These track workouts will help you find your inner animal
“Every day the hungry lion wakes up on the savannah and must run faster than the slowest gazelle, and each gazelle rises knowing it must run quicker than the fastest lion.”
The well-known Nike poster quote goes something like that. Either way these animals wake ready to run. August is the perfect month to fine tune our body and work our fast-twitch muscles. In the preceding months we built our endurance, and strength. Some of us may also have joined a running group that re-introduced us to a local school track. If not, now is a great time to call upon your inner animal skills to improve your running.
First, select a track to focus on improving your speed. In the perfect world it is close to your house so your warm-up and cool-down can be the distance from your home and back. An ideal distance would be about two miles give or take a half-mile, allowing for 20 minutes of wolf-like loping before you call up the swifter beasts inside you.
Once at the track, a few strides of 100 yards will awaken the body to know you mean business. These strides are gradual accelerations building to 85 percent effort. Now the fun begins, try the “Tortoise and Hare” – one lap easy at 30 percent then the next at 85 percent effort. Do six or eight intervals. Strive for a consistent time for each of your fast “Hare” laps. It is a great drill to increase your speed for 5K and 10K events. In three or four weeks you can add two or four more fast ”Hare” laps or reduce the Tortoise lap to half the distance. Another variation of this drill is aiming for a gradual increase of 3 to 5 seconds during each fast “Hare” lap. The idea here is to finish strong or in the case of the rabbit not getting caught.
Next up Caribou 1200s or three laps: These are three continuous laps done progressively faster by at least 5 seconds but no more that 10 seconds. Recover with a one lap Tortoise lap after each Caribou. Start with four Caribou and build to six. This drill conditions you to run strong to the finish.
Finish your track session with some “Bear Action.” Yes
, this is running close to your max; say 90 percent. Do four to six of these at the end of your workout. The first week, run 100 meters or the straightaway along the track recovering on the curve. Then do it again. In two weeks week stretch it out to 200 meters or half a lap recover with a half lap then do it again.
Mike’s August Race Picks
Aug. 9: The Kenai Peninsula Run for Women, Kenai. Run a swift 5K or 10K on a nicely a flat course. www.leesshoreak.org
Aug. 10: Mineral Creek Half Marathon: A good road trip with an entry fee of under $20. www.jagostreet.com
Aug. 17: 49K Ultra Marathon in the 49th State. Part of the Big Wild Life Runs, this first running of the event takes place in Anchorage.
Aug. 29: Who Let the Girls Out! Palmer. The Valley Women’s Running Team puts on 5K. Run it, then go to the Alaska State Fair. Kloyer@mtaonline.net