When beginning your Fartlek speed training, pick out a course that has evenly spaced divisions. I use city blocks for my training. After warm, your exercise will start by sprinting the initial segment. Your initial segment should be no longer than one minute.
After finishing the first part of the training you will slow yourself and walk the next segment. This next segment will be the same distance and should take under three minutes in total.
Switch back and forth, running then walking. The total speed training will take a half hour.
The second part of the speed workouts is using hills. This not only improves your speed. Believe it or not, you will improve your overall fitness and health, too.
Prior to starting your hill training, you should warm up your muscles with some jumping jacks.
The first part is to find a group of hills that is easily accessible to your home. The height of the hill should be a challenge, but take you no longer than 15-20 seconds to reach the top.
Starting at the base, jog up to the top of the hill at an easy pace. You have then completed the first leg and should jog down the hill to the start.
Now back at the bottom, you will run back up at full speed. After this short sprint, you should once again walk down the way you came.
Do this 10-20 times, or until tired. You should be exhausted.
Runners who add lunges to their workouts know what is necessary to improve their running time. Lunges are a super overall body workout. You will feel the burn throughout your entire body. These factors work together to improve your stride and cadence, and ultimately your race time.
Step forward with your right leg, and lower your body towards to ground. It is important that you do not step too far and must keep your right foot under your right knee.
Your left leg should be comfortably best to 90 degrees, but do not touch your knee to the floor. Adjust your stride so that it is comfortable and does not hurt.
Engaging that front leg to pull your body weight back up to a standing position, lunge forward with the left leg.
Do this 15-25 times depending on fitness level and strength. Rest between sets and enjoy some water. Do two more sets of lunges in total.
To increase the intensity of your lunges, try doing these with weights.
Tempo runs are similar to Fartlek in that it utilizes a variance of running paces. From my experience, this technique gives me results I can see each week.
It is recommended that you start out at 5 minutes, and extend that time each week by 1-2 minute intervals.
Begin your run at an easy pace for 8 minutes.
At the end of this period, increase your speed to a more aggressive pace for another 4-6 minutes.
You will return to the easier running pace after this time is up.
Continue alternating the run pace a total of four times.
Stairs are the final tool used to improve your race speed. The great part of training with stairs is that you can find them in many places.
Be adventurous when picking your location for training with stairs. A easy place to locate stairs is at your local high school.
When you find you ideal training location, make sure it has twenty to thirty stairs in a row. You will begin your stair workout by easily jogging up the first side.
Do not rest once you reach the top. Slowly walk or jog back down the other side.
Once at the bottom, briskly walk back to the top. Once again, you should easily walk or jog back down the other side.
Repeat these steps until you have done the process for 45 minutes.
Any of the above techniques will be a great addition to your speed workouts. A cool bonus is that you are likely to see other improvements in your future runs, like increased endurance, and quicker recovery.
So incorporate a few of these speed workouts to your running training plan, and see what works best for you. Sure enough, you will be running quicker and will have the improved race time to show for it.
Get more advice on how to improve your running speed at RunPals .
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Can incline walking be considered cross-training for running?
I love running, but I know I need to cross-train so I don’t burn my knees and hips out (I am prone to injuries there).
I notice I can still get a good workout by incline walking and it doesn’t seem to aggravate my knees or hips. So can I do this as a cross-training exercise? Or does it have to be something completely different, like biking or swimming, etc (which I do like to do it’s just harder for me to do frequently)
Yes, incline walking can be considered cross training for running.