Adding speedwork part II

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    • #4822

      The topic of speedwork was brought up awhile ago & I’d like to discuss it again. I’ve followed the suggestions made here & worked on developing a base of 40 miles/week since the marathon. For the most part, all of my runs have been at an easy to moderate effort. Now I want to add a weekly speed session in preparation for a 5 mile race in early March.

      For those of you who do speedwork, especially for the shorter distance races, what are your favorite workouts? The ones you feel benefit you most? How about the ones you dread (killer) but do them anyway?

      I don’t have a plan or program going into this one, just thought I’d try some different approaches to see what works best for me.

      I’ll be using the indoor track at the university so weather/road conditions won’t be an issue.

      Thanks, Anne

    • #19961

      Personally, I usually do 2 workouts a week so I would usually focus on one type of workout and do the second as the week’s second workout for about a month, then turn it around. With one workout a week, I’d probably do the traditional progression of starting with longer, slower repeats and transitioning to shorter, faster repeats.

      My bread and butter workout is what Jack Daniels terms cruise intervals. This is what I would probably do through January. These are basically 1600 meter repeats at 10k race pace or slightly slower with 1:00 recoveries. I would usually do about 6 miles of these but I think 3-4 miles would probably be good with a 40 mpw base. I’d finish them off with some 100-200 meter strides to work on the quick turnover and top end speed.

      For me, February would bring the workout I love to hate, 1200s on the track. For you, I’d say shoot for something that puts you around 4 minutes at a little faster than 5k race pace and repeat until you are around 3 miles. I personally like to skip the strides after this workout because I feel miserable by the end of the workout. If you wanted to, you could do strides after the workout. Otherwise, I’d work them into an easy day.

      If you were willing and able to work in secondary workouts, I’d consider swapping the primary workouts and throw in a fairly easy tempo run when doing the faster repeats and a fairly easy fartlek when doing the cruise intervals.

      Some people like working in faster workouts like 400s. Personally, I have found that, until I’m down to 5k or shorter, I get better use of my time and energy by mixing in strides in place of the 400s and focusing on the longer workouts.

    • #19962

      During the last 3 spring seasons, I’ve done 8 to 12 weekly sessions at the local high school track. This is prior to doing local 5k races in May and June. I’m in my 40’s and don’t usually do over 30mpw. A good 5k for me is around 19 minutes.

      The different workouts I’ve tried are:

      – 8x400m’s with 400m jog,

      – 3x1mile with 400m jog,

      – 3x(400,300,200,100m sets) with jogs same as repeats

      – 5k time trial before the first race.

      I can’t say which is most effective. If nothing else it’s improved my anaerobic capacity and has given a “preview”of running under race conditions.

      I’d say the most fun is the 4,3,2,1 stepdowns. The least fun are the 400 repeats (especially with 2 left to go).

      I started out with the 400’s and then rotated the workouts after the first few weeks which kept me motivated and looking forward to the next session.



    • #19963

      as a Jack Daniels’ follower. I usually do similar to Ryan’s workouts. Keeping everything more at a Tempo pace as I focus on marthon distance. I, however, keep the intervals to 1000s and 1200s due my lack of ability to go sub- 5:30. I believe in keeping interval in the 3 1/2 – 4 minute range.

      right now I’m going completely against this, and doing 2 minute repeats at sub 5k pace. My marathon times have plateaued and I’m trying to bump my upper limit. It is so much fun 🙄

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