Run Pairings: Speed Work & Salmon

The holiday season has been a time for family, good food, and giving. With the new year underway, now is the time for setting new goals. I’ve set some lofty goals for myself for 2018.

For me, 2018 is going to be the year of the marathon. I’m signed up for not one but TWO marathons next year: Cincinnati’s 20th year Flying Pig Marathon & Bank of America Chicago Marathon where I will run as a member of the Alzheimer’s Association AlzStars. So my first goal, of course, is to just make it to the start line without injury.

In 2017 I trained to run The Flying Pig Marathon. Unfortunately, I became injured just a few weeks before my race, causing me to make the tough decision to defer the race until 2018. I learned a lot from this experience and will take what I’ve learned and apply it to my training. Luckily, I have already crossed the finish line of two marathons, so my second goal is to beat my best time.

Gearing up for Flying Pig this May, my question is: “How do I finish faster?”

Simply put, to run faster, you have to train faster. In order to do that, I am going to start sprinkling some speed work into my training. Not only does speed work help you get faster and stronger, but it creates a new challenge and a way to diversify your training.

I am still fairly new to running on a track, but at this point in my training, the monotony of just running the same routes, pace, and mileage over and over again isn’t going to help me get any faster. By practicing speed work, you can get the most out of every run and ultimately optimize your training and be on your way to crossing the finish line faster.

For all track workouts, I would first start with a light one-mile warmup to loosen up my muscles and end with an easy one-mile cool-down to help recover. Conveniently for me, my track is just about a mile away from my house so I use that as my warmup and cool-down, but you can use a track or a run tracking app like this one to help you log your distance!

One of my favorite speed workouts— and a great one for beginners— is 400 meter (1 lap) repeats on the track, which is what I did for this workout. When doing repeats, you’ll want to do your laps at a challenging but controlled pace. The idea is not to sprint these, but instead leave some gas in the tank and try to get progressively faster each lap, or running negative splits.

Sometimes when racing, it is easy to get excited at the start line and go out too fast, then crash at the end. Negative splits are when you intentionally run slower at the beginning of your run and gradually get faster. By practicing negative splits in training, you are setting yourself up to thrive during the tougher, later half of the race.

Repeats 101

Warmup: 1 mile at a comfortable/easy pace

Lap 1: 400 meters, running at 5k race pace
Recovery: 1-2 minutes standing, walking, or jogging

Lap 2: 400 meters, running 2-3 seconds faster than lap 1
Recovery: 1-2 minutes standing, walking, or jogging

Lap 3: 400 meters, running 2-3 seconds faster than lap 2
Recovery: 1-2 minutes standing, walking, or jogging

Lap 4: 400 meters, running 2-3 seconds faster than lap 3
Recovery: 1-2 minutes standing, walking, or jogging

Cool-down: 1 mile a comfortable/easy pace

After a night at the track, it is important to remember that hard workouts like these put added stress on the body, which makes proper recovery very important. One of the more obvious forms of recovery is stretching, rolling out your legs, and icing any aches. However, recovery can happen in the kitchen, too. There are lots of ways to use food to maximize your recovery and set yourself up for success for your next workout. 

One of my go-to ingredients after a workout is salmon. Salmon has many health benefits, starting with the fact that it contains lots of high-quality protein and essential amino acids which promote muscle repair. A 3.5 oz. serving of salmon has approximately 22-25 grams of protein! Salmon is also a rich source of omega-3 fats, which have anti-inflammatory properties that aid in recovery.

Here is a healthy and delicious salmon recipe that I like to make after a tough speed workout:

Chipotle Honey Lime Glazed Salmon w/ Avocado Salsa

Photo credit: Kayla Blanding

Photo credit: Kayla Blanding


Salmon (serves 4)


2 lbs Wild Salmon, portioned into 4 filets*
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 tbsp honey
1-3 tbsp chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, peppers chopped (add more if you like spice)
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
Salt & pepper, to taste


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Line sheet pan with parchment or baking mat and arrange salmon filets, seasoning the salmon with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Create a glaze by combining olive oil, lime, honey, chipotle peppers, and garlic in a small bowl. Whisk until combined and honey has dissolved.

4. Brush half of the glaze over salmon and bake for 5 minutes.

5. Brush remaining glaze over salmon and bake for an additional 5-8 minutes (depending on doneness preference) or until salmon easily flakes.

6. Serve with avocado salsa (recipe below).

Avocado Salsa


½ medium red onion, diced small
3 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced small
2 avocados, diced medium
2 tbsp. fresh-squeezed lime juice
2 tbsp. cilantro, chopped
Salt & pepper, to taste


1. In a medium-size bowl, combine all ingredients and toss until combined and salt is dissolved.

If you enjoyed this post, please stay tuned for another “Run Pairing” in part two of this series. Until next time… run, cook, repeat!

*Consult for environment-friendly seafood recommendations.

What is your favorite salmon recipe?
Share in the comments at the bottom of the page.

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