Monday, June 29, 2009

Speed Workouts—Not Just Intervals

Several recent posts have focused on intervals. Research has shown that a weekly speed workout will greatly improve your speed and endurance as well as help you become a more efficient runner. Basically, speedwork at its core is a period of intense running intermingled with slower recovery runs. Intervals are great and one of the best ways to increase speed and endurance, but they're not the only type of speedwork. Below are four types of speedwork sessions—Intervals or Repeats, Fartleks, Tempo Intervals, and Hillwork. The training plan you're using may call for just one of these types of speedwork or it may have you alternate between two or more. If you ever feel your speedwork is getting too routine and/or boring, then try swaping it out for a different type of speed workout to help refresh yourself mentally and physically.

8 comments:

Berry Girl said...

so here's my predicament - I'm starting up another training plan for a half marathon in Fall (I'm going with the FIRST program from RW) and it has Tempo runs as well as intervals. No hill work though. Now, the half that I'm running is not *hilly* by any stretch (we're in the prairies), but hill training is still a good thing, AND I will be running a VERY hilly 10k the weekend after my half.
so, the problem is, how do I incorporate hills into the FIRST program? hmmmm....

RunnerDude said...

Hey Berry Girl! What I'd do is make sure that your tempo run routes and your long run route have hills in them. This should do the trick. I hesitate in telling you to use one of your cross-training days for hillwork because the FIRST plan really emphasizes not to do running on your cross-train days and of course you'll need your rest days for rest. You could swap out a few interval sessions for hill work. But, I really think that if your tempo and long run routes have some good hills in them, you'll be good to go. Hope this helps.

Serious Running: Chris Barber said...

Great list of different speed work-outs. Too often we fall in love with the easily quantifiable intervals at the track work-out but other work-outs like hills can give you a great increase in your overall running ability. I especially like the hill work-outs because they help you charge up hills in road races without thinking about it. Your body is used to it!

Jo Lynn said...

GAH! I'm so confused!

RunnerDude said...

Hey Chris! Thanks man! Yep, hillwork is great. Really strengthens the ole legs. I've gotten so I like doing fartleks too.

RunnerDude said...

Hey Jo Lynn! Don't fret. Stick with what you like the most or are most familiar with, just know that speedwork doesn't have to always mean the track. Have a doughnut and relax. :-)

onelittletrigirl said...

Finding your blog is going to be instrumental in my marathon training! Thank you for all your informative, well-written and well thought out posts! I really appreciate them.

RunnerDude said...

Hey onelittletrigirl! Thanks for the feedback! Glad the posts are helpful.