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First Speed Workout and it was fun. Should I do it twice a week? (Read 1320 times)

    I did my first speed work today. I'm planning on following a Pfitzinger's marathon plan starting next month so I figured I would do one of his speed workouts. He has a workout called "General Aerobic + Speed". A typical workout would be 7 miles w/ 10x100m strides. His book says to run the 100m strides and jog or walk 100-200m. Since I wasn't on a track, I used my GPS and used 0.1 miles (160m). I did 12x160m with 160m walking. I did slow running before and after to make a total of 7 miles. I really enjoyed the strideouts as I was able to get up to a 6:30 min/mile pace for each strideout and it felt comfortable. I wasn't all-out sprinting as though I were in a 100m race. I've never run so fast since I started running last year. The walking breaks were great as I was able to recover and be ready for the next strideout. I almost felt as though I were cheating having walked for the same distance I was doing the strides. For someone that has been doing all my running recently in the 9:30-10:30 min/mile pace, running at 6:30 was great. Of course, because of my walking breaks, my average pace was still 10:10 for the 7 miles. My plan was to do one speed workout a week for the next 4-5 weeks, but I enjoyed this so much, I'm thinking of doing it twice a week. Should I go ahead, or should I hold back for now? His book says this workout is to improve "running economy". Will this make me faster or will speed come with other workouts? Pfitzinger has 2 other speed workouts, lactate threshold and VO2max.
    Derek
      Derek, Congrats on completing your first speedwork! Whether or not you should do it twice a week depends upon how your recovery from the workout treats you. If you are feeling good (and it seems like you are), then I'd say go for it. These short intervals are great for teaching your body to run more efficiently at a faster pace, and they are something every runner should try to incorporate into runs at least weekly. The benefits are mostly neurological--developing coordination by practicing running fast. My sense is that because this is low-volume (not much total distance) speedwork, it is something that you could incorporate into two runs a week without adversely affecting your ability to complete other runs, but in the end, it is a matter of your own sense of how well you recover from this sort of work. Congrats again!
      Scout7


      CPT Curmudgeon

        Derek, if you have a plan that you're going to follow, why start it early? That being said, improving form will improve speed by increasing stride rate, stride length, and make you more efficient overall. Different workouts will have different results.
          Strideouts, striders, strides (whatever you call them) are awesome--and a great way to get your legs ready for the harder workouts that will come later. Strides help you develop a more powerful footstrike and better mechanics so you run faster at all effort levels (running economy) as well as keeping your hamstrings strong and loose, which will become important later. Lots of people have gotten really fast doing nothing but mileage and strides. I think its safe to do them 2x a week if your legs are feeling good, but maybe reduce the # of reps per session. You shouldn't be sore at all after strides so if you are, reduce the # of reps or increase the jog in between. I do strides 2x a week most of the year when there is not snow or ice on the ground, and I also include some at the end of tempos and other workouts. So there are weeks where I might actually be doing strides 3-4 times. Last week I did 8 x 20 seconds on both Tuesday and Friday as well as 4 x 30 seconds after my workout on Sunday. A typical strides session for me is 8 x 20 seconds with 40 second recoveries during a 7-8 mile easy run (this is what I did this morning), or when the track is available I'll sometimes do 10 x 100m or 6 x 200m.

          Runners run.


          Marathonmanleto

            What exactly are strides?
              What exactly are strides?
              Short bursts of speed with full recoveries.

              Runners run.


              Needs more cowbell!

                This might be a dumb question, but how do strides differ from farleks--are fartleks just less structured? k

                I shoot pretty things! ~

                '14 Goals:

                • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

                • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                  This might be a dumb question, but how do strides differ from farleks--are fartleks just less structured? k
                  I've seen several different definitions of fartlek by my understanding is that in fartlek the intervals are generally longer and may very in duration so the runner hits several different paces for several different lengths of time within a single workout. Basically I think the idea of fartlek is to simulate racing conditions without doing too big an effort.

                  Runners run.

