Favorite on the track

Mixed Plastic Racetrack Running Track  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?

Related Posts:


  1. Can’t believe the first month of 2012 is already done! This is one question where I have to stay on the sideline as I don’t do any speedwork or trackwork at all. Yes, lazy me only train for ultras I tell myself.
    Johann recently posted..Thank you and thank you and main 2012 goalMy Profile

  2. What is this “Speed Work” you speak of?
    Jamoosh recently posted..FYTO5KMy Profile

  3. I’m kind of excited to do some speed work this spring as there is a high school with a track right across the street from where we live!
    Holly recently posted..CLE Half Training Update: Dead of WinterMy Profile

  4. 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

  5. I don’t do track work outs, since I can’t run on the track nearby since I’m not in their running group. Bah. I do ‘think’ ‘track’, though. I do my intervals in 800 meters or 1600 meters repeats. ;)
    Christel recently posted..What does your schedule say on February 11th?My Profile

  6. That sounds like a great workout. And moving out the lanes will help me keep count better!
    Run with Jess recently posted..January Challenges RecapMy Profile

  7. do you think the mile repeats are better than the yassos?
    Mamarunsbarefoot recently posted..VulturesMy Profile

  8. I like 100 meter sprints, walk/jog curves. This year I’m following a FIRST half marathon plan, which will be my first planned speedwork ever.
    Kovas recently posted..Tuesday Tasting: Groundswell California White Wine 2010My Profile

  9. I have never done speed work that far, meaning a mile. haven’t done anything over 800 thus far, but this year I should. You are right on starting out to the point where you know you can finish. If you go all out on the first one, and your last is a lot slower, you defeated the purpose of speed training, is what I’ve been told at least.
    Kenley Jones recently posted..One of Those Weeks, and One Bad Experience with DehydrationMy Profile

  10. Great idea…we are a long way off being able to run at the track…they are covered in snow. :(
    I like doing rabbits for something fun to do as a warm up. Last year we have about 12 of us doing rabbits and they were fast so it was a huge challenge for me to keep up.
    Laura recently posted..Four for Friday..the running, running editionMy Profile

  11. 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.

  12. What a neat idea! Maybe I can convince my group to try something like this once the snow has cleared off the track.
    marlene recently posted..Impromptu RestMy Profile

  13. I only have access to an indoor track, and I can’t bring myself to use it for speedwork. The times I have access, the track also often has a number of walkers on it. I tend to do my speedwork on the treadmill. Maybe some day.
    Raquelita recently posted..January in Review and PhotosMy Profile

  14. I love running on the track. Mind is still under quite a bit of snow though. Rats!

    Your package should be there tomorrow. :) Hugs!
    Erin Henderson recently posted..What do you want to know?My Profile

  15. 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

  16. Great workout! More than the track I’m excited to have more sunlight each day meaning more outdoor runs for me!!
    Fancy Nancy recently posted..Thoughts on Food JournallingMy Profile

  17. This is good timing… I’m planning to start weekly speed work on Tuesdays, first one tonight! I’m starting with 800′s but I’ll keep this in mind for the 3X1600′s.
    Laura recently posted..January recap and FitFluentialMy Profile

  18. I wish I had a track close by for workouts, I think it would help me alot, and I love the idea of the workout you blogged about!
    James recently posted..I Got STANKY!My Profile

  19. We have the hs track a couple of blocks away – I think I’ll have to add it to my training:)
    Laima recently posted..Tuesday Tidbits – 101 Greatest Running TipsMy Profile

  20. My favorite track workout = 8 x 400s as fast as my little legs will take me (usually 60-90 seconds/mile faster than 5k pace).

    Second favorite is a ladder workout, 1600, 1200, 800, 400.

    I dislike mile repeats. I realize their value. I just don’t like running them. :-)
    Beth (i run like a girl) recently posted..Postcards from Philadelphia (guest post)My Profile

  21. 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

  22. That’s a fantastic workout, I will try it! Wish I’d thought of it last night – we were doing mile repeats. I am SLOW on the track – must get faster.
    Gracie recently posted..Racing Weight: a book reviewMy Profile

  23. Looks like a cool workout. Going to have to try that one soon, maybe even tomorrow.
    Jeff Irvin recently posted..And Just When You Thought Hollywood Was Out of Original Ideas …My Profile

  24. Thanks for this workout. I love mile repeats and this will certainly make it much more entertaining for sure.
    Jason @ Cook Train Eat Race recently posted..Ironman Texas Training VLOG – Week #6My Profile

  25. Gotta try this. Thanks for the idea!
    Yo Momma Runs recently posted..Speed work and some swagMy Profile

  26. Speed work, awwww. I have a love hate relationship with it.
    This workout is intriguing. I will have to give it a go when I go back to speed.
    Missy recently posted..I own a bike!My Profile

  27. 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

  28. That’s awesome, what a clever track workout! I’ll have to try that sometime! I’m ramping up my track and tempo workouts as well, and I’m loving the speedwork. It was badly needed. How’s your Achilles feeling today? I hope better!
    Erin recently posted..7 mile tempo run and 7 month old CaboMy Profile

  29. 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

  30. lots by 400m with 60 sec rest…

    or rolling 200m, so it’s 200 fast (for me 35sec) and 200 slow (for me 50-55sec)

    PS I do speed work all year round!
    Coach Dion recently posted..TRAIL SERIESMy Profile

  31. 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

  32. how fun! That’s a goal for me this spring…I’ve never done a track workout and I think it’s time! Might as well step outside of the box as often as possible, right? RIGHT!
    marissa recently posted..Happy Wednesday with a lot to share!My Profile

  33. Hmm… track… no comment…
    but you make me think that maybe I ought to be doing track…

  34. In a sick running kinda way it actually sounds like fun :)
    Coy recently posted..Mourning PersonMy Profile

  35. track season? we haven’t had enough snow yet!! figures…the first winter in years i’m not training for a marathon and it’s 60 degrees out.
    Denise recently posted..I’m back…January RecapMy Profile

  36. 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

  37. 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

Speak Your Mind


Current ye@r *

CommentLuv badge