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Run Faster

Stew Smith, CSCS

I received several e-mails last week about running faster. A few requested workouts for their 1.5 mile, 2 mile or three mile PFT runs and several were runners who compete 5K and 10K races on the weekends. Since all these distances use relatively the same training philosophy – short distance , faster pace – I decided to answer them all with the following track workouts.

The Four mile track workout has worked for many military and short distance runners for years. This workout is basically interval training. Interval training means you run at a certain pace for a particular distance then increase the pace for a certain distance. The Four mile track workout is broken into 1/4 mile sprints and jogs and 1/8 mile sprints and jogs for a total of four miles. The workout goes as follows:

4 Mile Track Work
Jog – 1 mile in 7:00 – 8:00
Three sets of:
Sprint-1/4 mile as fast as you can
Jog – 1/4 mile in 1:45-2:00
Six sets of:
Sprint-1/8 mile
Jog – 1/8 mile 1:00

Do this workout without walking to rest. The only rest you will receive is during your slower jogging pace. Try to catch your breath while you jog. Have fun with this one it is tough.

Another good speed workout is called REPEATS. Simply run a certain distance as fast as you can a specified number of times. This time you get to walk to recover and catch your breath before the next sprint. You can try one of the following distances for a challenging workout:

MILE REPEATS – 1 mile x 3-4 (walk 1/2 mile in between) = 3-4 miles
1/2 MILE REPEATS – 1/2 mile x 6 (walk 1/4 mile in between) = 3 miles
1/4 MILE REPEATS – 1/4 mile repeats x 12 (walk 1/8 mile in between) = 3 miles
1/8 MILE REPEATS – 1/8 mile repeat x 16 (walk 100 yds in between) = 2 miles

Finally, if you have not had enough, you can try mixing shorter jogs and sprints together for a longer period of time. This type of training is great for building the speed and endurance needed for any of the PFTs or 5 or 10K races. I call them SPRINT / JOGS. Simply run about 50 yards as fast as you can then jog 50 yards fairly slow in order to catch your breath. I like doing this one where telephone poles line the road so I can just sprint form one telephone pole then jog to the next.

Sprint / Jogs
50 yd sprint / 50 yd jog
for 10, 20 , 30 minutes

All of these workouts are fantastic ways to get faster but build the needed endurance which most sprinters lack. These workouts are just a few of over a hundred different workouts featured in my book, Maximum Fitness , The Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Cross-Training.


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