Speed Training Introduction
an overview of how to build your speed and endurance
Most runners and walkers in BOISE RunWalk’s training programs for marathon, half marathon and 10K distances want to get faster. Often times at first, your goal might be to simply finish your target distance with a smile on your face, but after accomplishing that awesome goal, runners and walkers often decide to beat their previous time by becoming faster. Here’s an introduction on how to increase your speed, and your smile.
Two Example Speed Goals – Sally and Bob
One goal is to simply beat your previous time. Another goal will be to run a specific race pace. Many runners who are making the decision to increase their speed for the first time can make a realistic goal of “just going faster” at their next event. This is the focus of this article, to help people just run faster. For a more specific goal pace, the author of this article believes you will learn how to quantify and measure performance to accomplish a specific pace goal by first following the methodology laid here and working with your coach. Let’s use two examples with Bob and Sally to explain this.
Bob ran his first ever half marathon 3 months ago in 2 hours and 30 minutes (2:30) which is a 11:27 pace (minutes per mile). Bob wants to beat his time in the next half marathon 12 weeks from now, and he has maintained an established base weekly miles, injury free. Bob doesn’t really care what his next time will be, he simply wants to beat 2:30.
Sally ran her third half marathon 3 months ago in 2 hours (2:00) which is a 9:09 pace (minutes per mile). Sally has been getting faster in her previous two events but she’s not sure she can maintain her streak of faster times without quantifying her training regimen. Sally’s goal is a 8:45 race pace for her next half marathon. Sally has maintained an established base weekly miles, and she’s injury free.
This article is for Bob, but Sally will benefit too with additional input from her coach. Bob is relatively inexperienced at monitoring his training pace, and he just wants to beat 2:30 in his next half marathon. For Sally, she largely gained her increases in speed over her previous events by focusing on nutrition, losing a little weight, running longer distances to build endurance, running smarter, and doing weekly core strength workouts, and swimming during the season. Sally is ready to set a specific time goal and train into that time goal because she’s not sure just how much faster she can become without quantifying her speed work efforts and working with her BOISE RunWalk coaches.
This article is for Bob, but Sally will learn and use all of this information too. It’s just that for Sally, she will be targeting specific training paces, a discussion of which would exceed the length of this article. We’ll discuss Sally’s specific training issues in another article, but for now, Sally will absolutely be able to gain increases in speed and probably hit her goal by following the guidelines below.