The countdown to the Broad Street Run has begun! There are less than two months to go before the largest ten-mile road race in the United States takes place on May 1, 2016 in our city. Get ready to shave time off your PR and run the best race to date! Here are some training tips that will get your adrenaline pumping and help prepare you for race day success.

1) Don’t go all out! Runners often feel they need to pile on the miles with every workout. However, this is not always the safest approach. One progressively longer run each week is usually enough to build endurance without running yourself into the ground. As a trade-off, you’ll have more time and energy for speed-boosting workouts (see below), which will help you peak on the day of the race.

2) Crank up the heat! To perform faster, you have to train faster, and this means including speed work in your weekly running program. High-intensity training methods such as the ones listed below are effective for improving fitness and performance into your running plan.

Interval training is a great way to boost fitness and speed. Warm up with a slow jog for about 10 minutes, and then aim for a high-intensity effort like a sprint for 2-5 minutes, followed by a recovery period of equal length at a low-to-moderate intensity. Repeat speed recovery intervals 4-6 times to complete your workout.
Tempo training is a classic way to increase the lactate threshold (the point at which your body fatigues at a given pace). Run at tempo pace (comfortably hard, just under race pace) for a few minutes, and then recover with an easy pace for several minutes. Repeat, gradually working up to 20 minutes or more at tempo pace.
Tabata training is a high-intensity form of interval training shown to significantly raise both aerobic and anaerobic fitness. Tabata involves doing 20-second maximal efforts (full sprint!) followed by 10 seconds of recovery repeated 7-8 times. Bring on the hard work!

These high speed training methods are also higher-risk activities; they are not right for everyone. Check with your physician before beginning speed work. To reduce risk of injury do not do high-intensity training more than once a week.

3) Training is better with a buddy! If you’re looking to improve your time, find a training partner who is quicker than you and let them push you to become a faster runner. They can keep you excited and accountable when the miles rise, workouts get more challenging or if motivation starts to dip.

4) Allow adequate time for rest and recovery. Take at least one day off from vigorous exercise each week to allow your body to rest and recover. Progressing too quickly sets you up for overtraining and burnout, and works against your goal of getting faster. It’s okay to take a day off from running. Go for a bike ride or take a yoga class instead.

Crossing that finish line is such a memorable experience. Always remember to have fun and stay focused on your personal goal! Bring it on Broad Street 2016!


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