It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!
I keep reading references to 'speed work' in training plans/discussions etc, can you guy's give me an insight into what this involves and any strategies that I can adopt to integrate it into my training please?
There is some advice in a thread I started about 'getting my mielage up'. Look for the posts by Ratzer.
Ok will do, cheers!
At the moment I'm training for half marathons, next year I'd like to do a marathon. I run about four/five days a week mostly around five miles but one day a week up to about 10 miles.
My pb's 1.46 so i'd like to better that if possible.
Great, thanks for the advice, I shall definitely give this a go. How much of an improvement was your 1:16:50pb?
I would say that you'll get far more bang for your buck from tempo runs and fast finishing long runs rather than intervals for HM performance.
Intervals have a place in the overall scheme of things as icing on the cake but you see far too much emphasis on intervals as if they are the be all and end all.
Point taken Andy
The main point is that I would quite happily tackle a HM without any interval sessions in the build up and have managed several 1:14 clockings without an interval session for months beforehand.
However, I would be far less confident going into a HM without a reasonable volume of tempo running in the build up.
So it was just a comment on the relative pecking order of different types of sessions, which seems to agree with your experiences.
Hi Andy and parkrunfan thanks for your reply's and information it is greatly appreciated. My understanding of a 'tempo' run is a five minute warm up and then run for approx ten minutes at tempo pace, with tempo pace meaning you would be putting quite a great bit of effort in but not all out sprinting. Is this correct? And then another five minute recovery followed by another tempo effort and so on.
Ha ha very true, the suffering that is!
interesting what you say re intervals Andy. I have always found tempos are my bread and butter to getting faster, although obviously I am not in your league, as a mid paced runner, I knocked my HM time by doing 6 mile tempos at slightly faster than HMRP. For HM distance, I find you need to be able to give it 6-7 miles in training for it to come to fruition on the day of race. Like I said, this works as middle of the pack runner (PB for HM is 1:44). Intervals something which I find very hit and miss and if I had to do one speed session a week - tempo would win everytime.
Robert, my advice to you would be add more endurance and tempos. So go over the 13 mile distance as often as you can and do a tempo each week and work on speed endurance (get faster over the long run). You may do this already so apologies if I am repeating what you know.
re tempo - what YoungPup says is exactly what I do. I warm up for 1 mile at around 8:30m/m - then 4-5 miles at around 7:40m/m and then 1 mile cool down.
I also would drop that 7:40 pace into the end of long runs too. So progressively get faster - start my 10 miles at 9m/m then nudge the pace down until I was running final mile at around 10k pace.
It is all relative depending on what distance you're racing. If you're focusing on your first marathon or ultra, I'd leave the speedwork focus in favour of increasing your aerobic endurance, maybe incorporating some marathon pace tempo within long runs.
For half marathon/10milers however - tempo runs are great. 25-40mins at race pace - hard, but you need to be able to sustain it for the length of time without breaks. Faster than steady running but not so fast you get lactate buildup and hav e to stop after 10mins. You can also incorporate blocks of tempo into longer steady runs.
10k, 5k, cross country - intervals will make all the difference. Repetitions ranging between 2-5mins generally with short recoveries of 30secs-1min. The recovery should never be quite enough and these are to be run at a hard pace. For 5k and cross country in particular the total reps time will be longer than your race, but you won't have the recoveries in between.