When preparing for a long distance race, our main focus is usually logging the miles. And that’s great! Applying yourself and fulfilling the commitment of your training plan should see you through to the finish line. But, now you’re running your second half-marathon and you have a goal time in mind. You would like to shave 1 minute / mile off your previous race time. How do you train faster?
Our expert, Mathew Skate, who is a health and fitness expert at Weight to Life has provided us with 3 very effective pace training exercises that will help increase our pace.
Hard training = Faster times
Long Slow Distance (LSD) run training is a thing of the past if you are serious about improving your run times. The perception for many novice distance runners or first-time marathoner is that you have to do miles and miles of LSD in order to run a good time. I agree that it is important to build your aerobic base initially but should not be the underlying factor for your training schedule. To race fast, you need to train fast and at varying levels of intensity for at least 70% of your training.
Here are some of my tips that have helped me to success.
1. Fartlek training is a great speed work option when you have built your aerobic base. Fartlek allows you to raise the tempo of your run until you start to “feel the pinch”. Then back off the intensity to a slow run until you feel comfortable again. Once comfortable, up the tempo once more and repeat this procedure for between 20-60 min. Aim for around 2 – 6 min for your tempo. If you can’t last 2 min you are going to hard, any more than 6 min, not hard enough. Your recovery will depend on your fitness level and will shorten as you get fitter.
2. One of my favorite sessions that I do up to twice a week is after a warm up run at 10km race pace for 2 min, then 3 min recovery. Repeat this 5 min block 10 times. One hour run = 20 min at 10 km race pace, 40 min easy.
3. Hills are hard for a reason…. Because they give you a great training effect. Find a hilly cross-country course and every hill you come across run up hard! use the flats and down hills for recovery. The more hills, the better training effect.
Remember, without speed work there is very little improvement due to minimal strength endurance adaptations. Enjoy your running:)
How often do you incorporate pace training into your routine to train faster?