It gets awfully confusing to hear these words: fartleks, tempo runs, speed work,strides, etc. What the heck are we supposed to do and when? And....what does all of this mean?! Here's a low down on the running front, in case you are interested in getting your training on for an upcoming race (and I promise once you start, it becomes a healthy addiction!).
Race distance, goals, and training preference determine your how you will execute your training plan. All types of run workouts hold value. Track work for me was honestly most intimidating at first-I wasn't sure how to gauge my speed and how the heck to make up 1000 meters around the track. Its all a learned process and something you will come to understand and love (or maybe not!).
- Tempo Runs: a faster paced workout also know as a threshold run. It's a comfortably, tough pace. It's an essential training piece if we want to go further and faster. Our body learns to deal with the by products of the acid produced in our muscles over time and creates a new threshold, therefore we can push it a little further.
- Long Runs: these should be run at conversation pace once a week (distance depends on what you're training for). I believe that race pace efforts should be included in these long runs every so often in order to get the "real feel" of race day.
- Easy Runs: just as it says. Easy. These runs should feel effortless and should be a means of just keeping your legs moving and feeling fresh.
- Strides: these are short speed intervals to keep your leg turnover, especially before an upcoming race. This prevents your legs from feeling stale or stiff.
- Farkleks: this is a great way to get speed sessions off the track. It's a more creative, less structured form of interval training. They truly improve your speed and performance.
Educating yourself on terminology and information makes things less intimidating. These workouts are easy to understand and do, I promise. If I can make them happen, then so can you!
Running is such a personal sport. It's an amazing accomplishment to hit those goals. If running a race is something you've always wanted to accomplish, but never have had the courage to do so, let me help you discover some things about yourself....you are strong, you are amazing, and you are capable of much more than you think!
Until next time,