Sunday, April 16, 2017

My Favorite Run Workout

All runners have favorite workouts, right? You'd think as a self-identified ultra-runner I'd favor long trail runs. I do enjoy them, but they are not my favorite type of run. I like to run fast. Don't we all? 20-mile slog fests on hilly trails are not done at a fast pace. They are endurance survival runs. They build character and confidence, but not speed. And they leave me wasted, not refreshed. I like a tough workout that gives me energy, rather than draining energy.

My favorite workout is tempo intervals. I learned about these from Greg McMillan's running site. Specifically, I prefer 1-mile repeats done slightly faster than regular tempo pace with a 0.1 mile walk rest interval. For me, these are run between 6:45-7:00 pace. Fast, but still relaxed. Repeat 4-6 times for a nice stamina builder that tests both speed and endurance. Extends your lactate threshold, builds mental focus, and improves leg turn-over. Did one last week as my last real workout before the half-marathon (this Saturday!). Felt wonderful.

Hope I can continue them on a regular basis as I switch to more endurance-based training after the half-marathon. While I need more endurance for ultras (like Howl at the Moon 8-hour in August), I still need to keep speed. Just because I'm entering ultra beast mode doesn't mean I should give up on fast running. As always, a mix of training paces and distances usually works best--with a focus on one training that best fits your goal race.

Looking forward to the half-marathon race on April 22, then a turn toward endurance training for ultras this summer. Endurance training with an element of speed and stamina via tempo intervals!

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