Do not practice speed running before spending a few months preparing for it! If you are over 35 years old, the minimum preparation time is 1 year (one year!).
Speed running is based on a long period of slow and controlled running.
Ignoring these facts and skipping steps in the running schedule will likely lead to severe orthopedic problems. We ourselves have been down that road.
Better keep it slow and run for a lifetime than blaze for a year, then reminiscence for a lifetime.
Speed running differs from normal running in its use of different load distributions of muscle groups and different synchronization between these muscles. Speed running changes the way the feet meet the ground.
Towards the end of each of the running exercises explained below, start reducing your speed to about 80%. This is recommended because by that time the muscles are tired and susceptible to mistakes that can harm your joints, especially the knees.
Any sprint should be executed only on an even plane – not uphill or downhill.
Speed game (Fartlek):
During running, choose an object at a distance of twenty to a hundred meters, run fast to this object. After passing the chosen object, slow down until your pulse rate goes back to normal. You can repeat this Fartlek as many times as the running schedule allows and you do it inside the time frame of your run. It is recommended to sprint no more than 20-50 meters for the first two months.
If the running schedule says:”5 minutes Fartlek”, as a beginner, you can do only two or three Fartleks in this timeframe. Do not rush the process.
Learning how to return to a normal running pulse (70-80%) is a very important skill, which involves the actual level of your fitness and also special control of breath.
Speed running develops explosive power in the lower extremities. Do not practice it until you are physically ready for it, because only then it will benefit your combat.
Adding artificial weight (like a backpack) during speed running is especially harmful, run with a backpack only at moderate speeds. The same goes for overweight students – If you wish work with the advanced running schedule, lose some weight first.
Changing pace during a running session:
At the beginning of the jog, run at a slow pace, by the third of the run, increase the speed until the pulse rate reaches 85% – 90%. For the last third of the run, reduce your speed to a slow, calm pace. Maintain the overall time frame: in a run lasting an hour only twenty minutes during the middle should be “Tempo” running.
Intervals are the most demanding of all methods of speed training. That is the reason it appears only in the advanced running tables. It can be performed only when a good aerobic and orthopedic base has been established and that means taking the time to gradually, over the course of many months, strengthen ligaments, tendons and muscles. In this type of interval practice, the levels of the lactic acid, a by product of intense effort, are rapidly accumulating in the muscles, thereby increasing pain and fatigue and can lead to serious errors in running form. These can be destructive even during the course of only one unlucky exercise.
In interval practice, you choose a certain distance (according to your goal distance) and then speed run this distance, slow down for a short while � usually not enough to fully recover – and the run the same distance again.
If you are preparing for a marathon run, it’s customary to interval train 800-1000 meters with 200-300 meters slow running in between.
The regular interval distance for most of us is 200-300 meters (600-900 feet) running the same distance to recuperate in between at a moderate pace. This distance occurs a lot in urban chase situations.