Run Speed Practice

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    Admin Mediterra

    Speed Practice

    In the Speed Practices you are applying the lean of your body line to provoke an increase in speed, rather than using a stronger push off the ground. This is the essential speed technique you will practice. You may run these sprints at the assigned speed or intensity by leaning forward  with straight posture to induce it. 

    Speed and ‘sprint’ are relative terms in the context of distance running. If you are running a 5K or up to a half-marathon, your sprint is not intended to put you into the anaerobic zone. Speed work for your distance running may be a strong effort at your highest aerobic capacity, something you might sustain for 3 to 5 minutes or so. 

    These practices may be conveniently done at a track for easy distance measuring, if there is one nearby that you can use. Or, you may convert the assigned distances into time intervals and use your watch chronometer or timer to keep track of how long to sprint and when to stop. Some GPS running watches can be programmed to chime for intervals of a set distance so you can run anywhere and do speed work for a measured distance. 

    For recovery between speed intervals you may either do jogging or walking. Make recovery only a fraction of the speed time or distance. Often the amount of recovery, whether walking or light running, will be assigned.

    Distance Intervals

    For example, the total speed distance assigned is 1600 meters (yards). You could divide that into one of these sets:

    • 2x 800 with 200 recovery
    • 4x 400 with 100 recovery
    • 8x 200 with 100 recovery
    • 3x 200, 1x 400, 1x 600

    Time Intervals

    Or you could estimate how long it would normally take you to run 400 meters (1x around the track) and convert to timed intervals:

    • 2x 4 minute sprints with 1 minute recovery
    • 4x 2 minute sprints with 30 second recovery
    • 8x 1 minute sprints with 30 second recovery

    In this program the distance of the intervals is not as important as the practice of the technique for increasing speed through your lean. Choose distances (or times) that are long enough to challenge your your attention and ability to hold form, but not so long that you fail often.

    Landmark Sprints

    For variety, you may also go on a run through the neighborhood and just choose a landmark ahead to sprint to, a distance close to what you may do on the track. Then switch into a recovery jog or walk to the next landmark and then choose another landmark and sprint ahead. Estimate the total time you may need for both the speed work and the recovery intervals.

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