Today's workout was speed work-- specifically intervals. Interval training can be used to maximize your running potential. Interval training consists of hard running efforts of a specific distance or time, which are repeated with intervals of rest between the repeated hard effort.
An article from active.com lays out the following reasons why interval training is important.
1) Increase anaerobic threshold. By repeating sustained hard efforts at near anaerobic condition, the runner improves his ability to run hard without going into oxygen debt.
2) Increase endurance. Interval training teaches the runners body to continue at a certain pace for an extended period of time.
3) Build muscle strength. Distance running typically focuses on slow-twitch muscle fibers; whereas running at a faster pace uses the entire leg and improves flexibility. Improved muscle performance improves speed for sprint finishes.
For my workout I did a 10:00 min warm-up on the treadmill. I walked at an incline for 7:00 min and finished the last 3:00 min at a slow jog. I did four intervals for 2:00 min each at 7.4 mph. I rested for 2:00 min between intervals. I cooled down by walking at an incline for 10:00 min, followed by some stretching. Intervals are tough-- 2:00 min doesn't sound like a long time, but when you're staring at the clock on the treadmill it feels like forever. The total workout ended up being 2.47 miles.
Other benefits of interval training include:
- Burn more fat
- Healthier Heart
- Increase metabolism
If you're looking for some ways to get started here are some sample interval workouts for beginner, intermediate, advanced from
Do you add speed to your workouts? If so, what does your typical speed work day look like?