app, but I think the .25 was about 1:46.

I accidentally deleted the 800, but I ran it in about 3:40 because my fast-twitch muscles were DOOOONE.

I jogged/hobbled the mile back home and thought about how I’d much rather run 20 miles than attempt to sprint but that this is a fun challenge.

Long distance runners: do you ever try to run shorter distances/races and also want to go curl up and die under a rock, or just me?

10 comments on “When a Marathoner Tries to Sprint

  1. Tracey

    I must be super tired when my first thought is “the way her run route is illustrated in Nike app pic looks like a penis”. I’m going to bed now.

  2. Meg

    I guess I consider myself a long distance runner now, especially since I’m marathon training, but my heart will alway be with the sprints. Good to see you trying it out! I promise it can be fun!!

  3. Andrea

    This is fantastic! Is there anyway you could post more speed workouts? I want to get faster but the only two “speed” workouts are do are a fast negative split 5k and running with my dog(which turns out to be sprinting every time he sees a squirrel or bird).

  4. Bobbie

    I hate the 5k and barely run them for this EXACT reason. Give me a 20 miler any day then a race where I basically need to run as fast as I can for 3.1 miles! I ALWAYS feel disappointed with the outcome. LOL.

  5. Melissa

    I have to say that my favorite part of this post is that you are dating a guy who sends you speed workouts via text message. Adorable!

    On another note – I’m definitely more of a sprinter than a long distance runner!

  6. Gianna @ Run, Lift, Repeat

    Running workouts via text definitely = swoon!

    I try to embrace sprints buuuuut no. So hard. So so hard. Although my sister (trainer and running coach) yells at me to do them more even though I do distance to work on my turnover but still….no.


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