Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Two Speed Workouts

Going into last weekend's Elf Run, I knew it could go two ways: It would either make me want to extend my break from running or it could motivate me to get back into training. I'm happy to say it ended up being the later of the two options.

While I'm happy with my results for that day, I know I can race a lot faster. Over the course of the next four Great Lakes Running Series races, I have every intention of getting back to running sub-23 times.

In order to meet this goal, I'm doing at least one quality speed session each week. Here are two recent favorites:

Combo Speed Workout
I got this idea from Running Times Magazine a few months ago and really like how it hits several different speeds and distances. Here's my modified version:

- One mile warm up
- Two miles at half marathon race pace (approx 8:00 mile pace)
- 2x800m at 5k goal race pace (approx 7:10 mile pace)
- 4x400 at mile race pace (approx 6:45 mile pace)
- One mile cool down

I take a small recovery break between each of the three speed sections, usually between 400-800m. If you're up for more of a challenge and have some extra time, you can add some strides between the warm up and two tempo miles or additional 400 or 800m repeats.

Death by 400m
This workout is designed to help me pick up the pace mid-race when I'm getting tired but need to pass other racers and also improve my finishing kick. Here's how it works:

- One mile warm up
- 3-4 sets of 4x400m (approx 6:39 mile pace)
- One mile cool down

I take a 400m recovery break between each set. I also usually add in 2-3 strides toward the end of my warm up mile to get my legs moving before the first repeat.

Now it's your turn: What do you do to get faster?

- ST

1 comment:

  1. I do Fartleks to increase speed for longer distances. What I do is warm up for 1 or 2 miles at a 10'/mile pace, then go all out for one minute. Recover for two or three minutes at a comfortable pace then repeat. I do between 5 and 6 of these, then continue my run.

    On occasion, I visit the track (I prefer running on the beach) and do intervals. Again starting with a 2 mile warm-up, I follow it up with either 1/16 mile all out running at 90% maximal HRR followed by 1/8 of recovery or I go 1/8 of a mile at 85% HRR followed by 1/8 mile recovery. Each version I do for six sets or until I can't speed up anymore.

    The intervals, I don't do more than once every other week, the Fartleks whenever I feel like it, which is once or twice a week.

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