I know the benefits and yet it’s still my biggest weakness in training. Is it just me?
With my recent accomplishment of several goals my focus, energy and efforts are changing. With that change comes a new 18-week training plan that includes speedwork. From everything I’ve read adding speedwork is key to accomplishing a PR.
The general consensus of my research is this….
- Increase endurance. When you alternate periods of speed with periods of rest, you engage both of your body’s energy-producing systems: the aerobic and the anaerobic.
- Increase speed. By running fast for a short distance, allowing your body to recover, and then running fast again, your body starts to become conditioned.
- Burn more fat. Incorporating speed intervals into a workout burns three times as much fat as exercising at a steady pace for twice as long.
- Stave off boredom. With your focus and attention on pushing your body to the upper limits there will be no time for boredom.
Types (types and terms vary slightly depending on the source of information)
- Track repeats. Any series of hard effort separated by short periods of recovery running. Examples are 7×800 meter, 4×1 mile, or a ladder(s) of 100 meter, 200 meter, 400 meter, and 800 meter.
- Fartleks. Described as the simplest form of speedwork. Accelerate when you feel good then run easily until you recover.
- Pickups. A series of 15 to 20 short (30 to 45 second) accelerations with one to three minutes recovery in between.
- Hill Work. Any form of speed work done on hills.
- Tempo. 3-5 miles at 10k pace (or slightly slower). For example, 1 mile warm up, 2 miles at tempo pace and 1 mile cool down.
A Few Things to Remember (Source)
- Ease into it.
- Not too hard. Speed sessions aren’t about sprinting flat out until you’re sick. They’re about controlling hard efforts and spreading your energy evenly over a set distance or time.
- Warm up and warm down Before each session, jog for at least 8-10 minutes. Follow that with some gentle stretching. Afterwards, jog for another 5-10 minutes, before stretching once again.
- Find a partner. It’s much easier and more fun to train with someone else.
- Quality not quantity Speed training should not account for more than 15 per cent of your total mileage.
Is speedwork part of your training? Do you avoid it or look forward to it weekly?
I would love any tips or suggestions you have to share 🙂