Thursday, January 10, 2013

#FABTraining: Speedwork

Ask any seasoned runner - and you might get a scringed look when you say "Speed Work"

For many of us, it brings on fears of not being fast enough or boredom of running around a track.  As a running coach I will be the first to admit, when I have to adjust my own training schedule, the speed works sessions fall by the way side.  They hurt, no matter how speedy you are, they hurt.

Here are a few ways to create a new speedwork session:

1.  Don't run on a track. Run where you race:  road.  Find a relatively flat paved road and map out where the 200, 400, 800 and 1600 is.  I set my Garmin to set off alarms on that distance, so I don't need to look at how far I have gone.

2.  Set alarms on your Garmin for your speed.  We all make the mistake of going too fast.  (I am guilty, as charged!). Know your goal pace time for the entire interval training. Set a high and low (about 10 slower than your fast pace) and let the alarms warn you, when you are too fast or too slow. This will help you focus and know how the pace feels.

3.  Never go all out on your intervals.  As wise Coach one told me, "always finish your intervals, feeling like you can do one more". Every interval should be to finish in the same time, for the same distance.

4.  If you don't want to do specific distance - do fartlek's.  I am a big fan of fartlek's  That is the only speed training I did in 2011 and I had a stellar year with PR's. Pick a run for about 5 miles. At different locations - SPRINT during your run. 

5. Even if you are building a base of miles for a longer distance, you still need speed work.  Need, is the key word.  To be a great overall runner, you need to develop your fast twitch muscles.  You would be surprised how much you need them. Speed work will help you develop them.

6. Run 5k and 10k races as your speedwork/tempo training.  Register for a few 5k's and 10k's and go all out.  Use them as a gauge on your progress.  Not only is this effective (training) you also get some social time with fellow runners.

7. Always have a 90 second recovery between intervals. Walk around, bring your heart rate down & breath. 

The next time you think you can forgo the speed work...think again. Be a great overall runner, not just a Finisher.  Get your muscles to engage by doing a speed work session once a week.

What type of speed work sessions do you do?

(c) C. Ragsdale 2010-12
Run F.A.B.,

Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
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1 comment:

  1. I'm learning to LOVE speedwork - have been seriously doing it for about four months now and am am seeing progress. It's great!

    I do track sessions mostly (400m repeats), but am contemplating trying out this fartlek idea too!


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