Happy Monday folks! Today’s post is going to be a special one, it’s my very first guest poster! Due to my exam this week, I have asked my friend Sherman to put together something for you. He’s a Running Free Ambassador (here’s his profile for you to stalk!), did a tri-a-tri, and like I am, he’s food lover! Also, he will be one of the 200 runners racing in the Canadian 5k Road Race Championships! He and I have an upcoming marathon relay in July and the plan is that he’ll carry the team ;) hahaha
And ladies… he’s single ;)
Now without further ado here’s his post…
A little bit about me before I share my experience in “How to improve your speed?” I am a certified personal trainer and a group fitness instructor located in Toronto. In 2012, I decided to take my marathon training seriously. I am striving to be faster and stay injury free as I do so. My current goal is to qualify for the 2015 Boston Marathon. Currently my marathon PR is 3:08:39 so I’m just a few minutes away from qualifying and that is why speed training is important to me. I hope you find what I have to say useful. Feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions, comments or recommendations to be even speedier.
There are many ways to improve your speed in running a marathon. The two most common methods are Interval training and Farlek. On top of that, I believe that foam rolling for recovery is very important when it comes to working on speed. Here I am going to share my experience with the interval training and foam rolling.
Interval training is when you vary your speeds and intensity throughout a shorter run. For example, you might repeatedly jog for three minutes, and then push yourself hard for a minute, for a certain amount of time. You can also go off distance instead of time. Or mix them all together!
You can play around with the distances from 100 metres to 1600 metres depending on the distance you are training for. I prefer 800 metres to 1600 metres. For example, you could do 1 mile x 3 repetitions with 2.5 minute recovery (walk a little, jog a little).
To ensure I don’t burnt out, I run at about 80% of my speed on the straight and slow down to approximately 60% on the curve – I then to repeat for 4 laps.
Normally I do this at a 400 metres track to help keep track of distance/laps. You might have to start at a lower rep to build your base but over time, you’ll find that you can add 1 extra rep every week as you become stronger. Try to set a goal for the interval and stick to it and you should see improvement over time.
So what pace should you run at? I normally aim for 30 seconds faster than my race pace. For example, my race pace is 4:16/km (3hr marathon), my interval pace is 3:50/km. Why? This will help your raise your anaerobic threshold (latic acid tolerance – the burning sensation in your legs) and improve your speed over time since you’ll be able to hold a faster speed for a longer stretch of time.
Foam rolling helps relax your muscles and quickens your recovery. The faster you recovery, the stronger and faster you’re going to run!! I foam rolling everything from my quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves, and adductors. Even my lower back and neck some times.
So when do you foam roll? Normally, you foam roll after your run. However, you can foam roll before your run too or on your off/rest/cross train days but it’s very important to foam roll after every run. Remember to be gentle when you first start as it may feel like a very deep tissue massage. I treat it as a workout and spend 30 minutes to an hour. As an added bonus, it helps you build core and arm strength. :)
(Want more information on foam rolling? click here )
Hopefully you found this post by Sherman useful!
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EDIT: I’ll be linking this post up for Tuesdays on the Run!