In general, all runners want to run fast. Even though ultra runners who usually prioritize distance over speed, sometimes increasing pace can mean finishing the race better. But often there is an assumption that runners need professional coaches to be able to improve their pace. Here are some examples of speed work that we can do ourselves without the help of a coach.
This exercise consists of high intensity running periods followed by a relaxed running period. For example, after a light run as a warm-up, run for 1 or 2 minutes as fast as you can then go back running relaxed or brisk walking to return the breath to the normal rhythm. After breathing returns, repeat the intense running session for a few more minutes and go back down to the brisk walk. Keep doing this for 5 reps as the initial exercise.
Means ‘playing speed’ in Swedish. In this training method, you alternately run leisurely and run fast with varying speeds and distances. The difference with interval training is that fartlek is carried out freely without rules. The intensity, speed, duration, and distance can be adjusted according to the desires and creativity of each runner. For example, after a leisurely run for 3 minutes you run as fast as you can to a tree at the end of a road, or a street light, even a neighbor’s house can be used as a point to start sprinting and stopping. Fartlek is an effective choice if you don’t have access to a track field for training, or if you are just starting to practice speed.
It is like weight training for legs because running on an uphill surface will strengthen the leg muscles – hamstrings, quads, glutes, and calves. This exercise is done by running uphill with a certain duration, usually between 15 to 60 seconds with high intensity. The level of difficulty you feel is at levels 8 to 9 on a scale of 10 (1 easiest and 10 hardest). After running uphill, walk or run casually back to its original position to reduce heart rate, and repeat running uphill. Warm up and cool by relaxing for 10-15 minutes before starting and ending the exercise. Beginner runners can start this exercise by doing 3-grade reps and slowly increasing the number of reps to 10 for runners with higher fitness levels.