We all want to make good use of our time. And most of us want to improve our fitness in order to be healthier, leaner, run faster and perform better than we have in the past. Here's a great workout that includes many of the ingredients for successful running. This session fits nicely into the early part of your season because it's not super intense, but it will coax the body to become faster.
Try doing this type of session once per week for 4 weeks and see how you feel. I bet faster ;-) Of course, then you'll have to change something. Extending the tempo section would be my first move.
First, let's get something straight. To be a good distance runner you need to spend time training at a variety of speeds.
Let me repeat that.
To be a good distance runner you need to spend time training at a variety of speeds.
The biggest mistake I see is a LACK of variety in people's training habits. Don't get me wrong, consistency is a good thing, but if you're not seeing consistent improvement, maybe you're missing something. So let's fix that!
There are two portions to this workout: the tempo run and the speed intervals. We're saving time here by incorporating two types of stress into one workout. So rather than doing a tempo run on Tuesday and a speed workout on Thursday, you'll get a slightly abbreviated version of each in one workout.
I will add that I really enjoy this workout because I feel very warmed up, yet not too tired to tackle the speed at the end. As long as you've followed instructions and paced yourself appropriately, you should feel like you're flying at the finish!
And that brings me to my final point – focusing on effort. During the steady tempo portion you should NOT be feeling fatigued and breathing audibly. “Any harder and you will be breathing hard” is how I think of it. Rate your effort on a scale of 1-10. It should be a 6 in the beginning and a 7 at the end.
During the speed/sprints you are to run as fast as possible knowing that every 2 minutes you'll be starting another one, so stay relaxed. Your actual speed should increase as you progress through the set of sprints. You are getting more recovery between sprints as you go. Because of this, your final 10 second effort should be flying fast!
- 6 Minute Active Mobility Routine
- 10 Minute Easy warm-up
- 15-30 Minutes Medium Effort (if you're fit, think of it as “2-hour race pace”)
- 5 Min recovery walk/jog
- then 60, 50, 40, 30, 20, 10 seconds “very fast, yet relaxed” on the 2 minutes
- 6 Min Mobility Routine
- Recovery smoothie!
The sprint section written out:
- 60 sec fast, 60 sec slow
- 50 sec fast, 1:10 slow
- 40 sec fast, 1:20 slow
- 30 sec sprint, 1:30 slow
- 20 sec sprint, 1:40 slow
- 10 sec sprint, cool down
If you do the workout, let me know how it goes!