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3 Running Programs for Any Level

sprinting

3. Speed Training

Training for a race? Just looking to shave some minutes off of each mile? Speed training is key!

This is something Bill and I are planning to work on once we recover from the marathon training. Right now we’re going for distance and not worrying about speed, but speed training is great for heart health and for keeping fit without running such long distances. Active.com has a nice 12 week speed training program that looks great. It mixes up walking, jogging, and sprinting to gradually up your speed.

If you’re going to try out this program, there are a couple of running terms that you need to know:

  • Tempo Pace – This refers to pushing yourself a bit faster, but not running at a sprint. You should still be able to talk with your running buddy, but it won’t be as easy as when you’re just jogging.
  • Fartlek – My inner 7-year-old wants to make a joke about this one, and maybe Bill and I have been calling this a “fart leg.” Fartlek refers to interval training where you all-out sprint for a very short period, then walk or jog to recover. Your sprints shouldn’t be more than 15 seconds at a time, but you should be running as fast as possible.

The Active.com program combines Tempo Pace, Fartlek, and hill and interval training to up your speed over time. The recommendations are for a treadmill, but you could just as easily do this training outdoors.

Are any of you guys doing a running training program that you like? I’d love to hear what’s working for you in the comments!

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by lululemon athletica

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Becky Striepe

Becky Striepe is a freelance writer and vegan crafter living in Atlanta, Georgia. Her life’s mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible to everyone! Like this article? You can follow Becky on Twitter or find her on Facebook!

23 comments

+ add your own
11:51AM PDT on Apr 5, 2012

I love running since I started a few months ago. Now all my family runs with me and besides being a great family activity keeps us healthy and fit!

I've started by using the materials on http://www.starting-to-run.com and it made me going very well without any injuries so far!

I'm running the half marathon in 3 weeks and can't wait to get to the end!

3:28PM PDT on Oct 18, 2011

I've always wanted to be able to run. I tried for a few weeks last summer and gave up. Maybe I'll try again...

1:11PM PDT on Oct 11, 2011

Thanks been thinking of... and almost starting for a while... this will help. Already walk a lot, so 90 60 seems easy enought to do:-)

5:32AM PDT on Sep 13, 2011

Thanks for the article.

12:09AM PDT on Sep 11, 2011

thanx..

10:44AM PDT on Sep 3, 2011

Just so everyone knows, if you have and iPhone, guess what... THERE'S AN APP FOR THAT! Hahah. The Couch to 5k and everything is on there and it keeps track of everything and has a "trainer" that you can here as you run. I used it and it actually works just to here a voice telling you that you can do it and to keep going. I just ran in the Merrell Down & Dirty National Mud Series run and got third for my age division. It actually works!!!!

8:00AM PDT on Sep 3, 2011

Thank you

1:22PM PDT on Sep 1, 2011

So many great tips and ideas. Thanks, you guys, and keep 'em coming!

8:36AM PDT on Sep 1, 2011

I'm not a high-mileage (or fast) runner, but this "training plan" has got me through 17 half-marathons:

M, F run 3 miles on lunch break
W run 3 miles with pickups on lunch break
Add long runs on Saturdays counting back 11 weeks from race day; start with 3 miles and add one mile every week

Last year I PR'd at 2:02, but this year I find myself a stubborn 5 pounds heavier, and I'm struggling to get the speed I had then.

My goal is to run a half marathon in half the states. I'm almost halfway there.

6:04AM PDT on Sep 1, 2011

I use to like running, but the waking up at the crack of dawn for marathons really put me off. Not a morning person!!

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