Laura Doss/Fitness MagazineBy the editors of FITNESS; drills created by Dave Kuehls
Pushing the pace is not just for stopwatch nuts looking for faster times on race day. Speedier strides burn more calories per minute and boost your cardiovascular capacity, making everything you do -- from errands to exercise -- feel easier, says Dave Kuehls, author of How to Run a Personal Record. Follow his drills to stop huffing and start hauling.
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Do speed work on a track -- the distances are measured out for you.
How to do it: Run ladders: Try a 200-meter sprint, 400-meter fast, 600-meter moderate, 800-meter slow. Reverse order back to start.
Why do it: Upping your tempo strengthens your legs and increases your lung capacity.
Run at goal race pace for an entire workout.
How to do it: Check your watch every 1/4 mile to make sure you're being consistent.
Why do it: Practice helps your body memorize a desired speed.
How to do it: Relax your hands, shoulders, and mouth.
Why do it: The less tense you are on any run, the speedier you'll be.
Warm up pre-workout with a few speed bursts.
How to do it: Sprint 60 meters, then slowly jog 60 meters to recover. Do 3 or 4 sprint-jog sets.
Why do it: These short bursts help prep your fast- twitch muscle fibers for an interval run.
On race day, start slower than usual.
How to do it: At mile 1, pick up to 20 seconds below race pace. At the halfway mark, run faster than race pace to the finish.
Why do it: This saves your strength for the last mile (start too fast, and you might slow down midway).
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