Speed workouts – this is often described as running above your red line. You will come out gasping for air. I guess you could call this uncomfortably hard. You run for a short intense period, then have a short recovery time before going out full force again. You will have to learn how to deal with this pain. In every race, pain is something you constantly have to deal with. So speed workouts are good. This workout trains your speed, fatigue resistance and pain tolerance. Incorporate speed workouts once a week and you will see your timings becoming faster.
#1 Minutes Run
You don’t need to go to the track to run this, you can do it anywhere. Basically, you run 1 minute fast, and 1 minute at a recovery pace. Do 20 repetitions of this and you will get a 40 minutes solid workout. This is considered a fartlek training that alternate hard efforts with easy efforts. Fartlek training is considered to be the base training of many Kenyan runners. To mix it up, you can also run 3 minutes at hard effort and 2 minutes at a recovery pace for 8 sets.
#2 3km Intervals
3km intervals is great to train your speed endurance. Run 3km for 3 sets. Rest 5 minutes in between your sets. Your 3km sets will be at lung busting hard effort. Give yourself enough time to sufficiently recover and get your breathing back to normal before heading out on another set.
#3 400m Intervals
400m intervals x 20 is the kind of workout that gives you your speed. Run your 400m at 3 minute intervals. This means the faster you run, the more rest you get. For instance, if you run a 1 minute 30 seconds 400m, you have 1 minute and 30 seconds to rest. If you run a 2 minute 400m, you only have 1 minute of rest.
#4 300m Intervals
Alberto Salazar strongly believes in the 300m workouts. He is a great fan. He makes all his athletes run this. 300 metres can be run a little faster than the 400m yet doesn’t present the endurance demands of the 400m. This provides what is missing in other types of workouts – the pure speed.
#5 1km Intervals
One fun workout to do is running 1km intervals at your 10km race pace, with a 200m recovery jog in between sets. This is also a derivation of speed play slash fartlek. 1km x 10 sets with 200m recovery jog – personally my favourite workout.
Do remember that these are red zone workouts and these are hard workouts. Hard workouts should not be done back to back. Be sure to stretch well after your workout and take it easy the following day. Perhaps do a recovery run the next day to help your body recover well!