** CONSISTENCY **Just do it. Every damn day. If you take extended breaks, don't expect your running to pick up where you left off. Fight through the slumps (we all have them!). Even if that means just 1 mile a day, just don't ever ever quit.
** LIGHTEN YOUR LOAD **How much weight you're pulling along has a great influence over your running speed. While this may be self-explanatory, I have been amazed at what a difference 10 lbs can make both in my training and racing. I don't live and die by the scale, but over the years, I have learned one thing... my running speed has a direct correlation to the number on the scale. Research has shown that, on average, runners get two seconds per mile faster for every pound they lose. Let's do the math... when I started running, I weighed 60 lbs more than I do today and ran about a 12:00 pace.
60 lbs x 2 seconds = 120 secondsIf the research is correct, I should be running exactly 2 minutes per mile faster. And by golly, YES! It's just about right on, as my average pace now waivers around 9:45.
** INTERVAL TRAINING **Lastly, the type of training you do makes a huge difference in your race times. When I started doing speed intervals last spring, I was leary... and scared! They sounded complicated and the foreign-looking formulas (2x200m, 3x400m, 4x400m) confused the crap out of me. But once I started figuring it out and actually running them at full steam, it became fun. Fun in the sense that my times got faster as the weeks went on. Even now, running intervals has become a bit of a game for me (especially when you run them with friends!).
So let me break down the intervals I did yesterday as an example... I ran 4x400, 4x800. The first number is the quantity (4), the second number is the distance (400 and 800). The distance is almost always listed out in meters. 400 meters (or 1/4 mile) is one lap around a standard track (4 laps = 1 mile). An 800 then is 1/2 mile or 2 laps around the track.
Always start with a warmup of 15-20 minutes of running at an easy comfortable pace. Then it is highly suggested to do some butt-kick and knee-lift drills; five minutes will suffice. When running short intervals like 200-400-600's, your pace should be fast and difficult. Talking sentences should not be a possibility, but you should be able to still gasp out a "We're rocking this!" to your partner. Upon completing each interval, take a recovery interval (RI). I suggest jogging or walking a 400m or at least 3 minutes. Then hit the next interval fully recovered.
Using my stopwatch, I compete with myself on every interval. I make a fun game out of trying to beat my previous time or keep them as consistent as possible. My goal yesterday was to keep all my 400m under the 2 minute mark. Until last week, I had never hit a sub-2 minute lap. I was beyond thrilled to crank out 1:54, 1:53, 1:43, 1:48 yesterday! Proof that my recent interval training is working.
I'd love to hear that you read this and give the track a try! I'm happy to answer any more questions you may have about intervals. More in-depth reading on interval training here.
|My buddy Anna & I hit the track yesterday. |
She's fast and a challenge to keep up with!
|By golly, don't forget to hydrate! |
Summer is here and track workouts can be taxing without any shade cover.
Discount code "bloggerslovenuun" will get you 15% off in the Nuun store.
CLICK'n Spring Giveaway Winner is...
Email me your mailing address to claim your prize within 3 days.
Don't forget to enter HERE to win a FREE RACE ENTRY
into the event of your choice at the Quad Cities Marathon!