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31
May

A Great First Interval Workout for Any Woman Runner

By Heidi Knapp
Coach and co-owner at Ironworx Multisport

Okay ladies, here’s the deal. Getting faster requires you to run faster on purpose. Speedwork gets a bad wrap for being intimidating but once you learn how to incorporate it into your running routine, it can become your best friend. Whether you want to chase that elusive 2 hour half marathon, PR a 5K, train for Boston or just see what your body is capable of, speedwork is the most effective (and efficient) way to get you there. You just have to be willing to run fast to run faster :)

Other ways speedwork helps:

– It teaches your body to run faster than your targeted pace for given distances. So, if you want to run a 9 minute mile on race day, adding interval training where you push yourself to hold an 8 minute mile deepens the muscle strength and memory for you to manage your target race day pace.
– It just makes you a stronger runner, period. You’ll be able to dig deeper when it hurts, endure through pains and finish strong.
– Speedwork improves your running efficiency – By running at faster speeds, you become more efficient running at slower speeds.
TIME. Instead of mindlessly running for 60 minutes, you can crush a hard 30 minute speed training workout and know it’s making a huge difference.

Here are a few workout options to get you started. Now, don’t try to be a hero out of the gate – if you’ve never done speedwork before, start slow and build over time. If you’re committed to incorporating speedwork into your weekly running regimen, I would recommend one workout per week to start.

All workouts start with a warm-up.

Choose one of these two options. If you have never attempted speed training before and/or are new to running, go with the newcomer option. If you are an experienced runner and/or accustomed to elevating your heart rate and breathing, try the advanced recommendation.

Newcomer Warm-up Recommendation:
5 minutes of easy run or walk
Dynamic stretches (Try this stretch routine via Runner’s World.)
Another 5 minutes of warm-up running

Advanced Warm-up Recommendation:
1/2 mile easy run or walk
Dynamic stretches (Try this stretch routine via Runner’s World.)
Additional 1/2 mile running warm-up running

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