Adding Track Workouts

Adding Track Workouts:

I’ve been doing a lot of track workouts lately.  While track workouts is something fairly new to me, and it is taking my body time to adjust too.  Doing speed and track workouts is something I’ve neglected for a while, so I am excited to reap the benefits.

My History: Three years ago, my weekly training cycle consisted of a tempo run and race.   It worked well for me, and I was in the best shape of my life.  In fact, I Pred in everything!  With a lot of goal and life changes, I neglected speed and ran easy.  After a few injuries and regression in my running, I realized my current training plan was not working out.   

So in July, I decided to try something new but also terrifying: The Track and Track Workouts!

Adding Track Workouts

I work at a running store, and I always hear about the benefits of track workouts but yet could not force them into my training.

Why didn’t I add track workouts?  I’m not sure.  

Did I fear injury?  Did I fear failure?  Well, to be honest, my previous training plan was failing me anyway…

Before July, I had only been to the track a handful of times.  I had done a few mile repeats but never anything significant on the track.  After a few weeks of going to the track once a week, something magical happened…I began to like going!  Speed and track workouts have quickly become my favorite workout of the week. Who doesn’t want to boost your speed?

While I haven’t seen the improvement I would like yet with track workouts, I have slowly started to see improvement.  Now on my worst race days (which have been more frequent due to life), I’m now running faster than my best days earlier in the year. So I see progress with track workouts but know it will take a lot of consistency to see more progress, though.

A few things about track workouts:

  • You don’t need to run every workout at max effort or high intensity. Most interval workouts for distance events are slightly faster than 5k race pace.  You just want to get your body to pick up the pace.
  • Between reps you can do slow jogging, easy pace, walking or even stop.
  • Interval training can be anything from 100 meters, to 200 meters, to 400 meters, to 800 meters.

Here are some great articles with more speed and track workouts.
3 Speed Workouts for Beginners
4 Fun Speed Workouts

Here are some track workouts I’ve done over the last three months: 

  • 12x400s with 1:30 rest, similarly 16x400s with 1 min rest
  • 3x1mile repeats, 4×1 mile repeats
  • 2×800, 2×600, 2×400, 2×200,2×400
  • 2×2 miles with two mins rest

Plus with New York City Marathon looming, I want to get into the best shape to run fast.

What’s my favorite track workout? 

I like to keep it simple.  I must admit my favorite track workouts are 400s.  They are simple, easy and straight to the point. I can easily reflect and see progression or even regression.

The other factor that has been helping my speed work is my Garmin 220.  I can program all my track workouts because I can set the distance I want and the rest period.  The watch will beep and keep everything together for me. There is no hiding or “extra rest”…I do believe it was the best purchase I’ve made for my personal running in a while.

I plan to keep doing speed and track workouts plus racing through the fall. I enjoy my current method, and I’m in the best spot mentally I’ve been in a few years. Like I said on Sunday, my only problem now is finding a high school track to use during the school year.

Question for you: What is your favorite speed or track workout?