The weather is finally warming up and it’s that time that my legs are starting to itch to do a fast race! (I’d hoped I’d get that out of my system last weekend, but no dice. I may be looking for a new 5K to do next rest weekend). The Ironman training I’m doing is something that is long and slow, so those twitches don’t get flushed out from a fast race, they get pummeled from just the constant effort I’m putting into training.
1. Run Fast
Do some fast running to get faster! However you spin it, there are a few types of faster running you should do. Tempo Runs are faster than easy, but done at a relatively steady effort. Someone explained this to me as a 10K effort that you might do for 4-5 miles after a thorough warm-up. There’s also interval running, which you may think of as track work. But there’s more to interval runs. They can be formal and structured, like 8×400 at a certain pace with a specific rest interval, or you can do them less structured in a “fartlek” workout. Fartleks (Swedish for “speed play”) is the idea of “run fast to the light post up there, then slower. Then fast again.” But your coach is probably not putting it on yoru schedule strict.
2. Run Slow
But you also have to run slow to get faster. If you are constantly pushing yourself, then you are going to push yourself into a state of fatigue. And that’s not good for a fast race. So give yourself enough time to recover from those faster workouts. That doesn’t (just) mean sitting on your butt watching TV. You should also be putting in easy miles for your running. Some people say up to 80%
3. Do things other than Running
One of the biggest keys to my running improvements is doing things other than running. Whether this is strength work or cross-training, it’s important to make sure you are moving more than just running. I’ve done strength work in the form of personal training that helps, and I accredit my current streak of no training injuries to my balance of swim/bike/run and strength work.
Strength work at e-Fit, the fitness studio Kim works at!
If you’re looking for a smaller race in the Chicago area to bust out a new PR, you may want to look into the Run for Vets 5K, hosted by Capitol Nutrition on June 6. That’s about 4 weeks out, so just enough time to put in a decent effort at improving your speed from where you are today.
The race benefits the Pets for Vets charity, an organization dedicated to raise awareness and funds for helping military veterans heal emotional wounds by pairing them up with a shelter dog. The great thing about this event is that it helps two different groups-shelter dogs and veterans. You can register for the 5K here! It’s located in Orland Park, on the south suburbs of Chicago.
I’m linking up with Tri Talk Tuesdays (Cynthia from You Signed Up for What?!, Courtney at The TriGirl Chronicles, and Phaedra at Blisters and Black Toenails), and with Erika, Patty and April for Tuesdays on the Run!
Have a great Tuesday!