Thursday, October 11, 2007

Passionate Runner: What is Speed?

Another in a series of podcasts on running, this one continuing a conversation with another runner from the Tupleo, Mississippi area. He has been running for three years and wants to know if he can get faster.

Time: 6 minutes, 26 seconds

MP3 File

Speed is a reflection of strength and your genes. You can improve your speed by increasing your strength so you can maintain that pace for longer and longer distances. So for conversation sake, you can run a 5K at your 8:30 pace, then increase your strength to maintain that pace for a 10K and a half marathon.

Your genes play to the other factor. Maybe 8:30 is your best. Probably not, given the length of time you have run but at some point you will hit the plateau at which you simply cannot go faster. This is due to your genes, really, what you were born with is what you will live with. These genes drive the muscle actions for your body movements. There are fast twitch fibers and slow twitch fibers in your muscles . The amount of each you were born with is your limiting factor.

Now, given that you have only run three years, you probably have not hit your max speed. There is likely some potential improvement. It will take work but it is possible. You are doing four days a week. That is good. You probably have heard me talk of the FIRST program which calls for three days of running and two days of cross training. The speed/pace workout along with the tempo run and the long distance run make for a good combination.

I have posted previously about each of the runs




A gradual progression on the speed/pace workout should help you to run faster.
Let me know what you are currently running for your speed/pace workouts and I'll provide a plan for that gradual progression to get faster.

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