I have a love/hate relationship with speed training. The first time I tried speed training I hated it. I honestly almost threw up. Nooo idea what I was doing. That was a couple of years ago and at the time I wasn’t even interested in speed. When you’re building ‘the house’ speed is really just the icing on the cake. I mean, you need the endurance training and the hill training, but speed… well it’s pretty much an extra, no? You’ll still be able to finish your race if you don’t do speed, right? So why do it? I asked some of my running buddies how they felt about speed training and here’s what they shared.
What do you like most about speed training?
Rob MacKenzie: I don’t like the “pain/discomfort” of a speed session. In fact I get nervous before these workouts. What I like about them is the mental reward knowing that I was able to overcome the physical and mental challenges of that “pain/discomfort”. It’s knowing that you can go that “dark place” and come out of it alive.
Stan Chaisson: I have not always enjoyed speed training, but it has been the key to getting faster. The training build up for my best races has always included intervals, hills and tempo runs. I keep telling myself the pain is worth it in the end.
Todd MacAusland: That first run, when you hold nothing back, and see split times that bring a smile to your face!!! Awesome feeling!!!
What is your favourite speed training drill?
Stan Chaisson: My favorite speed workout is 1km repetitions (5-8 with a short rest period). It’s a quick and effective workout.
If I can run fast for 3km, how is that going to help me run a better 21km or 42km?
Rob MacKenzie: Great question! Obviously a pace you run a race for 3Km is going to be faster than what you can run for 21km or 42km, but a stimulus of a hard 3km run will cause small adaptations in your in your muscular and cardiovascular system that makes you more efficient at covering the longer distances. With that increased efficiency comes an increase in speed. When your race pace for the 21km or 42km feels easy because of your 3km hard runs you start to extend the amount of time you spend at your half or full marathon pace. There is obviously many different ways to approach this as every runner is an experiment of one.
Stan Chaisson: Running at a faster pace puts stress on your body and it’s natural response is to adapt to that stress enabling the body to get stronger in the process. Incorporating gradual amounts of intervals and hills even for short distances will allow for these benefits to happen.
Do you have any advice for runners who want to run faster?
Michael Gaudet: It’s the hardest discipline to incorporate into training and the easiest to neglect. If you want to run “faster” you have to train to run “faster”. Period.
Stan Chaisson: When starting speed work, make sure you have a solid base of training first, and don’t do too much too soon. Train in a group to share the pain and hold yourself accountable, and practice positive self talk. I can assure you that you’ll feel great when you finish!
So if you are new to speed training, hang in there. I want you to just try and give your speed training a chance and not only do I promise you’ll really notice a difference, I also promise if you do it right, you will kind of love it. Now I love speed training. Well wait… I love how much I get from it might be a truer statement. I love the return on investment.
Running Videos You Will Love
I love the Knowledge and Performance running videos by Dr. Greg Wells and the Running Room. Here are 2 awesome videos to help you with your speed.
Technique: It’s not how fast you run, it’s how you run fast.
Here Dr. Greg Wells delves into the runner’s body to explain why proper technique is crucial to becoming a faster and more efficient runner.
Interval Training: You have to go fast to be fast.
The magic of interval training and how they make you FAST. Learn the most effective ways to train.
Speed training is going very well large in part to my physiotherapy. Last week I ran with the Running Room Marathon Clinic and took them out for their first night of speed training at the UPEI track. We did some dynamic stretches and ran 3 x 800m repeats with 400m recovery walking laps in between. I like speed training at the track and so did the Marathon group. There are two weeks left of speed training so if you’d like to come to the Running Room on Wednesday evenings at 6:00pm and join us for speed training we can get through it together. Everyone’s always welcome and it’s always lots of fun.
Sunday Long Runs
Sunday longs runs I’m hovering between the full and half distances, running a 23k and an 18k the last two Sundays. It’s going great, my pace is up but not quite up far enough yet. I love the Sunday runs. How are your Sunday runs going? Only 3 weeks to go!
Do any of you runners ever get migraines after a run?
I had a massive migraine following one of my lunch runs last week. It happens to me on rare occasions. I believe it is caused by dehydration although I am always hydrating. Perhaps my nutrition had something to do with it. My buddy Mike Murrins sent me this interesting information from Advanced Marathoning ” by Pete Pfitzinger & Scott Douglas, “According to the running bible, 80% of headaches are lack of water. They state that sweating out 20 ounces of water without replacement during a run can reduce your performance by 30% and it restricts your blood flow, shrinking your vessels causing headaches. Lack of rest has a similar effect.”
A Beautiful Friday Night Run
You know sometimes I train so much I forget about the running. Do you find yourself doing that as race day gets closer? Don’t get me wrong, I love the training, but I had such a great run on Friday evening. It was so relaxing and peaceful. I didn’t focus on my speed or the hills and in the end I ran great without being preoccupied with it. How is your training affecting your running on a purely enjoyment level? Can you relate?
John Stanton Coming to Charlottetown Running Room
Running Room founder John Stanton is coming to the Charlottetown Running Room on Friday October 4 at 6:00pm. I have to say he is such a nice man, a passionate runner, and extremely inspirational. I highly recommend you come meet him. I will definitely be there. Come join us!
One Wrong Turn Can Win You A Marathon
Did you see this incredible story this week? This is hilarious. It amazes me that someone who can run that pace has never run a marathon! I wish!
One Wrong Turn Can Win You A Marathon
Have a great week. We’re almost there!
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