Speed work

Questions to runners who have added speed work to your workouts–how much do you do and how often? Do you run yourself to Chariots of Fire-level exhaustion? Do you mix it in with regular workouts, or do you do special speed work sessions?

I ask because I’m wondering if I do enough, or if it matters what I do as long as I do it. My typical workout is:

10 min warm-up
10 min jogging
5 minutes of 30 seconds run/30 seconds sprint (for me, a sprint is 6-7 mph, 8.5 – 10 minute mile pace)

After this, I alternate 4 minutes speedwalking/1 minute sprinting for about half an hour.

I mix running and walking in deference to my knees, which have been problematic in the past. Even so, I can feel the difference since I added the sprints to my workout. I’ve lost weight that just wasn’t budging before, my legs are getting nice and hard, and my endurance has definitely improved. But I’m kinda making things up as I go along, and I’m curious as to what other folks do.

2 thoughts on “Speed work”

  1. For the U of I cross-country and mid-distance track teams (that is, 3k-10k), they normally do distance five days a week, weights one day a week, and one day completely for recovery… and mix in some intervals and sprints on two of the five distance days. If there were hills around here, they’d add a full hill workout on one day, probably the weights day (but this being the Midwest, “hill” is definitely a relative term for someone who grew up in Seattle).

    And while you’re doing your workout tomorrow morning, you can ponder how to make oatmeal for breakfast afterward:

  2. I like the idea of toasting the oats first. I usually buy McCann’s Steel-Cut, which I assume is the equivalent of pinhead.

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