With nicer weather and the spring race season in full swing, it’s time to hit the track for a speed session. Today’s workout features short repeats of 200m and 400m.
Not only will running fast on the track develop your fitness and speed, it’s also a chance to practise pacing since the distance of your intervals is taken care of. A standard track is 400m on the inside lane.
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Begin by warming up for 10-15 minutes. Consider doing some dynamic stretching and running form drills to get the body ready to run fast. Add a few strides of about 100m before starting the workout.
The workout itself is straightforward:
4-6 sets of 200m, 200m, 400m at 5K pace with equal distances of rest and recovery between.
You’ll walk or jog half a lap (200m) after the 200m repeats and a full lap (400m) after the 400m repeats.
Finish with a cool down of very easy running or jogging, 10-15 minutes, after you finish the workout.
Begin by attempting four sets and work your way up to six after a few weeks. That’s a total of 3,600m – 4,800m of fast running. Remember that the goal is to practise pacing, so run the repeats at an even pace. Don’t go out too fast or you’ll fade and don’t run the 200m repeats faster than the 400m. Your last repeat should also be just as fast as your first one.
Running the repeats at 5K pace is simply a suggestion, albeit one that will effectively improve your speed and running economy and is also a useful pace to practice. Feel free to run the repeats faster or slower depending on your fitness goals.