Speed work in running refers to a type of running workout in which a runner runs for certain intervals near, at, or even faster than their VO2max pace. The benefits of speed work for runners include training the body to output more effort, maintain a higher cadence, and mentally cope with physical discomfort while running.
Speed work can help runners output more effort, maintain a higher cadence, and mentally cope with physical discomfort while running. It can also help runners become faster, fitter, and stronger, increase the range of movement in joints, and make them more comfortable at all speeds.
TYPES OF SPEED WORK
- Fartlek Training: This involves alternating between fast running and slower, recovery phases. It's great for building speed endurance, especially for new runners.
- Interval Training: Here, you run at high intensity for a set time, then take a break before repeating. The focus is on short, intense bursts.
- Tempo Runs: These are sustained runs at a pace slightly faster than your usual race pace. They're meant to improve your ability to maintain high intensity over longer periods.
IMPLEMENTING SPEED WORK
- Gradual Introduction: Start with less frequent and shorter workouts, especially if you're a beginner or returning from injury.
- Progressive Increase: Slowly add more intense and longer sessions as you advance.
- Consistent Warm-Up: Always start with a warm-up to prepare your body.
- Recovery: Include rest days in your training to allow your body to recover.
In summary, Speed Work is an integral part of a runner's training, helping to enhance speed, endurance, and efficiency. Whether it's through Fartlek, Interval, or Tempo Runs, incorporating these workouts into your routine can significantly improve your overall running performance and help you achieve your race goals more effectively.
SPEED WORK FAQs
Some examples of speed workouts for runners include:
- Strides: These are short bursts of speed, often 80-100 meters, where the runner gradually accelerates to near top speed, holds it for a few seconds, and then gradually decelerates. This helps improve running form and efficiency
- Fartleks: Fartlek, which means "speed play" in Swedish, involves periods of fast running intermixed with periods of slower running or jogging. It's a more unstructured form of speed training that can be adapted to individual preferences and training needs.
- Tempo Runs: These are runs done at a "comfortably hard" pace, typically at a pace that you could sustain for about an hour in a race. This helps improve the body's ability to clear lactic acid and improves the body's ability to use oxygen.
- Intervals: Interval training involves running at a high intensity for a set distance or time, followed by a period of rest or low-intensity recovery. This helps improve cardiovascular fitness and running speed.
- Hill Repeats: This workout involves running up a hill at a hard effort, then jogging or walking back down to recover. It helps improve leg strength and running power.
These workouts are designed to help runners improve their speed, endurance, and overall running performance. It's important to incorporate speed workouts gradually and to adjust them based on individual fitness levels and training goals.