In order to get fitter we have to take our body out of the comfort Zone and put a little stress on it. Our bodies learn to adapt to the new training thus making the new training less of a challenge. This is what happens when you hit a ‘Training plateau’. for example when you first start lifting weights maybe you can only bench press 20kg but after a few weeks of repeating the bench press you find this weight easy and will be able to add on more weight.
This very same principle of training applies to us when training for a half marathon. If we train and include stresses in the training, when race day comes our bodies are a little more prepared.
Such stresses in your half marathon training could include hill work, tempo runs and speed work. It is the latter that we are going to look at this week.
Speed work involves running at or above race pace. You really need to complete your speed work training at the track so you can easily measure the distance. Speed work training is recommended for advance runners looking to improve on their previous times. It is another way to spice up the weekly training sessions, and also you’ll also learn to tolerate both the physical and mental discomforts while racing.
If this is a new way of training for you then be sure to take care when implementing this kind of program into your weekly routine so as to avoid injury. Your body will not be used to this type of intensity and the body may react as it would if you were only just starting exercise for the very first time. If you feel unwell or any discomfort you should stop your training and try again another time at a lesser intensity. Getting injured at this stage would put your training and or your race in jeopardy.
Speed work training will improve your arm drive, stride, speed and stamina. Altogether these improvements will enable you to run faster with less effort not only during your training days but also on the big day itself.
If this is your first time doing this training it is advised to consult a professional.
Follow hard-easy concept training i.e. do not schedule speed work training after a long run. Try to have a rest day after your speed work training or an easy run.
If training in a group be sure you stick to your own ability level. Tying to keep up with someone at a higher level will only lead to injury. Remember training is not the time to be breaking personal records.
Warm up and cool down is essential. Include a light jog and stretching before and after your work out.
Schedule speed workouts early in the day so as to avoid the mid day heat. This only applies to us during Irelands summer months.
Stay hydrated to avoid heat injury.
Here are two types of speed training for you to try:
Speed Training No. 1 involves running on a track. After a one mile easy jog for a warm up and some stretches complete 10* 400 m = Sprinting at a 5k pace for 400 meters (1 lap of the track. ) walk 100 meters and then do your next 400 Meters. Complete a total of 10.
No.2 Sprint pyramids = Sprint 400meters Walk 100meters Sprint 800meters walk 100meters sprint1600meters walk 100meters sprint 800meters walk 100meters Sprint 400meters and walk 100meters.
Remember to follow the guideline above but most of all enjoy your training. If you have any questions regarding this type of training or any other training please contact our fully qualified staff at NRG Health and Fitness on 091585800.