How To Add Speedwork Into Your Training

4 more days until the weekend......YAY! Not like I'm counting down or anything...I've got an easy 6-mile run on the schedule today and things are getting pretty crazy here at work while we prepare to head to the Outdoor Retailer Show in Denver. Hopefully your work-space isn't nearly as hectic as it is over where I am! 

I wanted to share with a few tips that I've learned from MY OWN running on how best to incorporate speedwork into your training runs. Please remember, that I am definitely NOT a running coach and you should definitely consult with a doctor before beginning any new training plan. I do have a Bachelors degree in Health & Exercise Science, but that is all! I didn't do ANY speedwork for many years (for my first two marathons/ first 5 years of running) and honestly had never even heard of it. So I did have a "solid" base of running (half running/half walking/half not keep track of my running at all), but never really saw much improvement in my race times and never felt 'strong' when I finished a long run or race (more like exhausted and defeated).

  • Try bumping up your speed .3 or .4 more for 30 or 60 seconds and try doing this 3 or 4 times through.
  • Find a hill and see if you can power up it (whether walking or running) and repeat this 4 or 5 times. 
  • Add in an interval ladder. Try bumping your speed up by 10 or 20 seconds every minute until you get to 5 minutes and then work  your way back down the ladder (and then you can repeat it again if you want 2 or 3 times through).
  • Find a landmark outside and sprint to it; find another landmark and do a nice recovery jog to get to it; continue the cycle a few times through
  • Try alternating your speed every .25 or .50 mile with at least a .5 or 1 mile recovery. For example, try a 'pretty hard' speed and hold it for .25 or .50 mile then go back to a relatively easy speed for a .5 or 1 mile (you should be fully recovered before your next sprint session)
  • Add in some strength work throughout your workout. I used to run a 1 mile do a complete circuit of my strength training session and then repeat the cycle again (I'd tally around 3 miles and get in all of my strength work). By the time my third mile came around, I was pretty beat! 

What's on your training schedule today?

How do you add in speedwork?

What's your favorite speed workout? <-----I LOVE the shorter stuff (400s or 800s), but also kinda love tempo workouts (goal-race-pace held for 3-10 miles)

What's your least favorite speed workout? <-----Mile repeats. I just literally can't wrap my head around them. Give me 2-mile repeats and I'm happy, but 1 mile and it's totally a different ballgame.