Speed work like any other sport requires exercise, frequent training, and hard work. When I am training for a marathon or a short distance race, I have to put the same effort to improve my speed and master my running technique. Speed work requires frequent training and exercises. I have to keep my body in check. Our bodies need a constant reminder of what is expected from them so that they can adapt. I have to run fast the same distance each day so I can get my body in shape. If I run faster in small or same intervals in my training sessions, I not only make my body adapt, but it also helps me learn a lot about how I should run fast. I get to understand weaknesses and how to handle them and also master my strengths and how I can use them to improve speed and run faster.
1. Warm up
Before you begin your speed work sessions, a good warm up is vital. Muscles are very sensitive, and they require a little warming up before you start running. Do not wake up and immediately start running. Begin with some jogging, stretch your legs for a few minutes and then start running. If you decide to run fast without a proper warm-up, this could cause a sprain or injury to your muscles, and you may be in a lot of pain or not run fast for weeks or days.
2. You should have a good base
By a good base, it means you must have had an experience in the field. You can’t just wake up one day and decide you will run fast, or a marathon when you haven’t ever run one. A good base is like experience. Have some experience, make sure you run a few sessions short and precise that lengthen with your speed‘s improvement. Do not just strain your body by running a long race, begin small and let your body adapt. Run a few short races until you are ready. Then you can start running long ones.
3. Ensure you choose the right surface.
If you intend on running every day, choose a smooth, maybe tarmacked or grass surface. Running on uneven grounds may be exhausting and could cause a terrible injury. Pick a surface that is flat and does not have any known risks. A smooth surface is ideal, and you can run without shifting your body too much like you would on uneven ground.
4. Set your distance
People are different; not everyone can run a 10k race while others can run it with the right amount of practice. If you are a long distance runner, nurture your speed by timing yourself and comparing your results with other athletes. Also, if you’re a short distance runner, you should do the same. To improve speed, try to finish the race earlier than you did in the previous session and unless it’s too much strain, keep pushing your body to run faster and to improve your technique and speed.
5. Make your running intervals the same
If you are running 5 kilometers a day, make your work rate and effort the same. You must work hard to ensure your body keeps improving on speed; therefore, maintaining the same interval is important. Note that, your body adapts according to the way you train it. Put equal effort in each improve speed interval, even if it’s the last one. The last interval will be exhausting because maybe you have run faster the whole day, but you can’t run slower because if that, struggle to maintain the same interval as that first session.
While speed may be an essential ingredient, winning a race depends on a lot more than just speed. How you run, where you should run faster, how you should handle a long race; all this depends on our technique. Understand the sport, how to win and how to do each single detail, and incorporate that in your training. If you have a good technique and your seed is in order, then you are good to go.
7. Do not overdo it
Speed work is exhausting, and a full improve speed session could be too much for your body. Therefore, you need to limit yourself to a few workouts and just one full session a week. This way you won’t strain your body too much.
8. Cool down sessions
The same way you need a warm up, you also need to warm down or cool down. After a session, you need a few exercises to avoid aching muscles later the next day. If you do not do a good cool down, your muscles will hurt the next day from the fatigue. A good cool down session will relax them, and you can run again at full speed the next day if you wish to.
9. Make your training enjoyable
To improve your speed force, you need training sessions that won’t bore you. If the session is interesting enough, you won’t even notice the time or the fatigue. Make it different from the real race and enjoy it. The fun will keep you sprinting faster and improve your speed immediately.
10. Obey your speed limits
If you run more than your limit, you are risking injury. Speed work needs patience and small intervals of mileage that will increase as you continue to improve. Obeying your limits requires self-discipline, do not underperform or overdo your training.
Do you improve your speed force? Share your experiences with the community!