Share Your Favourite Speed/Track Workout

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Jul 2013
5:35pm, 5 Jul 2013
671 posts
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I had assumed you had your tongue in cheek with regard to torture, though from what I have seen of your comments on your own training sessions, I think many of us would find those sessions were torture ;)

My own experiences with ‘tortuous’ anaerobic session in the past is that they can certainly produce a rapid increase in fitness, but nowadays I find that they leave me too exhausted if I try to combine them with moderately high weekly volume. I am at present trying to recover some speed using ‘aerobic’ intervals as described in my recent post, while also sustain about 80% of the volume that I was doing during recent base-building, so I am not doing any typical anaerobic interval sessions.
Jul 2013
10:13pm, 5 Jul 2013
2051 posts
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Sweaty Frank
You may be on to something, Canute. Once again, 'know thyself' is my mantra. You will find out if that works best for you. I continue to do tough speed workouts, but I have made other concessions to my age. I follow each speed workout day with a recovery day of VERY SLOW running. Approaching 10 minute/mile pace commonly, and I only run about 6 miles, and I do not run doubles on recovery days. And I absolutely get a solid 8 hours of sleep each night.
Jul 2013
10:25am, 6 Jul 2013
198 posts
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Carlos Fandango Jnr
Well, with a 5000m today, me and our star 5000m man were doing 10 x 500m off 75s, at 1500m pace last weekend. Apparently that was a 'must do' a week or so before today's race and is a session that's cropped up a similar period before a 5000m race in the past.

Tuesday was 2x400, 3x300 and 4x200 then 6 sprints along the grass in the middle of the stadium (about 80/90m). Idea being speed, described by the butcher who holds the stopwatch as "a 1500m session". Pace was about 4/5s per lap quicker than 1500m pace and fairly consistent throughout.

Thursday was 8 x 30 seconds on grass, which is pretty common for 2 days before a race - although I often do 2 sets of 8.

The idea seems to be to shorten the efforts and increase the speed as you get closer to the race. Typically the 200m grass session leaves me feeling pretty fresh come race day (touch wood).
An interesting and slightly tangential thing is this: when I ran on my own last year I used to do a lot of 800m, 1200m and mile reps and nothing shorter. Now anything over 500m is rare; it does sometimes crop up, but not every week. My speed (over anything up to about a mile) has increased dramatically, but what you can loosely call "speed endurance" - i.e. maintaining a fast 10k pace for 32 minutes - seems to have dropped off a bit. It might just be lack of the right conditions/company in 10k races so it's not an exact science, but also might be the relative frequency of longer/shorter intervals.
Jul 2013
12:10am, 8 Jul 2013
2052 posts
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Sweaty Frank
Carlos, thanks for all the detail. What are your target distances? Not surprising that a training plan featuring shorter, faster interval work-outs favour distances under a mile. 'Speed endurance' has been a topic of discussion recently among some friends. My dilemma is that I compete in races at distances from 400 to marathon and ultra, so there is no ideal workout schedule. I end up being a jack of all trades, and master of none.

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Maintained by Sweaty Frank
I am always looking for new ways to torture myself at the track, so please share some of your favour...

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