One of the reasons why I love the workouts for the mile is that every day is different training. Besides all the full body strength training that I do to prepare for the abuse of racing every week, this month of June focuses on training the speed required for the mile. The week started for me in Arizona, where I began my week on Monday with repetitions of 8×1/8 mile sprints, returned to Florida to run a 3 mile tempo run on Thursday, and concluded my speed training on Saturday with 7×1/4 mile on a straight road. This coming Tuesday, I hit the bridge to take advantage of one of the few hills in the city.
Let’s go over each of these different speed workouts so you can understand why you should add them to your workouts:
- 1/8 mile sprints – all-out sprints preparing your muscles to load and explode
- Tempo runs – roughly 20 minutes of “hard running at ease” (breathing is easier) to raise lactate threshold (the breaking point where your muscles fatigue)
- 1/4 mile repetitions – slightly slower than your sprint speed teaching your body to work harder and increase your running efficiency
- Hill repeats – working against gravity improving the strength of muscles and tendons
At 49 years old, I follow my hard runs with a recovery run (30-50 minutes) the next day allowing time for my body to mend, strengthen, and absorb the quality speed workouts. Of course, before you begin your speed workouts get properly warmed-up with light jogging and mobilization exercises, and then conclude the workout with a cool-down of jogging mixed with striding (easy lengthening of your stride) and stretching movements to remove lactic acid created by the speed workout. Please let me know how any of these various speed themes help you to go faster.