Speed training runs are key to prevent injuries while training.
High intensity, speed training runs are best done as intervals.
Speed training is high quality running requiring 85-95% percent effort of your maximum heart rate. Speed training is a high-quality session, not high-quantity, so intervals should be no longer than 7-12 minutes. Start with a two minute interval and build slowly. Your heart rate should recover to about 120 beats per minute after 1- 2 minutes of rest, before starting the next interval.
Include a warm up and cool down for each session consisting of easy running and stretching. Hold the speed sessions until you have strengthened your legs on the hill repeats. Keep the speed session to once a week, any more will fatigue your legs and compromise your long run. Disciplined training in these sessions prevents injury. Speed improves your coordination and the ability to run faster, beyond your current comfort level.
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John Stanton is the President and Founder of the Running Room. He is the author of 10 books about running, walking and family fitness.