Speed workouts….how can they help me?

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Speed workouts….how can they help me?

Speed workouts can help you achieve your event finishing time goals.

The answer is as simple as sprinkling some small doses of speed work into your training schedule. As a runner, chances are you’re running over the same roads or on the same treadmill at the same speed every day. You’re using the same muscles in the same manner every time you lace up your sneaks. Then, when it comes time to race, you find yourself stuck in second gear from start to finish. In order to start shifting speeds, your metronomic muscle memory will need some new stimulation.

Edgers new to speed workouts will add Fartlek training to some of their weekly runs.

What is Fartlek? Fartlek drills are informal speed play workouts that are a great way for beginner runners to get introduced to speed work. Here’s how to do a simple beginner level fartlek workout.

  1. After a 5 to 10-minute warm-up, speed up to faster than your comfortable, conversational pace. To increase your speed, start pumping your arms higher (swinging them back and forth at the shoulder, not the elbow). Your breathing shouldn’t be totally out of control, but don’t be afraid if it gets heavier.
  2. Run at this pace to a nearby landmark, such as a parked car, a telephone pole, or a stop sign.
  3. Once you’ve reached your landmark, slow your pace to below your normal running pace, until you’ve fully recovered and your breathing has returned to normal.
  4. Then return to running at your comfortable pace, and repeat the same pattern of fast segment, short recovery, comfortable pace until you’ve completed four to six fast segments. Vary the time of your fast intervals by picking landmarks that are anywhere from about 10 seconds to 90 seconds away. As your fitness improves, you can increase the interval time/distance

Edgers that have experimented with speed workouts will do speed intervals ranging from 300 metres to 800 metres with recovery breaks based on their racing goal pace for events ranging from 5K to Marathon. Check out our event calendar for dates and times for our workout schedule.


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