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Monday, June 14, 2010

Asking My Readers: How to Make Speed Work Fun?

I need some ideas for how to make speed work fun.

This Saturday, my running group is going to be doing speed work for the first time.  Our Galloway group has traditionally done more focusing on finishing, rather than on finish time.  There have been people who have done some focusing on time, but there were never formal speed training sessions incorporated into our Galloway program schedule.

Until now.

This year, several people (including me, in a big way) suggested doing speed work on the track.  More specifically, we wanted to do 800 meter repeats for our half marathon groups, done according to Jeff Galloway's specifications for how they should be done in the program.  The person in charge of the program insists that my group is going to find track workouts boring, and that no one will want to do them after a little while.

I am determined to prove her wrong.

I think there is a benefit to doing speed work on the track.  Personally, I find running distances on non-long run weekends that have no purpose or benefit besides maintaining your base mileage to be boring.  So, we're giving it a try.

However, I don't know if my group will find that the benefits of getting out on the track will be enough to keep them going.  We're going to be doing 800 meter repeats and incorporating our usual walk breaks into them.  Ideas to really encourage my runners and make this experience as awesome as possible?  What really gets you going on the track?

Image Credit: wwarby on Flickr


marathonmaiden said...

wow i wish i had the answer. i think speedwork can be fun when the workout is appropriate to my fitness level. there have been times where i've been wayyyy too ambitious and then it's just sucked. but overall i know that when i start any type of speed session i'm going to hate it haha. but what keeps me going out there is knowing that speedwork does work in making you faster and stronger and the biology/science shuts up that annoying voice that tells me to quit

Whitney said...

What is great about speedwork on the track is that your group can still be together but work at different paces. A fun group take on speed workout is do a group in a single file line, the first person sets the pace, the person in the back sprints to get in the front and it just keeps going like that. The trick is for the group to stay at a pace that is comfortable/pushing pace for the majority. We usually did this one for about 10-15 minutes at a time.

Whitney said...

Here's another fun one...partner off by pace starting with your fastest and slowest runners. Then have your pairs race, each taking a lap and then handing off to their teammate. Goal is to be the first team to finish a set distance (2 miles is good) first. Each has to work hard but it is fun and competitive too. Usually the team in the middle that is closest in pace wins but almost everyone will end up running a fast mile of hard effort during the workout.

Kovas Palubinskas said...

I love speedwork, even though I'm terrible at it because of one thing: variety. Thursdays I pick out a new interval to try out and I also sometimes run hill repeats that day. Also, one way to even out the different levels of the runners is to have the slower runners start earlier and then have the faster ones try to catch them - good motivation for both groups.

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