Speed, the thrill of it. It is especially rewarding when you are able to kick it in at the end of a race. Isn’t our goal to really to finish as fast as we can? Studies prove you can’t fulfill your potential unless you train fast. How do speed sessions reduce your race times?
Speed sessions or Track workouts have numerous benefits. Speed training uses slightly different muscles called fast twitch muscles at the same time it develops neurological pathways to recruit other muscles. With only endurance runs, your body does not have the opportunity to develop these fast twitch muscles which results in muscles that are unprepared for competition. Speed training builds muscular strength and power. It makes your legs look better and feel stronger.
If you have ever done a speed workout you’ll know that it improves your aerobic capacity and lactate threshold or fatigue threshold. Lactic acid is a byproduct of anaerobic exercise. You may be anaerobic going up a hill or you race your first mile too fast. You will know when your muscles are full. You begin to fatigue, your legs feel heavy, you slow down, your breathing increases, your heart rate increases and you get angry, depressed and start to panic. One of speed training goals is to push the threshold higher so you can run faster more easily before fatigue sets in.
Speed training refines your form. During the session you run differently. Your stride is longer, your arms are pumping, your head is high, your back is straight, you push off your toes more and you have a higher knee kick. These changes improve running economy allowing you to “save some for the end”.
There is also a psychological benefit, not immediate, but as you shave off a second here or there on a 400 meter run you begin to discover your hidden runner. You begin by saying “I didn’t think I could run that fast”. Then on race day you line up with confidence knowing that you will achieve your potential and your goals.
-Cari and Chris Setzler
Track workouts are on Thursday nights at Lundahl Middle School in Crystal Lake. Please note that the time and or location is subject to change based on availability, Please see the schedule for updates.
Where: Lundahl Middle School Track
Warm up time: 6:15pm - Drill start time: 6:30pm
Track coordinators: Jon Bird, Mike B, Stu Rutledge & Jim Bender
"I Have a Need for SPEED"