If you want to run faster, you need to train fast. Speed work is an essential part of any running training program if you want to break your allimportant personal best. Running at a set pace for a specific distance is the simplest way to train for speed. Adding fast tempo runs and short intervals toward the end of your race-specific program will leave you feeling faster, fresher, and more confident in your running. Listen to your body, however, because you’re either ready or you’re not. If you feel you’re pushing your body too hard, adjust your training.
LAW OF TRAINING IN PRACTICE
To improve in any activity you need to practice. The law of training states that if you perform the same training session or run in the same way, at the same distance, and the same level every day, your fitness will continue to improve until your body reaches its physical limits. This is because when you overload the body, it continues to adapt, and therefore progress. Once the limits are reached performance levels off, and starts to decrease because the body is no longer stressed by the training session—reversing the law of training.
FACTS ABOUT RUNNING FASTER >>
Running fast takes effort and requires quick supply of energy to the muscles. After a session you will feel out of breath and your leg muscles will feel like they’re burning. Don’t panic, this is all part of the body supplying energy to the muscles and then dealing with the build up of lactic acid. Learning how your body responds to running faster is part of your training.
LEG SPEED IS KEY
To run faster you need to increase leg speed, or turnover. Focus on your running cycle and ensure that all of your limbs are working through the correct running technique and to their maximum capacity.
REST DAYS ARE IMPORTANT
You can’t run every day, especially for long distances, and you shouldn’t attempt more than one or two speed sessions a week. The body takes time to adapt to the stresses of training and your muscles need time to recover no matter how elite you are. All of the training programs in the book include at least two rest days a week.
FAST TEMPO RUN PROGRAM
Tempos used to develop speed are run at a faster pace over a shorter distance than for strength endurance training. Use the instant feedback you get from fast tempos to calculate your ideal running pace. Fast tempos are physically taxing because you are training close to your limits.
SHORT-INTERVAL RUN PROGRAM
Short intervals help you get into your stride quickly and improve your running technique as you need an effective toe-off phase to propel you forward. Leg and arm drive also contribute to forward momentum. Performing core-training exercises will give you more power in your stride.
Taken From "The Complete Running and Marathon Book" -- OmRiyadat