Should I go fast? (Read 1745 times)


    I started running again in December and have been pretty consistent (minus a sick spell in Feb.) with a goal of running a half-marathon on Sept. 11. I’ve been trying to relax, enjoy it and slowly build up base miles. My weekend long run is 7 right now, with 4 and 5-ers during the week (I cheated yesterday and ran 7 because it was the first warm day of the year).

    My question: Should I be mixing in intervals/fartleks/etc. occasionally now, or should I wait until I can comfortably run farther?

    "It's such a fine line between stupid, and uh..."


    "Yeah, and clever."


      Some speed work is probably fine. 


      If the recovery from it keeps you from building up higher miles and training consistently then you probably need to scale it back.  Watch the little nagging injuries and make sure you don't over do it.


      You're young though.  Go for it. 

      I ran a mile and I liked it, liked it, liked it.


        In a mid week run, warm up a mile or two and do 2-3 miles at a faster (but not killer) pace. If feeling great toward end of long run, speed up the last mile. Also, one other day per week do 4-8 striders or quick paced strides for 20 sec. This is not an all out sprint but a fast pace focusing on form. Recover fully in between.  This is an intro to faster work so come summer, you can start doing more as your aerobic conditioning will be stronger.

        Those who try, fail! Those who do what it takes to succeed, succeed!!

        Right on Hereford...

          Everyone should do a set of strides 2-3 times a week. 6 x 30 seconds works fine, full recoveries. Think fast, but smooth and controlled. Your form will improve at all speeds.

            Listen to tchuck --- listen to Dakota.....


            My 2-bits -- a little up tempo running is always a good thing but one of the most common mistakes is to try to run too fast and to fast too often.....so I advise to make sure that most of your running is a nice confortable pace and slowly continue to build your miles because stronger base miles will improve your running more than anything because of the additinal aerobic capacity and endurance that you will be building..


            Throw in some of Tchucks and Dakotas ideas on top of your slowly increased base and you should be in really good shape for  a Half Marathon....

            Champions are made when no one is watching


              Thanks for all the advice! I've been a little over-motivated (thanks to reading Born to Run) so I know I have to stay cool and not jump into anything too quickly. I'll work some strides into next week and see how things go.

              "It's such a fine line between stupid, and uh..."


              "Yeah, and clever."

                Mid week runs like a few have mentioned should be somewhat quicker.  I would suggest a mid week 5 miler just as the other poster said being a mile or so warm-up then 2-3 faster miles (I would run these at race pace or slighly quicker) followed by a mile or so cool down.  I think it is important not to forego speed to build distance but to balance the two out.  My week would be something like but not specifically this in your case:


                Mon: rest

                Tue: 3-5 easy

                Wed: 3-5 Tempo (mentioned above)

                Thur: 3-5 easy

                Fri: Rest

                Sat: 3-5 easy

                Sun: 7-10 easy


                Just a thought and I would not stop here but rather continue to evolve with this. As the training draws closer to race day I would adjust to a tempo and speed session once weekly or so.  There are many options and ideas out there but I would definately go with some speed during the mileage build up. 

                "You may all go to hell, and I will go to Texas"  Davy Crockett

                  It's okay to be fast.


                    that's not what sister mary margaret said.

                    i find the sunshine beckons me to open up the gate and dream and dream ~~robbie williams

                      This question is right up my alley. I'm going to follow this same advice myself. I've been inconsistently running for the last ~3 years but have been getting it together lately in the volume and consistency sense. Now I would like to get a bit of speed. I ran a little 5k at work on friday with a friend. Although the pace wasn't challenging it would be nice to go faster.