Speed work is a word runners are keenly familiar with because the concept is all about running faster for short distances, but what it does for you is so much more. Not only will you shave valuable time off your race times, but it’ll also prepare you for the unexpected aspects of the race, like a sudden change in elevation.
Some runners ignore this because they feel it doesn’t affect their race times. They don’t know that speed work trains your body to use oxygen more efficiently and faster. In other words, it makes you run like a cheetah out on the track. Plus, it helps you get your technique down pat.
If you’re wondering what you can do to get faster in the shortest amount of time, check out these easy tips to incorporate speed work into your training:
- Easy Run + Short Intervals
Runners who are just starting speed work often begin with this workout. For this method, you will need an interval timer, a stopwatch, and a designated track for running.
Warm-up for about 20 minutes. Then run for about 10 minutes at a steady pace. After that, cut your run short by about five to 10 minutes and run a few intervals of 20 to 40 seconds. Then, cool down at a slow pace for about five minutes.
- Warm-up and Cool Down + Short Intervals
Warm-up for about 10 to 20 minutes, or about a mile if you’re just starting. Then, run for about 30 to 40 seconds at a breakneck pace. After that, slow your pace down for about the same amount of time. Cool down with a slow jog for about 10 minutes.
This is important because you need to ensure you’re not running too fast for your body. Always follow your body’s pace and gradually increase your speed. Rest when you need to before doing more speed work.
- Long Intervals
You can run these intervals after a warm-up period. For long intervals, you’ll need two to four laps of a track, a stopwatch, and a good pair of shoes.
If you’re new to speed work, try running a quarter-mile first. Go as fast as you can for one lap. Then, you’ll run a quarter-mile slowly during a recovery lap in which you’ll either jog or walk. Once done, take a final lap or a lap and a half to cool down.
- Hill Repeats
You can also incorporate hills to improve speed work. This workout is very similar to long intervals but with hills. Find a steep hill that you can run up and jog down. This technique will be an excellent workout for your shins and calf muscles.
Warm-up for about 10 minutes. Then, run up a hill for one to two minutes. Walk down the hill for one to two minutes. Then, run up again—repeat as many times as possible before you can’t go any further.
Although improving your speed work is beneficial for your training, remember that you don’t need to do these workouts every day. A few times a week is plenty. And don’t forget to increase the speed and time of your intervals gradually. If you do too much too soon, you’ll get injured.
If you’re looking for a personal training studio in Wellesley for your speed work training, turn to The Fit Factor. We help you achieve your fitness goals. Book a consultation today!
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