Trying To Get Fast? Rest More.

When analyzing a runner's training log one thing that usually jumps out at me is what's missing. I look for gaps. One gap that is very common is speed. And with good reason – it requires knowledge to do it correctly and it's easy to get hurt!

So, do you practice 'speed' regularly, with intention, every week?

To clarify, I don't mean running hard and making yourself tired.

While many people may consider a good hard session satisfying, realize the point of training isn't necessarily to make you tired. It's to make you better.

Speed training secret #1: You can't run your fastest if you're tired.

For example, when you do a short hill sprint of only 6-10 seconds (have you ever done those?), you need AT LEAST 90 seconds to recover. Two minutes might even be better.

Why? Because the goal isn't to stress the aerobic/cardio system, it's to stress the neuromuscular system. Your heart and lungs will barely notice a 6 second sprint, but the nervous system sure will. When you stress that system really hard, like in a max effort lift at the gym or a super fast hill sprint, you need to give it time to recover.

Could you use a little help in this department? Consider joining Philly Surge Running.

Coach Kari Smith and I lead a progressive group speed session each Tuesday night. Progressive means that each week we build on what we've done in the past. (No random workouts of the day or mixing it up every week for the sake of variety. That's nonsense training, BTW.)

No matter your current ability, we'll work with you to bring you up to speed. Results are guaranteed and literally everyone who's committed to our group has gotten faster. (AND has made friends, AND has acquired training partners, AND has fun every week!)

Our first session of the season is Tuesday at 6:30pm and we're meeting near the water fountain behind the Art Museum through Feb 28. Starting March 7 we will be meeting at the Temple Sports Complex track (same time).

Check us out at!