4 tips for building speed with half marathon track workouts.
You registered for a half marathon and now it’s time to train. The training program combines specific workouts that include long runs, recovery runs and track workouts, with each workout playing an essential role in preparing your mind and body for race day. For example, the track workouts are designed to improve running performance, speed and overall conditioning.
At USA Endurance, we recommend incorporating track workouts into your training program several days per week. Split the track workouts into different workouts, ranging from mile repeats, high-intensity intervals and tempo runs. This variety changes the normal routine of long, slow distance runs or recovery runs. In the end, the track workouts make you faster and stronger when race day arrives.
Track workouts make you faster and stronger when race day arrives.
Track workouts are designed to train each metabolic pathway, or the energy systems used during physical activity. There are three pathways — phosphagen, glycolytic and oxidative — responsible for different intensity levels. Train with high-intensity intervals — phosphagen system — lasting 10 to 30 seconds with 30 to 90 seconds of rest and a total of 25 to 30 rounds. Moderate-intensity intervals — glycolytic system — should last 30 to 120 seconds with a rest of 60 to 240 seconds repeated 10 to 20 times. Use low-intensity intervals — oxidative system — lasting 120 to 300 seconds with 120 to 300 seconds of rest between three to five rounds.
Change the intensity and pace used for each track workout to complement your overall ability or goal race time. For example, if your goal half marathon is 80 minutes, run 800-meter repeat intervals around 2:30 to 2:40. Someone with a two-hour goal, however, should increase that time to 3:00 to 3:20 for each 800-meter interval. These pacing strategies help to train your mind and body for race day.
Track workouts are designed to improve running performance, speed and overall conditioning. Click To Tweet
Training for a half marathon requires minimal equipment, but some will maximize the effectiveness of the track workouts. When performing timed intervals, use a running-specific watch with a built-in stopwatch and timer function. This allows you to accurately measure the performance of each track workout. Join a group of running friends and complete the track workouts as a group.