Place to share and post what is on my mind .... beware:
Sometimes can be scary ;-)
You’ve built up endurance, now what? Get those times down and achieve the ever-coveted PR with these speed workouts :)
Disclaimer: I am not a running coach, nor did I get these workouts from an outside source. These are from experience (4 years of high school cross country workouts, and 2 parents that are certified running coaches).
In their simplest form, track repeats start with an easy 5-10 minute jogging warm up, the repeat workout, and a 5-10 minute cool down. The goal is to push yourself, but try and stay around the same pace for all the repeats (give or take a few seconds). The different types for a standard track (4 laps = a mile) are explained below:
400s: A 400 refers to one lap around the track. Repeats are usually done by running one lap at a reasonably fast clip, and then resting for 1-2 minutes between each 400. Most 400 workouts are between 8 and 12 repeats, depending on skill level and how you’re feeling. You’ll often see the nomenclature as something like 8x400. This means the runner ran a 400 eight times.
800s: One 800 = 2 laps. These are done as 400s are, but with 2-3 minutes of recovery between each. 4-10 repeats are enough for this longer workout. (Nomenclature: 8x800)
1600s/mile repeats: 1600 repeats, or a mile, is 4 laps on the track. You don’t need to do as many of these, since the distance is quite long (2-6 will do). You will, however, have more recovery time between each repeat (about half the time it took to run the mile). (Nomenclature: 4x1600)
Flying 100s: There are many ways to do this workout, but I’ll recommend my favorite way to fly. Warm up with 10 minutes of light jogging. A 100 is a quarter of one lap (so the distance of one curve or one straight-away). Perform the flying 100s by jogging the curves and then sprinting the straight-aways (or vice-versa). I usually do these for time (15-20 minutes or so) and then cool down with another 5-10 minutes of jogging. Fly on!
Ladders: Ladders are probably my favorite type of repeat because it keeps my body (and mind!) guessing. A typical ladder looks like this: 200-400-800-1600-800-400-200. This means that you would run the repeats in this order, with the appropriate amount of rest in between each. The nice thing about the ladder is that you can modify it to your needs. For example, you could take out the mile, and just run 200-400-800-400-200.
Okay, away from the track now. Hill repeats can be done outside or inside and are a great way to improve your speed on and off any incline!
Outdoors: find a hill in your neighborhood that is not extremely long, but has a considerable incline. Warm up by running to the hill (or jogging on a flat road for 10 or so minutes). Run up the hill at a quick pace, and then recovery by slowly jogging or walking down. Repeat 4-10 times depending on the hill, ability level, or how you’re feeling. Cool down with light jogging.
Treadmill: there are many ways to do a hill workout on a treadmill, but I’ll just give you a basic outline of what I typically do. Warm up with 10 minutes of light jogging. When you are ready, set the incline on the treadmill between 4-10% grade. Run at a good pace for 90 seconds, and then bring the incline back down. Repeat this 4-10 times. Cool down with light jogging without incline. (I usually always have at least a 1% grade on the treadmill to avoid knee injuries).
No, this does not mean passing gas to boost you through your run (if only that really worked!) Fartlek is Swedish for “speed play,” and that’s exactly what it is! You can do these just about anywhere – track, treadmill, road, wherever! Whenever you feel like it during a mid-distance run, increase the speed for your desired distance/time. Then come back to the pace you were before. You can do this as many times as you want, and you can mix up the distance/time for each fartlek! Have fun with it, and do as your body/mind pleases!
Ah, yes. The dreaded tempo run. These were by far my least favorite workout in high school, but man do they work wonders on your speed! Warm up with light jogging for about 10 minutes. Then complete the tempo portion by running at a slightly uncomfortable pace for 10-25 minutes depending on ability level. This pace should be faster, and you shouldn’t be able to hold a conversation during it, but you should be able to hold the pace for the duration of the run (may take some experimenting to find that right pace, just listen to your body). Cool down with 10 minutes of light jogging or walking.
A final note: these workouts are meant to be hard, and if performed right, will hurt like hell. The key is to listen to your body. If something is extremely painful or you feel weak or dizzy – STOP. You want to be in discomfort, not total pain. As always, be sure to take rest days; they are just as important as any workout. Stay hydrated, and try to smile! :)
Good luck! May your feet be light, and your heart full xx
If anyone would like to add to these workouts, feel free to message me and I’ll edit it into the post with credit!
PILATES-STYLE CORE KILLER
Inspired by POP Pilates, I threw this little number together for my sister’s core session on Monday. It is killer, but a lot of the moves can be simplified to make it good for beginners! It’s roughly a 32 minute workout, perfect for a core day!
So let me talk you through the moves.
