Call it a jogging track, running track, workout oval for all I care, just make sure you are doing the proper physiological work to get results.
It was the great Olympic 800m champion, Sebastion Coe, that said
Long slow running makes for long slow runners
People may call the oval we work out on a jogging track but in order to run jogging along will not yield results.
To get results in any endeavor you have to be doing what most people will not do.
Everyone has been taught to go to school get good grades and get a job.
How many employees do you know with multiple degrees, plenty of status and corporate experience who are flat broke and unhappy?
Now, in contrast, why is it that so many people with no college degrees are making more in a week than folks who have plenty of status make in a year?
Some work hard (employees).
Some work smart (entrepreneurs).
You’ll find various clues all over this website that I need not to go into on this post.
The point of this post on jogging track workouts is to work smart, get results using leverage.
Below are a few key track workouts I have used over the years to improve leg speed and endurance.
Work Smarter – Not Harder
The hardest workout I do is the long run.
Never neglect it and I advise alternating one week running long and slow to recover and the following week running at 150-160BPM (beats per minute).
You want to spend longer amounts of time at a higher heart rate so that you are teaching your body to handle ever increasing amounts of lactic acid.
The trick to running faster is teaching the body to clear lactic acid faster than it is building up in your blood stream.
You cannot do this by jogging every day.
There has to be a stimulus placed on the body.
Of course track workouts are essential because long runs alone will not do the job.
Here are a few of the workouts I have done over the years and still focus on in my marathon training.
- 3-mile run on track sprinting the straight aways all out, jogging the corners. This is a great fartlek workout where you are focusing more on effort than you are on splits. I have found it takes that concern of what splits you’re hitting out of the equation.
- 16x400m at 5K goal race pace – this is going to vary from athlete to athlete. I find when I am doing 16 reps at 67-72 seconds I am dangerous. Usually, at the start of any season I am sucking wind running 75-77 seconds.
Keep in mind getting in speed shape takes time. This isn’t an overnight deal. It is the moment you get in a rush expecting too much too soon, without first allowing the body to adapt to the stress you are placing on it, that you can get discouraged.
Be patient with the process. Your competitors will.
3. 5x1K at 10K goal race pace with 2-minute recovery – again, will depend on your own particular goals but pushing the body hard for 3-5 minutes with short recovery is going to teach it to handle lactic acid more efficiently.
Remember, this is just as much a mental workout as it is a physical one.
We all know running can be far more mental than it can be physical. You really have to have your thoughts and mindset in the right place.
The best runners I have trained with were 100% committed to their goal. They weren’t interested in getting faster.
They were committed and their is a major difference between interest and commitment.
I wrote an extensive article about interest vs commitment I highly recommend you read.
4. 20x200m – all out, full recovery. This is an extremely difficult workout but you can really get a huge physiological boost from it because you are running at such an aggressive pace.
I would highly suggest jogging 2 to 3 days after this workout (depending on how quickly you can recover) to ensure you are ready for the next training session.
Lastly, always place high emphasis on your recovery days.
I have seen far too many runners who are running too fast on recovery days either trying to keep up with ‘the group’ or simply not being wise about recovery.
I have trained with world-class Kenyans who jog 8-11 minute mile pace on their easy days.
These are men and women who can run 2:10 to 2:40, respectfully.
If they are wise enough to slow down when it counts should not you also?
Easier said than done but still wise advice.
Jogging track workouts are completely individual.
I have shared just a few which have helped me drop significant times on the track and mainly on the roads where I have competed since 2001.
Leave a comment or send me a private message if you have further questions.