Tracker track track…
Next week will mark exactly 12 months since I stepped fully into the world of running races and in a bid to improve both my time and speed, I’ve just started to include track training sessions into my running programme and decided to share some thoughts so far…
Prior to last week, it’s been almost 18 years ago since I was last on a running track. Part of my desire to try some track training came from completing the Oulton Park Half Marathon at the end of February Asics Oulton Park Half Marathon. I had heard mixed things about running around a track and particularly running a half marathon around a race course. “It’s boring, too samey, monotonous.” Personally, I always like to reach my own conclusions on these matters. I loved it. Psychologically, I found it an easy way of measuring progress as I knew what to expect after the first lap (at the half marathon). This actually helped my confidence as I knew when to increase tempo and change technique when tackling hills and increasing gradient. Following this, I decided it was time to get down to my local track!
Regardless of the race distance you’re training for, short, middle-distance, and long interval workouts are a great way to improve speed and technique. Most runners, no matter what their experience and fitness levels, should perform one track workout per week during the 8- to 16-week period preceding a race. I’ve decided to give this a try before the Oswestry Half Marathon on 30th April.
The challenge level of your track workouts must be tailored to fit your current fitness level. If you are just starting to train for your first 5k, then interval track training would be perfect, as it can be broken down into manageable 400m intervals.
How I’m track training this week:
Warm-up: 15 min
– 3 x 400m at 15 seconds faster than 5K pace with 2 min rest
– 1,000m at 10 seconds faster than 5K pace with 2 min rest
– 4 x 200m sprints with 1 min rest
Cool-down: 10 min
Some runners plan distinct phases and do only one type of interval workout in each phase (that used to be me until I sustained a hamstring tear and decided I needed to adapt my training). What I’m coming to learn is that creating a rotation running programme is actually more manageable and enjoyable. Incorporating track workouts enables you to maintain the fitness gains you earn in each component of overall running fitness. To improve your run performance, you need a balance of easy days and hard, faster intervals.
Next few sessions: After 2–3 weeks of mastering this workout, I’m going to add distance to prepare for my second half marathon by adding one to two 1,000m intervals at the same pace.
I’ll keep you posted on the progress!