Menu

Looking To PR In Your Next Race? Try Speed Training

  • By Linzay Logan
  • Published Mar. 7, 2011
  • Updated Mar. 7, 2011 at 4:00 PM UTC

Competitor Magazine’s Linzay Logan provides a quick tip for increasing your speed.

Written by: Linzay Logan

Professional runners live, eat and breathe speed. And yes, they are fast. But what about the rest of us? Certainly, most runners can’t stand a chance next to Ryan Hall or Kara Goucher, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try to fulfill our need for speed. Plus, the running world has come up with this great term: Personal Record. It’s not Kara’s Record or Ryan’s Record. The only person you have to beat to get one is yourself and for the first one you don’t even have to do that.

My need for speed has been bad since I began running marathons and half marathons a few years ago. At first, my goal was to just cross the finish line without dying in the process. Thankfully, I managed to make it through all 13.1 miles and stay alive. After I dragged myself out of the beer garden and iced my knees I went straight to my computer to sign up for another race. I wanted to be faster and I wanted to prove to myself I could be faster asap.

Since my first race my times have improved drastically. This is primarily due to having no clue as to what I was doing in my first few races. But recently, I can attribute my speedier splits to tempo runs, speed drills and hill repeats.

Here is one of my favorite speed drills that is easy to incorporate into any of your daily runs:

Depending on how much time you want to run you can adjust your warm up to be longer or shorter. Warm up for one mile at a conversational pace (you can talk and run comfortably) or for a little longer if you have the time to get a few extra miles in. Then crank it down and speed up. Sprint at 80-90 percent for 30 seconds. Recover at a conversational pace for one minute. Repeat as many times as you would like. I would recommend starting at six sprints and then work your way up. Cool down at a conversational pace for one mile.

Once you get comfortable tackling 30 second sprints, boost up the sprint time and decrease your rest time. Before you know it you’ll be PR’ing and giving random people on the street high fives in celebration of your quick feet.

****

Linzay Logan is the copy editor for Competitor magazine and cares about punctuation probably a little too much. She particularly loves to avoid commas as well as add exclamation points whenever she can get away with it! She also loves to run marathons and half-marathons—probably a little too much. Don’t let her small size fool you; she’ll still try to outrun you anytime. Even though chances are she probably can’t.

FILED UNDER: Training TAGS: / / / / / /

Linzay Logan

Linzay Logan

Linzay Logan is a contributing editor to Competitor magazine.

Get our best running content delivered to your inbox

Subscribe to the FREE Competitor Running weekly newsletter