Today, we completed what was probably our most difficult workout to-date. It wasn't our longest, but it was definitely our fastest. As we progress, the goal will be to speed these up. The idea of the workout is to make them 30/30s instead of 40/40s. So - yes. You'll be seeing this workout again. You know you loved it.
You may be wondering how this workout (essentially, 200m repeats) can help you if your fall goal race is a half or full marathon. Here's your answer.
Most marathon runners devote most of their time to logging substantial miles. Obviously, mileage is important when training for a longer race as you need to know you can handle 26.2 miles. This being said, if a marathoner is not incorporating any speed work (fartleks, intervals, tempo runs, etc) into their routine, they may go long periods of time never running faster than 5k pace. Therefore, they lose their ability to generate explosive muscle power and in turn, running efficiency and economy can decline, and proper form can suffer. Additionally, as you age, speed ability will decline on its own. So, for long term progress, it is essential for long distance runners to incorporate speed into their training if they want to see real results.
Speed workouts help you improve your running efficiency. In other words, this helps you run longer and faster while expending less energy. For a full or half marathon runner, this means "race pace" will require less effort and you will be able to conserve energy and use it when needed most.
Additionally, you grow both in life and as a runner when you try new things and incorporate different activities into your routine. Adding these short sprints to your running routine changes up the long 15-20 mile runs and gives you a chance to see what kind of power you have.
After today, we don't think you will be discounting this type of workout any time soon :)
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Each week, we notice different things. We try to incorporate the questions we are receiving or the training issues we are noticing into our post(s) for the week. If there is something you'd like us to cover, let us know!