Saturday, April 15, 2023

The Benefits of Speedwork

 Whether you're training for your first 5K or looking to set a new personal record, incorporating speedwork into your training can help you reach your goals. Speedwork includes a variety of different types of workouts, including intervals, repeats, Fartleks, and hills. In this newsletter, we'll explore the benefits of each of these types of workouts and how you can incorporate them into your training plan.


Intervals involve running at a high intensity for a short period of time, followed by a period of rest or lower intensity running. For example, you might run at a near-maximum effort for 30 seconds, then jog or walk for 60 seconds to recover before repeating the interval. Intervals are an excellent way to improve your speed and cardiovascular fitness. They also help you learn how to pace yourself and push through fatigue.


Repeats are similar to intervals but involve running at a consistent pace for a longer period of time. For example, you might run one mile at a high intensity, followed by a period of rest, and then repeat the mile at the same pace. Repeats are great for building endurance and improving your ability to maintain a consistent pace.


Fartleks are a type of interval training that involves running at a high intensity for a random amount of time, followed by a period of rest or lower intensity running. For example, you might run hard for one minute, then jog for 30 seconds before repeating the cycle. You can also run hard to a distant tree or fence post. "Fartlek" is a Swedish word meaning "Speed Play", so just have fun with it. Fartleks are great for improving your ability to change pace and respond to different running conditions, such as hills or windy conditions.


Hill workouts involve running up and down hills at a high intensity. Hill workouts help to improve your strength, endurance, and speed. Running uphill is particularly challenging and can help to improve your running form and leg strength. Running downhill can also be beneficial, as it requires good balance and coordination.

Incorporating Speedwork into your Training Plan

If you're new to speedwork, it's important to start slowly and gradually build up your intensity and duration. Personally, if you're new to running, I'd like to see you build your mileage base for 4-6 weeks before adding in speed work. Start with shorter intervals or repeats and gradually increase the length and intensity of your workouts as you become more comfortable. It's also important to include rest and recovery days in your training plan to allow your body to recover and adapt to the increased stress.

Another benefit of speed work is that it's essentially a HIIT workout. High Intensity Interval Training has been shown to increase metabolism for 24 hours or more! This means you're burning calories at a higher rate just sitting around after your workout.

In conclusion, incorporating speedwork into your training plan can help you improve your speed, endurance, and overall fitness. Intervals, repeats, Fartleks, and hill workouts all offer different benefits and can be tailored to your individual goals and fitness level. Remember to start slowly and gradually build up your intensity, and always listen to your body to avoid injury. Happy running!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Considering Running A Marathon. Am I Crazy?

Lately, I keep having this "crazy" idea that I want to run a marathon. Back in high school, in the 1980's, I wanted to run one...