While I’m not training, I decided to have a bit of fun.  Once a week, I decided to try a different method of speed training:

Week 1: Yasso 800’s.  Although technically, this style is meant to be used for marathon training, I wanted to check it out anyway!

Want to run a 3:30 marathon? Then train to run a bunch of 800s in 3:30 each. Between the 800s, jog for the same number of minutes it took you to run your repeats. Training doesn’t get any simpler than this, not on this planet or anywhere else in the solar system.

So because I’m not training for a marathon, I just took my race pace for my 800m intervals and did four intervals.  There is criticism of this method’s accuracy, but I just wanted to see what the fuss was about.  My normal race intervals were usually 400m or 0.25 miles, so doubling this was a bit tougher.  I didn’t find it all that exciting, but did enjoy the longer intervals and did find them manageable.  I’m sure it would have been much harder adding more intervals.

Week 2: Fartlek.

Not only does this sound fun, it is fun… outdoors.  On a track or treadmill is a bit useless.  Fartleks are interval training sessions that aren’t based on a predefined distance or time.  It is more like “I’m going to run really fast up to that stop sign.”  It can be used indoors as far as “I am going to run really fast until this song is over” or “until the scene changes in the movie/TV show.”

Week 3: Hills.   I threw some hill training into the same category as speed work, because the hills are run quite fast and at intervals.  It wasn’t new for me… it was more because I felt like I needed to get some hill training into my maintenance program.

Week 4:  Speed Training from Hell.  That’s not really what it was called.  I came across a speed-training workout from a twitter post… I wish I remembered what it was called or even the website of the article.  Anyway, I can vaguely describe it… it has caused a bit of amnesia, much like child-birth can do to us women to make us want to continue to have children.  Basically, it was a nice long warmup, then 4 x 1000m intervals at 5k race pace.  Once those are done, do 1 x 600m interval at 3k pace.  I think I got through 3 intervals of the 5k pace and did the 1 @ 3k pace, but it’s all very fuzzy!

Week 5: Quarter-Mile Intervals.  This wasn’t new for me, as this is the type of speed training I had incorporated into my training program.  Essentially, this is 400m or 0.25 miles run slightly slower than race pace.


The verdict… I think I will stick to my regular-old quarter mile intervals and/or fartleks when I’m back into speed training mode… which is still quite a while away.  The first several weeks of my training program is hills.  Even after my program allows for transitioning from hills to speed, I may just continue with hills as my first two races of the season will be very hilly!


What’s your favourite speed training session?