Hi Neil, I am 35 yrs and have ran 3 marathons with times around 4:27. During training I run 28miles a week and up my long run every 2 weeks so that I run 2 - 22mile runs before the marathon. What would be a good speed workout that I would do 1x week to improve my time? My speed workouts now are done on a treadmill. I do 1/2 mile repeats with a 1/2 mile jog in-between. My speed during daily runs are at 8:00min and my 1/2 repeats are at 6:40min. Thanks Rich
Hi Rich, great question.
To increase your speed and reduce your times, you need to work in the frontal plane and the transverse plane. So roller blades work well as do slide boards. Also, we have your marathon runner clients work on several elements of speed during the entire weeks training schedule.
For example, one run, (three miles max), they work on acceleration (as if you are trying to catch a runner up ahead), and deceleration. Another run, they take longer strides, and on another, they take shorter strides. Another run is performed at a pace 15-30 seconds per mile faster than normal, and another run is performed at a pace 15-30 seconds per mile slower than usual. Also, another run involves sprinting until you are anaerobic, then, running as you recover your aerobic HR. Finally, we have our runners do speed work in the tradional sense at a track, where they run farklicks - 100 yard sprint, 300 yard jog, 200 yard sprint, 200 yard jog, 300 yard sprint, 100 yard jog, 400 yard sprint, 400 yard jog.
The last exercise we have runners work on for sprint work is a 100 yard dash, but the runner moves from lane 1 to lane 8, touching the outside of the lane with the inside hand. This involves stopping and starting over and over again. It is a real killer, and a great exercise.
We have had great results with our clients knocking an average of a minute per mile off their time when adding this work out.