As a runner, you might be looking for ways to run with more speed and enhance your running endurance. While strength building and core exercises can help boost your overall running performance, introducing track workouts in your daily routine can make a huge difference.
Performing track workouts is an effective way to intensify your running exercises and is majorly created to help develop speed and endurance. Additionally, they can also charge up your running workout by introducing new milestones and a pace to pay attention to.
Track workouts to build running speed
In order to become a faster runner, you need to run faster and run more miles. So, here are some of the most effective track workouts you can do as a runner to elevate your running speed:
1) Tempo runs
Tempo runs are basically designed to help runners run with more endurance and faster speed. It involves running at a specific speed and effort over a long mile. Once you’ve performed a quick warm-up, start running at the pace you want to perform on the day of your final race day. Continue at that consistent pace for at least 30 to 40 minutes, and end the session with a few cool-down exercises or stretches.
If you are a beginner and starting out your track workout routine, try a straightaways workout. After you’ve warmed up and run a few laps at a normal pace, start to run on the straightaways or the straight directions of the track followed by a recovery run at an easy pace. Also, if you are preparing yourself for a particular race, such as a 5K run, you may perform the race pace on the straightaways. Just start with 3 or 4 laps and then add the next lap each week until you build endurance and strength for up to 10 laps.
Fartlek means speed play in Swedish, and its purpose is to improve speed and overall fitness in runners in a fun and casual way. The key to successfully performing fartleks is to switch between jogging and running hard with no specific plan.
For example, start with 2 minutes of hard runs followed by 1 minute of jogging, and run fast again for 5 minutes and jog for 2 to end the session. You can modify this workout according to your comfort, time duration and fitness level and keep on changing it every day to make it more interesting. The idea here is to alternate your pace in a fun way.
4) Long, slow runs
Long, slow runs are also a very effective track workout that should surely be added to your routine. It helps develop aerobic capacity that further helps improve speed and endurance during shorter runs. You should aim for at least 1 long run per week for as long as you can.
5) Hill sprints
Hill sprints can also be a productive track workout. You just need to find some hills and take your run outdoors for a speed workout. Run for at least 20 to 30 seconds uphill and then take enough recovery time to bring back your heart rate.
If not this, simply run on a treadmill with an incline and get a great cardiovascular benefit. Remember to start small and go for a few reps in the beginning to develop strength with uphills, and then continue with less recovery time and more reps.
Track workouts are an interesting yet challenging way to change your everyday running schedule and work at different speeds, which further can lead to enhanced speed on your overall runs. However, if you are a beginner, first build a level of fitness and then opt for speed exercises. You don’t need to be an advanced runner from the start to successfully achieve different fitness goals. Start slow.
Along with these track workouts, also make sure you don’t avoid strength training exercises as developing muscle mass will potentially help reduce the risk of injuries and give you the required strength to run faster.