If you have been running and training consistently and you want to have a time goal for your race, you will add in some speed and pace workouts to help your body adapt and improve performance. 

To guide our training mix, we can use the 80/20 rule.  80% of your weekly mileage should be at easy conversational pace and 20% of your weekly mileage should be speed based workouts.

Most runners think that in order to run fast, you need to run fast. 

Training theory actually demonstrates that the body adapts best to small doses of speed work. No more than 10% of your weekly mileage should be in track style speed work. This leaves 10% for tempo or race pace workouts. Your body needs a specific stimulus (speed work) to cause an adaptation but this improved performance can only be realized during period of rest and recovery after the hard workout. This is why the delicate training balance is so important!

The track basics: 

·       1 lap is 400 meters. 

·       Each straight segment and each curve segment is marked in 100 meter distances. 


Track etiquette for the newbie track runner: 

·       Run the track in a counter clockwise direction 

·       The inside lanes are for speed workouts and the outside lanes are for warm-up laps, easy running or walking 

·       If someone behind you yells “track” “on your left” or “on the inside” quickly move to your right to allow them to pass 

·       Don’t stand still on a track Don’t wear headphones


General Guidelines: 

·       Always warm up and cool down Adhere to your workout paces (and adjust for heat) 

·       Be courteous 

·       Encourage others 

·       Try to run your splits as evenly as possible. 

·       Don’t go out too fast on the first one & always finish strong on your last one.


The track isn’t the only place for speed

·       Fartlek runs – are unstructured speed workouts that are truly meant to be fun!  Pick random landmarks and run different speed (easy, medium, or hard) until you reach the landmark.  The landmarks can be intersections, fire hydrants, houses, tress – anything on your route!

·       Time based intervals – you can select (and program in your watch) time intervals to run instead of distances.  You might try short intervals like 20 seconds hard with 40 seconds easy recovery or go long with 3-5 minute intervals with 1-3 minutes easy recovery.  Try to pick flat areas for your speed work.  Parking lots or parks are a great option.

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