I’m only saying this because my butt is now there on a weekly basis. I don’t like to suffer alone, and really, who does? Misery loves company. Fast company. As torturous and daunting as the oval may be, it’s an excellent place to hone speed. After all, the only way to run faster is to literally run faster.
There’s no need to be afraid of speed or the overly complicated looking track workouts you find in running magazines. I know that when I first starting running, way back in 2001, I hadn’t a clue what was meant by “30 seconds slower then 10K pace,” or “3 x 1 mile repeats.” It was my worst nightmare that running at the track had so much to do with math. Ugh.
Eventually, I figured it all out with help from friends, coaches and just plain old trial and error. I also found out that, whatever your goals may be (even if they don’t involve racing – gasp!) track workouts are one of the best you can do for overall strength and fitness. It’s truly a total body workout. And, if you’re like my husband who hates to run (true story), you can sprint one lap and then do 1,000 push-ups and repeat. Cross training at it’s best.
First, the basics:
One lap = 400 meters
Four laps = 1 mile or 1600 meters
Always try to run on the inside lane, and walk on one of the outer lanes. This is basic track etiquette.
Half or Full Marathon Training: 3 x 1 mile repeats
This is the longest distance I’ll offer, and is generally reserved for half or full marathon training. The number “3” is how many you’re going to do (the repeats) and obviously 1 mile is the distance covered.
This is what it should look like:
Warm-Up: 1 mile (4 laps)
1 mile at goal pace or as fast as you want to go
Walk one lap or jog two
Repeat for two more miles (with the walk or jog in-between)
Cool-down: 1 mile
* Take a sweaty selfie and brag about what an animal you are at the track #queenoftheoval #greaselightening
10K Training: Yasso 800s
Oh Bart Yasso. So unassuming, so knowledgeable in running and racing, and such a demon to have introduced the running world to your 800 torture sessions!
Bart claims, and so named, the Yasso 800’s can predict your marathon time. If you can do 10 x 800 in 3:30 (3 min/30 sec) then you can run a 3:30 (3 hour/30 min) marathon. I can do 2:45 800s and cannot run a 2:45 marathon…yet.
Since I’m using this as a half-marathon workout, we won’t worry too much about that. Yasso’s are just a great way to dominate the track without feeling completely zapped when you’re done.
Here’s what it looks like:
Warm-up: 1 mile (4 laps)
800: two laps as fast as you can
Walk or jog one lap in-bewteeen
Repeat as many times as you want. At least one more time so you get a 2 x 800 for God sake!
*Take proud selfie and tag Bart, thanking him for being such a running genius. #YassoIsGreato
5K or Non-Race Training: Fartleks (insert child-like giggle)
Yes, it’s called a fartlek. It’s Sweedish for “speed play” and basically means to go slow when you feel like and speed up when you feel like it, with no preconceived plan. Run by feel – what a concept!
Here’s what it may look like:
Warm-up: 1 mile walking, running or a combo
Run 400, walk 800, run 200, walk 200, etc.
Mix it up any way you chose with walking, running and/or sprints. Make it fun! If you want to set a time or lap goal, that’s a good idea so you don’t stop too soon. Of course, you can do this workout anywhere but the track is nice and flat, so you know what you’re in for.
*Take selfie using the word “Fartlek” a lot! Your non-running friends will be confused and that’s funny. #goodtimes
What are your favorite track workouts? Comment below! Now strap on those shoes and get your butt to the track!
For more motivation head to Allie's blog!