- Crossover Crunch - We’ve all done this one at some point, but for this workout we’re gonna mix it up a little. Get yourself on to your matt, back flat against the floor and core engage. You’re gonna bring your hands up behind your ears, elbows wide out beside you. Your knees are going to come up in to a 90degree angle off the floor and we’re going to ride it out. Unlike the photo, I don’t want your feet touching the floor, your leg is straightening out as the other crunches toward your chest and reach the opposite elbow up and over your body. To get the most out of this workout, make sure your back does not come off the floor and reach your elbow as far across your body as you can, lifting those shoulders off the floor. We’re gonna crunch it out nice and slow until you start to feel the burn and then push through 10 more quick reps on each side. But it’s not over yet, oh no. Back to your starting position but this time we want no bend in those legs, we’re going straight legged! And repeat, same as before but keeping those legs as straight as you can. This will work your obliques and rectus abdominus.
- Leg Lifts - Stay on the floor and bring your knees up just like when we started off the crunches. But this time your arms are coming flat by your sides, if you feel your back coming off the floor, lift your butt up a little and place your hands underneath it in a diamond shape and return your body down. We’re going to do two versions, following the same pattern as the crunches. Nice slow lifts with bent knees first of all, both legs lowering down and up, once that burn gets a little too hard to handle, blast out 10 more reps for me as quick as you can. Then stretch it out and begin again, but with straight legs this time. If you feel that back coming off the floor as you lower, just minimize the range of movement. Lower them as far as you can before your back starts to lift, then bring them back up. We’re working the lower abs here so keep that form tight!
- Eagle Crunch -You’re probably thinking, what the hell is that? I did too, but it’s pretty simple. Just twist your arms around each other and your legs, then crunch like normal, raising those shoulders off the floor and bringing your knees in toward your chest. Remember to exhale on the way up, inhale on the way down. This will really work those upper abdominals, so just take it to the burn, go a few more then rest.
- Spidermans -It’s time to feel like a superhero. Flip yourself over and push yourself up in to a plank position. You can do this move on your knees if you have to, just keep that belly button pushed in to your spine and maintain a neutral spine. In your plank pose, we’re gonna start off with simple bringing your left knee out and up toward your left elbow. Then return. Switch it over to your right side, out and up then return. Do this for about 20-30 reps, depending on how much it kills those obliques for you, before sinking back in to the child pose and stretching it out. You’re going to need it! After a couple seconds of stretching, get back in to position. But this time as that knee comes up toward the elbow, we’re going to sink down in to a half push up. 10 reps on each side and rest. We’re working obliques, abs, arms and shoulders here.
- Side Leg Raise -Oh my! This is a killer. For this one, we’re rolling on to our side and supporting our head and chest with our hands. Lock those legs together at the ankles and get ready! First section of this workout, you’re going to roll back off your hips and on to your butt. It’s crucial you do this, because you’re not going to get much movement in your legs otherwise. Now those legs are coming up together, pinching those upper obliques together and then lowering down. Roll back on to your hip for one rep. Slam out 10-15 reps for me, or as much as you need to feel that oblique working, then switch sides and repeat. But we’re not done yet! Get back on to the other side, we’re going to go one more time, but with a difference. Roll back on to your butt and stay there! We’re gonna lift those legs for 10 reps, stay on your butt, there’s no resting with this set! Once complete, switch it over and finish on the other side. Click here for a demonstration of this move.
- Plank w/ arm and leg extension -A nice breather for you here. Get yourself in to a plank position, either on your knees or feet, work at your own level. Extend your right arm forward then slowly raise your left leg out and hold for 30 seconds. Return to the starting position and switch it over, raise your left arm and right leg out. Make sure to really open up the body, stretch through to the tips of your fingers and toes and open up the chest. We’re going to repeat this one more time on each side and then we’re moving in to our last two exercises.
- Side Plank - Now you all know this one. Get on to your right side, forearm flat on the floor and elbow in line with your shoulder. Keep that chest nice and open and a straight line from head to toe. To make this move easier, bend the right leg with the left leg straight and lift up. Slowly raise your left arm from your side and up straight to the ceiling, open up your chest and turn your gaze to look up to your hands. Hold for 30 seconds and lower. To make this move harder, straighten out both your legs and come off your forearm and on to your hand. Switch sides and repeat for 30 seconds. That’s one set, repeat it one more time for me, lets feel those obliques burning ready for the final touch.
- Plank w/ pike - The finisher! Get yourself in to your side plank position, ideally with both legs straight out to get the best range of movement. From our side plank, we’re gonna take our extended arm and twist through the core and reach underneath. Return to start for one rep. We’re going to do 9 more reps before switching sides and repeating for one set. Now, if you’re zoomed your way through the above, you can repeat this move 1 or 2 more times if you want to, but hopefully it should all finish up on time.
And stretch, you definitely deserve it! Give those muscles some loving and wind yourself back down. How great was that?!
Tips for the playlist: It doesn’t matter what order they go in, but I like to start with Fun and end with Sam and the Womp, Sam and the Womp just gives you don’t little bit of fast rhythm and motivation to get you through the last couple of exercises.
The 1000 SQUAT CHALLENGE. Do 100 reps of each. Time how long it took you. Took me 40 minutes. Legs and butt were DYING!
Do the full length video with me here: http://youtu.be/fF71IJUXGOk
Reblog if you plan on doing this!
Remember to be careful. This workout is NOT EASY. So take breaks when you need it and only push yourself to a level of slight discomfort but not to the point where you’re going to hurt yourself.