Want to become a faster runner? You need to hit the track! I used to avoid the track at all costs because it is much easier to run at the same pace almost every day than to push yourself beyond your limits. The track, however, can produce great results, including fat loss, so I have come to love my weekly speed sessions.
Why do track workouts?
Speedwork recruits more fast-twitch muscle fibers so you will feel the workouts working throughout your legs. It gives your metabolism a boost and keeps your body burning more calories even after you have finished the workout. Want a flat stomach? Get out there and sprint!
Track sessions will also help increase your stamina by forcing your body to use oxygen more efficiently. Running hard will condition your body to hold a faster pace for a longer period of time, so when it comes to actual race day, you can push harder and faster.
If you are new to track workouts, here are a few tips:
- One lap around equals a quarter mile, or 400 meters
- Stay on the inside lane as much as possible
- If you need to stop or slow down, move to the outside of the track so other runners can pass you.
- Do a longer warm-up and make sure to stretch out any muscles that might be tight
Now that you are ready to go, here are a few sample workouts to get you started.
- Curves and Straightaways: Sprint hard on the straightaways and then walk/jog on the curves. Aim for 2-4 laps of this, adding on each week as it becomes less of a challenge.
- 200 repeats: Run 200 meters (half a lap) at full effort, then walk/jog the rest of the lap. Aim for 4-6 full laps.
- Straight sprints/walking lunges: One of my favorite track workouts, although very advanced, is to sprint the straightaways and then do walking lunges around the curves. Just 2-3 laps of this and your legs will be ready to go home!
After you are done, make sure to take an extended cool down time and give your legs an extra long stretch. I highly recommend a foam roller to help minimize any soreness.
Track workouts are a great addition to any fitness program, so be sure to get out there and find a local track. Happy running!
Published On: July 07, 2014