Hitting the track

27 Jun

For several weeks now, I’ve been contemplating how to go about increasing my speed to meet my goal of kicking my 14-year-old self’s butt with a sub-22:00 5K as well as improving my overall speed for longer distance races. I’ve done a few hill repeats, but mostly I’ve been trying to overcome my phobia of track workouts. That phobia is mainly based on memories of torturous 400m dashes and 800m runs during high school track and field. The rest of the problem was not knowing what kind of workout to do. I Googled different workouts, looked at a few apps, considered hiring an e-coach, thought about leaving work early to make it to a track workout hosted by a local running group. Ultimately, I decided to just find something and give it a try.


Luckily, I came across this simple workout, which is designed to improve speed for all distances. Perfect! I went with the “beginner” version.

600 meter breakdownsI ran to the nearby high school track as the warmup and did some stretching to loosen up my legs. After a little pep talk, I got started!

As I did each interval, the high school track days became clear in my mind. My mom watching from the bleachers, my coach with his loud high pitched mouth whistle, spending an entire day by the track waiting for your one event, time trials, relays, conversations on the bus, pushing beyond physical limits, celebrating victories and mourning defeats. A mix of nostalgia, pride, and anguish. Oh, track…it’s been so long. I’ve missed you. (I think…)


My splits:

600m / 2:20 time / 5:53 pace

400m / 1:32 time / 5:38 pace

300m / 1:11 time / 5:59 pace

200m / 0:44 time / 5:43 pace

For the cooldown, I ran nice and slow back home and stretched for a while. I actually really liked this workout and could see myself doing it regularly. Now that I have an idea of about how fast I can run these short intervals, I think I might tailor it to hit certain target times for each.

If you’re trying to gain some speed, give this workout a try!

A little added inspiration:

If you’ve got a favorite track workout, feel free to share!


3 Responses to “Hitting the track”

  1. katie June 27, 2013 at 2:54 pm #

    Nice work! I keep saying to myself I SHOULD DO TRACK WORKOUTS but I never do! Hardest part is getting there- I guess i hate the idea of driving to go running- lucky you have a track so close !

  2. Janel June 28, 2013 at 11:43 pm #

    I’ve never been a fan of the track, but I think I can revisit it and give it a try. I have been so lazy lately. Now just to be sure I understand this correctly we run as fast as we can 600m then jog 300m then run 400m….

    • Nikki June 29, 2013 at 7:18 am #

      You got it! Run 600m almost as fast as you can (not an all out sprint), slow jog 300m, then repeat with the 400m and so on. Always a 300m recovery in between. Check out the link for more explanation, too!

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