People ask me all the time what workouts they should do to run faster. Well, there’s lots of them. Whether the goal is to get faster or get fitter, here are the 3 best running workouts:
VO2max is the maximum volume of oxygen your body consumes per minute. So it represents the maximum rate at which you can consume oxygen. VO2max intervals are like strength training for your heart because your heart is repeatedly working at its maximum capability to pump blood and oxygen.
3- to 5-minute reps @ VO2max pace* with recovery intervals equal to or slightly less than equal to the time spent running
*VO2max pace is about 2-mile race pace for very good runners, 1- to 1.5-mile race pace for recreational runners; 95-100% max heart rate; feels like a 9 on a scale of 1-10; hard but manageable.
Workout Examples: 6 x 3 minutes @ VO2max pace with 2:30 jog recovery or 4 x 4 minutes @ VO2max pace with 3:00 jog recovery
[tweetthis display_mode=”box”]VO2max intervals are like strength training for your heart because it’s working at maximum capability to pump blood.[/tweetthis]
Anaerobic Capacity Intervals
Anaerobic capacity reflects your muscles’ ability to regenerate energy (ATP) without using oxygen through the metabolic pathway called glycolysis, which is the breaking down of glucose.
45-second to 1:30 reps at anaerobic capacity pace* with recovery intervals double the time spent running
*Anaerobic capacity pace is about half-mile to mile race pace for good runners, quarter-mile to half-mile race pace for recreational runners; feels like a controlled sprint.
Workout Examples: 10 x 45 seconds @ anaerobic capacity pace with 1:30 jog recovery or 8 x 1 minute @ anaerobic capacity pace with 2:00 jog recovery
[tweetthis]To train anaerobic capacity and speed, run 30- to 90-second reps fast with double time jog recovery.[/tweetthis]
Acidosis Threshold Run
The acidosis threshold (commonly called the lactate threshold) is the fastest aerobic speed above which lactate accumulates and your muscle pH drops (called acidosis). The faster your acidosis threshold pace, the faster pace you can run before acidosis develops and you start to fatigue. If you’re training for a marathon or half marathon, this is the workout to focus on.
10- to 30-minute run at acidosis threshold pace*
*Acidosis threshold pace is about 20-25 seconds per mile slower than 5K pace for good runners, 10-15 seconds per mile slower than 5K pace for recreational runners; feels comfortably hard, at the high end of being purely aerobic.
[tweetthis]To train acidosis threshold & improve quality aerobic endurance, run 10-30 minutes at AT pace (comfortably hard). [/tweetthis]