Speed Workout Illustrated!

Sorry to disappoint you, but this post won’t have a center-fold of a hot blonde wearing a scant bikini.  This is Speed Workout Illustrated, not Sports Illustrated! hahaha!

Now that I have your attention, lets get to the subject at hand,  speed workouts.  When it comes to running and training for running events, including the run portion of the triathlon, there are different types of workouts one should carry out routinely.  Long runs, short runs, easy runs, and speed workouts are some examples.

The purpose of the speed workout is to help the body get used to running anaerobically. Speed workouts are best carried out at a track where you can time yourself running around the track.  You then want to run one easy warm-up lap, then run one or two speed laps, all out followed by another easy recovery lap.  Repeat.  The idea is to push your body hard for a short distance, and then allow it to recover while moving.

In my case, the local track is 400 meters. I typically begin with one or two easy laps to get warmed up.  Then run an 800 2 laps), followed by a recovery lap, then another 800, then recovery.  In the past, I’ve done three or four 800 repeats.

So, what has speed workout done for me?  Ha!  This is speed workout illustrate, so time for one of my fancy, dancy charts!

Speed workouts
The last four speed workouts by 800 set.

As you can see above, my speed workouts are improving nicely. Starting in early November with a first 800 pace of 10:06, my most recent first 800 came in at 8:16 pace, an improvement of 1:50 per mile! Woohoo!  Not only am I faster, but I graduated from three intervals to four in late 2009.  While the increase in third 800 pace is indicating a lack of endurance, the overall improvements are remarkable.  I am faster!

As I look toward pushing through the 2010 season, the chart above is a huge source of inspiration.   Maybe I am a geek, but that chart is more inspiring of a center-fold than a hot, half naked blonde… at least while I am at work. 😉

How often do you have a speed workout?  Do you look forward to them?