Favorite on the track

Get on track for more speed

Tomorrow is February, which for many people means getting on the track for some speedwork isn’t far off. My friends and I are usually hitting it by March. We vary up the workouts from one week to the next and usually do about three miles worth of speed.

One of my favorite track workouts, especially when training for a marathon, is one I learned from my old coach, Troy Jacobson. It’s a challenging way to run mile repeats (my favorite). Here’s how it goes:

Begin your mile in the inside lane and pay attention to your 400 split. As soon as you cross the line, move out a lane for the next quarter. Try to maintain that same split. For each quarter, move out another lane. So by the end of the mile, you will have moved out three times. I’d do this for 3 x 1-mile repeats to begin.

The idea here is to learn to stay strong through the end of your mile. It also forces you to take your mile out slightly slower than you might otherwise, reinforcing the concept of a negative split. Give it a go–I think you’ll find it a great strength and speed builder, one that will give you confidence on race day.

What’s your favorite track workout?

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  1. says

    I’m always kind of scared of the track… I associate it with injuries. But I want to run faster, so I am willing to give it another chance.

    I haven’t done much track work in recent years but I did enjoy the Yasso 800s. Mile repeats sound cool though. The lane thing you mentioned might make it more fun.
    Josie @ happycorrdora.com recently posted..Why I RunMy Profile

  2. says

    I don’t do track workouts. We do have one where I live but that’s only for members.
    I’m going to add speedwork in a couple of weeks and use my Garmin for it.

  3. says

    I really need to get my butt to the track. I do all of my speedwork on the treadmill but the track would be so good for me. Tuesdays are when the San Diego Track Club meets for track workouts — maybe I should just show up tonight. :)
    Kate @ Run with Kate recently posted..16 Miles of BlissMy Profile

  4. says

    That sounds like a good, tough workout. One of my coach’s favourites is the Kenyan session where he asks our fastest 1k split. Then he adds 1min and 15s to that and that’s what your first k is supposed to be run at. Then he drops 15s from each of the subsequent reps so you’re progressively getting faster. It’s a really hard session.
    Char recently posted..Doctor’s Visit #1My Profile

  5. says

    No track to work on here – just tempo and fartlek out on the paths and roads…on the treadmill I do the measured 400 and 800 repeats… I was always afraid of speed work – but in the last year it has helped a tremendous amount! Thanks for the workout suggestions – keep them coming.
    Andrea recently posted..Yoga Sushi and Weight LossMy Profile

  6. says

    What a cool idea. As my easy runs get a little longer, I want to incorporate a little speedwork into them, even if it’s just a couple of mile repeats, just so I don’t finish my big race in April having forgotten how to run fastish.
    Kate recently posted..The worst idea in the worldMy Profile

  7. says

    First, Troy Jacobson was your coach!?!? WOW. How lucky were you!?! LOL I have so many of his cycling DVDs – they were phenomenal !! Used them when I couldn’t run (my one and only injury that has prevented me from running) and was training for a 65 mile bike ride! With his DVDs, I was able to easily bike those 65 miles in just over a month!
    Second, really love this idea – I’ve never tried it before so I’ll definitely give it a try the next time I am on a track (tracks are hard to come by on Staten Island – unfortunately!)
    Thanks for the awesome idea! =)
    Michele @ nycrunningmama recently posted..11 Random ThingsMy Profile

  8. says

    First, I hope that achilles is feeling better?
    As for track workouts, even though the track is perfect for speed training, I like to run just slightly over an easy pace, enjoying the flat, even, cushiony footing of the college track. The routes I run are so rolling, it’s a relief to run on the flat.
    Joanne recently posted..Coconut Thumbprints with Chocolate CaramelMy Profile

  9. says

    Interesting way to run on the track. Here we cannot use the track because the stadium is only for that stupid sport we call football (soccer in USA). In my city the soccer team is in 4th division but all the attentions are for it and not for the waterpolo (1st division), rugby (my favorite sport – 2nd division), volley (third division), basket (third division) and boxe (we have a world champ).
    Black Knight recently posted..Maratonina dei 3 ComuniMy Profile