Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Speed Work Makes the Dream Work

 If you've been following along on Instagram or even somewhat here on the blog, you've seen I've added some targetted speed work sessions in my weekly plan. "Speed work" is a phrase you'll hear a lot when people talk about training plans, and it really encompasses all the mid-week workouts where you put in effort to work on speed. This can be accomplished in many ways, so I thought I'd dive into the two workouts I've been focused on in my modified run/walk/run plan.

First, to be clear, this is not part of Jeff Galloway's plan as he prescribes it on the runDisney site. He does not specify differences in effort or speed. In fact, other than length and the magic mile, his plans are very "get out there and run" focused. This is one of the reasons I take his run/walk/run theory but apply my own training plan. I like to have specific focuses for each run. 

Right now, I'm running 3 days per week with no back to back running days. Of course, when preparing for any of the challenge races (Dopey for me right now), this will change soon, as will my general schedule for speedwork. I choose one of these days for a shorter, speed work session. Here are my 2 workouts:

Track intervals--I do quarter-mile intervals on the track with a quarter mile recovery. This workout is pretty perfect for me, as the high school track is one mile from my house, so it's a nice warmup there, then I head right into my work. This workout is very Yasso 800-esque, but because I run intervals anyway, I think this distance fits better into my overall running plan. I keep the quarter mile to around a 7:30 minute mile pace, and my recovery is a short walk, jog, then walk to start again. Each week I add one lap, and my goal is to get up to 10 before Dopey. This is intense, but I'm loving the accomplished feeling at the end.

Tempo-ish run--Again, I'm a run/walk/run girl, and these speed workouts are definitely for the straight runner, but that doesn't mean you can't adapt to the Galloway method. Tempo runs are basically where you try to hit a certain pace, usually faster than your long distance race pace. For me, my runs are around a 10:00 minute mile for 4 miles right now. I will progressively increase the distance of the tempo run, but I don't think I'll change pace much before Dopey.

Speed work definitely does not end there! There are many options, and I personally think speed work should be fun. Do you add speed work to your training? What's your favorite? 

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