Speed Workouts

Hello super runners! This is the Road Runners Club of Woodbury weekly run tip. I have been asked by a member to recap two training methods, which includes speed work and hill work. This week we will explore speed training methods. The main focus involving speed work is to increase our speed in races. Speed work helps to elevate our neuromuscular fitness by engaging and activating large numbers of muscle fibers during the workout. This action will result in the achievement of running at higher speeds.

The introduction of speed workouts in the beginning of your training should include short speed intervals so your body can adapt to this work out. An example of this would be to perform four to five fartlek intervals at 20 to 60 second efforts with in a five to six mile run at 5K pace.

Example 1

One mile easy-60 second@5k pace-one mile easy-20second@5kpace-one mile easy-60second@5kpace-one mile easy-20second5kpace-then ending with one mile cool down.

The next step is to perform your speed work on a quarter mile track. Track work can help to precisely measure the distance engaged in the speed internals.

Example 2

200 meter intervals- One mile warm-up easy pace-200meter @5k to 10k pace-200 meter easy then repeat sequence five times.

400 meter intervals-One mile warm up easy pace-400 meter @5k to 10k pace-400 meter easy then repeat sequence five times.

800 meter (Yassos) intervals-One mile warm up easy-800 meter @5k to 10K pace-400meter easy repeat sequence six times.

1000 meter intervals-Two mile warm up easy-1000 meter @5k to 10k pace-three minutes very slow and easy pace repeat sequence six times.

For beginners it helps to perform the first work out (fartlek) mix with hill training to strengthen your muscles in preparation to do the track workouts. This will help to prevent injuries and to build aerobic capacity that will aid in performing the speed training. Consistency is the key in developing speed. Further into the weeks of training the goal would be to increase the interval speed faster than 5K pace.

Get out there and log your miles in and as I said before “to get faster we must run faster”!

“The beginning is the most important part of the work”

Happy Running!

John K. Carlson V.P.


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