                    His book says this workout is to improve "running economy". Will this make me faster or will speed come with other workouts? Pfitzinger has 2 other speed workouts, lactate threshold and VO2max.
                    Derek - To answer your question, Pfitzinger actually classifies striders as a "form" workout not a "speed" workout. Its main purpose is to train you to hold good running form while moving at a faster pace. As such, while running the striders, it is more important to focus on your form, breathing, arm swing, posture, hip rotation, turnover rate, etc. than your actual pace. The LT and VO2 workouts are the "real" speed workouts, according to Pfitz, and you will get the most improvement in your racing speed from these drills.
                    How To Run a Marathon: Step 1 - start running. There is no Step 2.
                      Important and useful clarification, Berner.
                        To answer your question, Pfitzinger actually classifies striders as a "form" workout not a "speed" workout. Its main purpose is to train you to hold good running form while moving at a faster pace. As such, while running the striders, it is more important to focus on your form, breathing, arm swing, posture, hip rotation, turnover rate, etc. than your actual pace.
                        That brings up another question then.....how fast should I run the strides? Should they be done at "race" pace or should I do them as fast as I can while maintaining form? Pftiz's Advance Marathoning simply says "accelerate up to full speed over the first 70 meters" When I did them, I got up to 6:30 min/mile, but I know I'm not going to be running a marathon anytime soon at that pace....but it would be nice :-). Should I just go to 8:30-9:00 since that is probably a more realistic race pace for me.
                        Derek
                          Derek, You should be running the strides as steady accelerations up to full speed--as fast as you can go. This is why it is important to relax while doing them, as most folks tend to tense up when sprinting. As others have noted, this is form work, not pace work.
                            I second what was said by Jeff and mikeymike. Very good advice. They know what they're talkin about. Hey derek, speed feels good don't it. Keep it up and your pace on long runs will begin to drop at the same effort{heart rate}. Again, speed feels good don't it. My fav workout of the week. I generally take the day off after them, but starting this week I'm going to do a low mileage recovery run to increase from 4 to 5 days a week. Oh and strides are good the day after long runs to get the stiffness out, but hey you've put in a good base over several months now and if I were you, liking speed and all, go ahead and have 1 day a week for "speed" and try some strides on another. Just remember, too fast too soon...injury! Just listen to your body. Good luck. I'll be watching your log for improvements. Big grin Ricky

                            Ricky

                            —our ability to perform up to our physiological potential in a race is determined by whether or not we truly psychologically believe that what we are attempting is realistic. Anton Krupicka

                              That brings up another question then.....how fast should I run the strides? Should they be done at "race" pace or should I do them as fast as I can while maintaining form? Pftiz's Advance Marathoning simply says "accelerate up to full speed over the first 70 meters"
                              Pfitz is intentionally vague about the correct pace for the striders because its not really a speed workout. Elsewhere in other writings he concedes that the proper pace for striders is probably around your 1 mile race pace. However, to reiterate, striders are a form drill, not a speed drill.
                              How To Run a Marathon: Step 1 - start running. There is no Step 2.
                                According to McMillan Running: Strides You're probably familiar with "Strides" though you may call them windsprints, pickups, striders or stride outs. They're not unlike the fast accelerations that you do right before a race. Strides work to improve your sprinting technique by teaching the legs to turn over quickly. It's really the neuromuscular system that we're trying to develop here which is why they are shorter than anaerobic capacity intervals. They last only 50-200m because unlike the anaerobic capacity intervals, we don't want lactic acid to build up during each stride. This inhibits the nervous system and interferes with the neuromuscular adaptations that we want. Accordingly, after each stride, you must jog easily for a minimum of 30 seconds and up to a minute and a half to make sure the muscles are ready for the next one. Not allowing for sufficient recovery after each stride is a common mistake. Take advantage of the longer recovery. It will allow you to put more effort into each stride which really helps develop your speed. As you might imagine, the pace for strides is very fast - 800m to mile race pace. Note that this is not all-out sprinting. Run fast but always stay under control. These are quick efforts where you practice good form. You'll be amazed at how much your finishing kick improves with these workouts. You can incorporate some strides or "pick-ups" during the middle of your run or at the end. To perform, run fast for 15 to 25 seconds then jog easily for 30 seconds to a minute and a half before beginning the next one. Begin with four strides and build up to ten to 20.
                                My Masters (>50) Race PR's: 5K - 20:17 10K - 42:36 HM - 1:31:22 Marathon - 3:20:48
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