Last year I worked with a triathlon coach in an effort to move beyond my "I just want to finish the race" goals. One of the first and most important things he taught me is that in order to race fast, I needed to train fast. What followed were a series of running workouts that had me sprinting so hard on the treadmill that I was afraid I would fall off. I grew to loathe Tempo Tuesdays. But he was right - after a few months of training fast I PR'd my half marathon finish time by nearly 45 minutes.
I'm training solo this year, but plan to apply much of what I learned to my workouts. The marathon is still over 5 months away, so right now my focus is on easing back into a running schedule and increasing my mileage. And making training fun. Tempo Tuesdays are still on the schedule, but now they look a little something like this:
I love doing Pandora intervals because it involves little to no thinking, and it's easy to scale at any running level. As my running fitness improves, I'll continue to do this workout by increasing the speed of each interval and the duration of my run by a little bit every week. This is one I usually recommend to beginners because you can alternate walking and jogging to start.